Are you looking to impress your girlfriend with a romantic home cooked dinner? Then you would do well making a French meal. What could better summon the idea of romance then a meal you might find in a romantic bistro in Paris. Also, it's rather simple to do. You will need to get a few things, but the best part of a French meal is that you can buy most of the stuff already made and only cook the entrée. Here's what you will need.
Typically the French eat cheese after a meal, but you can definitely serve it before the main course is served. It would be nice to serve the cheese with wine while the entrée is cooking. You should stay away from smelly blue cheeses like Roquefort unless you know your date is a die-hard cheese connoisseur. Instead of blue cheeses, look for brie, Camembert, Comte or Morbier. None of these cheeses have a particularly funky smell, so they won't spoil the mood. You should have crackers and grapes. If you want to get fancy, you might add fig jam to be used with the crackers and cheese. Make sure to not wait till your date arrives to take the cheese out of the refrigerator because they will be too cold. You want to serve cheese at room temperature.
Obviously, you need to get nice French wine. You should have ideally three types of wine. A white wine and a red wine for the cheese and entrée, and then a champagne for dessert. For a white wine, you can choose a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. These are both popular white wines that work well with the cheeses and fruit.
For a red wine, choose a nice Bordeaux blend such as the Petrus 2015. This wine will be used for cooking the meal, and also served with the entrée, so you should have at least two bottles.
Any champagne will do. Dry champagne would be nice if you plan on serving very sweet chocolate. If you're going to skip the chocolate, and just serve fruit, then you could go with a sweeter champagne. For more information, contact JJ Buckley Fine Wines or a similar company.
Entrée (Coq Au Vin)
This is a simple yet elegant sounding and tasting dish. It's made by slow roasting chicken in a pot with Bordeaux wine, onions, bacon and carrots. You can find recipes online. It's a classic dish and is simple to cook. You only need to buy the chicken, mushrooms, bacon, and vegetables. You can serve it with a mixed salad you pick up at the market and crusty bread.
Dessert (Chocolate Truffles)
You don't want to go through the trouble of baking a cake or pie, and many traditional French desserts such as tortes, tarts, and pastries like Napoleons are too advanced for novices to try and bake. So, just head to a nice chocolatier and pick up some chocolate truffles. If you can't find truffles, then pick up two individual napoleons or a small custard tart that you two can share.