Six Valentine’s Day Menu Ideas
Six Valentine’s Day Menu IdeasFebruary 13, 2012
I’m not a sucker for Valentine’s Day, in a mushy shower-me-with-gifts-and-Hallmark-y-sentiment kind of way. However, I do use it as an excuse to eat a damn good meal on February 14, whether it’s at home or at an amazing restaurant. It doesn’t need to be fancy or over-the-top expensive, just indulgent or adventurous in some way. For those of you who haven’t yet figured out what you’ll be doing—or, more specifically, eating—tomorrow night, we reached out to some of our favorite chefs to find out what’s on their ultimate Southern-inspired Valentine’s Day menu. When you’re done drooling, tell us what’s on yours.
Photo Credit: Peter Frank Edwards
Chef Walter Bundy
Lemaire Restaurant, Richmond, Virginia
“I would fix some fresh rockfish that I caught with my fishing buddy, Pat Boyle. He has hook and line commercial tags so he is able to target the big boys that are up in the Chesapeake Bay at this time of the year. We were pulling in 40-pound fish this week that were absolutely beautiful. To be able to catch these monsters and then eat them fresh, it doesn’t get much better! I would just pan sear it with some butter and a bit of Old Bay. I would serve it up with some local Byrd Mill grits with plenty of cheddar in them. A squeeze of some fresh lemon, a touch of Tabasco, and a bit of Duke’s mayonnaise and it would be on!”
Southern chef and author of Tart Love: Sassy, Savory, and Sweet
“Because, like any relationship, it takes a little extra time and attention, I suggest home-made Southern fried chicken served over elegant truffle-spiked, stone-ground grits and a side of collards stewed with ample bites of pink, salty, smoked pig. For dessert, nothing says southern love like buttermilk pie. But, I like to make it even sexier by putting it in slender tart form, infusing it with delicate lavender and topping it with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream. Chocolate dipped strawberries and Champagne should end the evening most sweetly.”
Chef Shaun Garcia
Soby’s, Greenville, South Carolina
“There’s something very romantic about a picnic. You can go out to eat whenever you want, but to take your special someone to a place that means something to both of you that’s both really personal and really intimate.”
On his picnic menu:
• Pickled Shrimp in Mason Jars
• Split Creek Farms Goat Cheese with Tupelo Honey and Cracked Black Pepper with good crackers or crusty bread
• Roasted Pork Sandwiches—Roasted Pork Loin, with a nice Fig jam and some arugula on a good, artisan bread
• Deviled Eggs
• Spicy Pimento Cheese—he uses his Grandmother’s
• Ice Box Pickles
• And for dessert: S’mores by a fire.
Chef Chip Ulbrich
South City Kitchen, Smyrna, Georgia
“Grilling is easiest because we can sit on the patio with a couple of libations and cook and eat at our leisure—usually some grilled oysters topped with a little country ham and garlic butter and fresh sage to start. I love little birds (dove or quail) stuffed with a jalapeno and wrapped in Benton's bacon, or thinly sliced venison loins with an array of vegetables and good Carolina rice. For dessert, Tricia loves cream cheese icing but she doesn't often have it, so I'll make little apple cakes with brown butter-cream cheese icing, or just a simple cast iron cobbler with sweet biscuit dough and vanilla ice cream.”
Chef Laurent Geroli
The Brown Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky
“Butternut squash is one of my favorites this time of year. I would slow roast it into a potage with caramelized pecans and crème fraiche, and of course one of our local Kentucky bacons. For the second course, I would make a salad from Greg Graft’s Grateful Greens (a Bibb lettuce) with tomato confit finished with a Lavender vinaigrette. Next, I would make a pan-fried Corn breaded Biloxi oyster with a sweet Beurre Blanc sauce. For the entrée, I would braise quail (local if I can get it) and finish it with Newsom’s country ham, white asparagus sautéed with honey butter and Maker 46 demi glace. For dessert, I would serve an apple tarte tain with butterscotch ice cream.
Chef Vicky Moore
The Lazy Goat, Greenville, South Carolina
“To set the 'Tone' I have to start with oysters...Raw, with a Champagne & Pink Peppercorn Mignonette. And, since I am Southern, and a chef, I have to eat bacon, even on Valentine's Day, so I like to do a spin on Bacon ‘Wrapped’ Scallops, as an appetizer: Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Crispy Pork Belly, a Sunny-Side Up Quail Egg, Petit Greens, and Champagne Vinaigrette. For an entree, I know I won't go wrong with a steak: Grilled Filet Mignon, Vanilla/Butter Poached Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Rapini, and Cherry Demi Glace. And finally for Dessert it has to be chocolate: Espresso and Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake, with Lavender Vanilla Anglaise and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.”
What’s on your ultimate Southern-inspired Valentine’s Day menu?