by Chef Charlie Palmer
Originally published by Esquire.com
For Valentine's Day this year, we asked the great Charlie Palmer (of his eponymous Steak) to craft the ultimate dinner menu for you. Of course, it's really not for you, but for the special person in your life. So join us in cooking up something truly unforgettable, because it's what she deserves. See the full recipes below, plus a few tips here from Charlie.
Beverage pairings are just as important as the dishes we make. Most people don't often think that way at home, but it's a great way to differentiate a good Valentine's Day night-in from an awesome-I-can't-stop-thinking-about-that-Valentine's-Day night-in.
Always start with champagne or sparkling wines (that's a go-to restaurant rule of thumb for me as well).
Those effervescent wines go great with lighter starters like crab salad or silky, smoked salmon.
For the main course, choose something on the lean side (notice a trend here) like filet mignon or even a veal chop, but pair with big flavors like truffles or wild mushrooms alongside a balanced Pinot Noir or Rhone Blend, or my current go-to, Chateau Neuf-du-Pape.
For dessert, go big with a rich, warm dark chocolate bread pudding.
Don't rush: Four courses with wines should be enjoyed leisurely.A second course soup is a great segue to the main meal, but broths or bouillons are better than purees or cream-based soups. Pair with a dry, sweet wine like a Riesling or Gruner Veltliner or even a sparkling cider.