Pandemic or not, sweethearts embrace Valentine’s Day. Even in a limited-contact, touch-free environment, restaurants can play cupid this year and show couples some love with meal kits for two.
Creating a cozy Valentine’s experience at home can take the shape of ready-to-eat meals, meal kits complete with preparation instructions or appetizers and desserts for nibbling on beside a warm fireplace. Gordon Food Service Culinary Specialist Ken Good and Business Solutions Specialist John Holmes share ideas to make this heartfelt holiday special and profitable.
Keep it simple and portable
Sharing meals or three-course options—appetizer or salad for two, entrée choice and shareable dessert—offer elegance and simplicity. “I recommend traditional meals like surf and turf,” Good suggests. The proteins transport well, holding their heat and staying composed for visual appeal.
For the surf: Try crab cakes, stuffed shrimp or a hearty portion of fish.
For the turf: Braised short rib, prime rib or frenched pork chop.
Some assembly (and togetherness) required
Encourage compatibility in the kitchen with simple-to-create kits. Salads are a natural fit. Provide a toss-at-home Caesar salad, with romaine lettuce in one container and dressing ingredients in another. Or, elevate a classic with wild arugula, shaved fennel, asparagus, grapefruit, pistachios and a lemon honey vinaigrette.
You also can spice up the sharing with a dessert charcuterie board featuring strawberries, chocolates, gummy hearts, frosted cookies and mints.
A meal to remember
A smart way to manage your margins and satisfy expectations is through a prix fixe menu—one price for choices among the three courses. “Add some profit and allure with optional add-ons or upgrades,” Holmes says.
Enhancements like chocolates, flowers from a local florist (order early) or disposable linen-like tablecloths (Item No. 278206) can elevate the experience. If local laws allow, a wine pairing or champagne are a special touch sure to seal the Valentine’s meal with a kiss.