Are you dreaming about your last night out when a three-course dinner at a favorite hotel or resort involved moody candle lights, some red lippy, and maybe a cocktail or two before the full feast?
Those were the days.
During these tough unsettling times it’s no easy task to settle into a cozy banquette or sit back in an urban setting as many restaurants catering to the dine-out crowd have indefinitely closed their doors.
So let’s get creative. There’s no reason to forego a special date night.
Here is a tantalizing supper booster you can try at home from some of the country’s top hotel and resort chefs. This food and bevvie menu incorporates easy to source ingredients to minimize shopping trips.
If you want a backdrop might I suggest linking on this live cam of the iconic 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf links? Insiders call it the most famous finishing hole in golf. See how it sweeps around Stillwater Cove, now count your days to tee-time…
3 oz barreled aged gin
½ oz honey liquor
½ oz lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain
Top off with tonic
Garnish with lime wheel (and consider adding an edible flower from your home garden like a lavender bud).
What a nice way to set the dinner ambiance as you sip this bold cocktail – a perfect sipper while you fire up the grill.
Cucumber Zucchini Salad with Hearts of Palm
The culinary team from Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona have put this beauty together.
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 ripe heirloom tomato, diced
1 medium green zucchini, peeled and diced
4 stems parsley
1 yellow onion
1 tsp cumin
1 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 oz yuzu juice (you can substitute any citrus juice like lemon, lime or orange)
4 oz small end of fresh hearts of palm, sliced into rings (you can substitute canned or jarred)
½ oz paprika
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight before eating.
Note to self: This salad is good to whip up the night before.
22 oz bone-in, center cut rib-eye steak
Salt and pepper to taste
Pro Tips for a Pebble Beach-worthy steak:
-The best-tasting steak starts with the best beef. The Tap Room culinary team uses prime grade beef, which represents less than 1% of the beef produced in the U.S. It is hand-selected for Pebble Beach Company and typically sourced from Omaha, Nebraska.
-The team recommends that guests enjoy this dish medium rare to rare, as that temperature really showcases the product and retains some of the integrity of the marbling, keeping the beef moist and flavorful.
-Season with salt and pepper before searing or grilling. This will result in a more intense natural flavor and, in the end, will require less seasoning.
-Let the chop rest after grilling. This step loosens up the muscle of the beef and makes it more tender. The difference of 5-10 minutes of rest can transform the muscle into a very tender, delectable Delmonico.
Now, are you ready to pop open the grill and inhale the fresh outdoors? A BBQ is a perfect way to unwind after a day cooped up indoors.
What’s the trade secret to a perfect steak? It’s nothing more than a prime cut, salt and pepper.
I also hope you add this gratin as the perfect side to your steak dinner. It’s so hearty even non-meat eaters will attest how this side is a tummy filler.
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 qt. heavy cream
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Nutmeg – to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 oz. Parmesan, shredded
Mix the salt, pepper, nutmeg and crushed garlic with the heavy cream. Add sliced potatoes into the mix, then add shredded Parmesan and Gruyere cheese.
Using either individual or one large baking dish, place some melted butter and spread all around to avoid anything sticking too much.
In the bottom of the dish, place a layer of potatoes, about one inch, then add some pieces of broccoli, and cover with more potatoes.
Pour the liquid mix on the top of the potatoes.
Cover the dish(es) and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the dish.
To check doneness, insert the blade of a knife. It will slide in easily once the dish is sufficiently cooked.
For optimal quality, let it rest, then reheat, adding more cheese on top and browning in the oven.
Key Lime Tart
In Riviera Beach Florida the well-healed luxury travelers opt for this classic rendition of the world-famous key lime tart. The pastry chef from 3800 Ocean at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa has shared the trade secret to this lauded tart.
Brown Sugar Graham Crust
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted, hot
Combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar with whisk. Add in melted butter. Portion into desired mold. Bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees.
Key Lime Custard
14 oz. condensed milk
3 egg yolks
4 oz. lime juice
2 tablespoons lime zest
Combine all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into baked graham shell. Bake at 350 degrees until the pie jiggles just slightly and doesn’ t stick to your finger when touched. About 10-12 minutes.
4 egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
Combine sugar and egg whites in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk constantly till the egg whites reach 160 degrees F. Take off heat and immediately transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until cool and the meringue is stiff and glossy. Pipe as desired on top of the pie. Torch with blow torch or put under broiler until desired color.
Get your fork or spoon ready and prepare to dive into the bright citrus flavor and imagine you are experiencing the breezy splendor of a Florida beach sunset backdrop.
For the above-listed properties room rates for a standard room double occupancy start from $234. The Sofitel New York rates start from $234; Whiteface Lodge starting from $323; Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa starting from $749 and the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa starting from $249. Room reservations can be made directly at the hotel websites or you can search them through any one of the online hotel booking sites such as Priceline.