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How to Have a Date Night at Home

  • August 15, 2020

Welcome. The weekend is upon us again, though for many it’ll be no different from the other days that we pass by like towns off the interstate, long-haul truckers driving endlessly through the night. It’s hard to distinguish between them when we spend so much time in the same space at home, working or not working, screening or not screening, marking or not marking the time. Everything looks like blacktop.

Some seek routines, established activities at established moments in the day or week: a regular bike ride or walk or run; lunch at 12:10 p.m. daily; a Friday evening meet-up in the park with friends in masks. Others seek distraction, refreshing their browsers for “The 50 Best Things to Watch on Disney+ Right Now,” or gobbling down beach reads even if they’re not at the beach.

Still more seek advice, which is where At Home comes in. You ask, we answer.

I was wondering if you could suggest some good date night ideas. I’m looking for ways to spend time with my boyfriend at home that feel special. I think what we are missing from life pre-quarantine is the ability to go somewhere (a restaurant, the movies, a museum) and be taken care of. To that end, can you recommend any recipes that feel elegant but require minimal cleanup? Or maybe something that can be made ahead of time? I also would love to know some simple ways to transform a normal room into a date-night room. (I don’t know if that makes sense, but I feel like you’ll get it.)

I do! There’s nothing more elegant than a dinner of steak Diane for two (here’s the recipe), served aside a thatch of sauteed spinach and a whole bunch of supermarket fries that you can roast on a sheet pan in the oven while you’re making the meat and greens.

While one of you does that, the other can do a deep dive on the area in which you’ll eat, tidying madly. Set out lots of candles, douse all artificial light, set the eating surface carefully, with real napkins if you have them. (It’s okay if you don’t! Just try to make the set look special, intentional, nice.) Open a bottle of red wine. Cue up Smokey Robinson’s “Quiet Storm” on the speakers. Date night is great.

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