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Impress Your Date Dinner Ideas

Updated on December 30, 2010

Impress your date dinner ideas

So you’re having your new guy, new chick over for dinner and you’ve decided to show off your cooking skills or lack there-of. No sweat. On this one, the thought is what really counts. Best advice….keep it simple.


Red wine and some munchies are a great way to relax and get to chattin. Make sure dinner is ready for the most part though before indulging. Keep it simple and grab something ready to go from the grocery store. You don’t want to keep getting up and checking on things and having a mess on hand before dinner even gets started.

Stick to the Basics:

Can’t go wrong with a nicely cooked steak, although most people struggle to gauge temperature and doneness. Go with a bone-in NY Strip. This way its thick enough to not overcook it, and the bone will add extra moisture to keep it from drying out.

If you go with chicken, dress it up a little bit, pick your favorite marinade and you can’t go wrong. Same thing with fish.

Comfort Food:

If you actually are fond of your own cooking, flex your muscles and cook up some homemade lasagna or chili or another one of your favorites. Be careful to over season or make too spicy since you may or may not know at this point the taste buds of your catch.


Careful on the Sides:

Since you’re probably running a million thoughts already through your head, keep the balancing act in the kitchen to a minimum. Breads or other time sensitive items although a nice touch, often get forgotten and there is nothing worse than cooking a fabulous dinner only to whip out the burnt garlic bread.

Sides can be a nice way to really show off your cooking prowess. Keeping it simple, soak some portabella mushroom caps in balsamic vinegar, sprinkle on some pepper and you’ve got a tasty side that impresses and is beyond simple.

Try Something New or Cook Together:

Now’s not the time to play Iron Chef, although trying a new recipe isn’t always a bad idea. Think about it from this perspective….it’s an activity for you both to do together and if it doesn’t come out good, who do you blame? It might actually make for a memorable story when dinner is in the trash and you’re ordering Chinese food.


Avoid things that are difficult to eat. Things like spaghetti, wings, ribs, anything really saucy, shellfish (especially crab-legs, lobster), too many ingredients…salads are nice, but don’t overload it. Avoid starchy foods or foods with a lot of carbs. The objective is for food to be second to the two of you. You don’t want to be uncomfortably stuffed or have food sitting endlessly on your stomach afterwords.

Avoid making something that is extremely time sensitive to where you can’t sit down and relax while everything is cooking. There is nothing worse than having your guest over and having to run into the kitchen every other minute to check on things. Either make something that cooks slow or something that comes together efficiently.

Don’t try to over the top cater to your guest by cooking everything they like. Although its thoughtful, it sets up an easy comparison to their favorites, and honestly, yours may not be it.


Skip it, that’s what you have each other for, but if you must, keep it simple. Some chocolate covered fruit or truffles

Favorite Go-to-Dinner:


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