When Christy and I were dating in college, one of our “go to” dates was to go to one of the local steakhouses and order potato soup. We would sit and talk for hours, munching on the endless rolls they would bring us and savoring every bite of the creamy soup. It was something we did quite often. We even went there for potato soup and rolls after I proposed to her (and almost dropped the engagement ring into the Doe River). I guess you could say that potato soup has a special place in our family’s story.
Since those college days, we have eaten at some pretty memorable restaurants over the years, including an airplane restaurant and chapel-turned-microbrewery. I’m sorry to say that we haven’t taken many opportunities to eat at fancy schmancy steakhouses, though. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve eaten at some pretty amazing and romantic establishments. But we really haven’t gone out like we used to. And we haven’t shared a bowl of potato soup in a long time.
Of course, now that we’re a family of six, we don’t really have the time or energy for the two of us to share a fancy dinner or even a bowl of soup at a local steakhouse. A recent survey found that 79% of Americans, including 92% of parents wish they could recreate a steakhouse experience at home. We fit squarely into this survey. We are the 92%.
So, in an effort to step up my game, I’ve decided to do the next best thing. Since it is nearly impossible for us to go out to a steakhouse and share a bowl of potato soup these days, I’ve decided to bring a steakhouse in to our house. The kids ate an early dinner and went to bed early. So while we had a somewhat late dinner, we were actually able to talk to each other without interruption.
It was great.
Our kitchen and dining room are a far cry from any steakhouse. So I had to make some small adjustments in order to elevate our dining experience to steakhouse-quality.
Here’s how I did it. I hope you take this idea and run with it yourself. It’s incredibly easy and it’s a small gesture that could be long-remembered.
3 easy steps to creating a romantic steakhouse atmosphere at home:
1. Set the table
As a family of six, including three teenagers, we have a pretty big table. It’s a necessity. But that doesn’t necessarily allow for an intimate evening of a shared meal. So I took out the leaf in the middle of our dining room table and made it much smaller setting. Sharing a small table is important.
Cover the table with a tablecloth and dim the lights. Light a candle or two. Bring home some flowers. Use the fancy dishes and silverware. With just a few small adjustments, a big dining room can become an intimate setting.
2. Create the atmosphere.
If you’re going to create a steakhouse environment in your own home, you want to go all-out. Right? If you have a fireplace, why not set your table nearby? If you don’t have a fireplace, you could always try a virtual one. I just streamed it on a tablet while we ate.
If you’re going to create atmosphere, you’ve got to have music. Some of you might have a violinist in your family. Some live dinner music would be fantastic. In my family, we have someone who can play tenor sax and another who can play a recorder. Not exactly conducive to dinnertime conversation. So I simply created a playlist of some quiet classical music. It was relaxing and it definitely gave the evening a classy feel. If you’re short on time, you’re welcome to use my playlist if you want.
Of course, the best way to create a special atmosphere is by dressing for the night. Seriously. Dress to the nines. It might seem silly to dress up for a night in your dining room, but it’ll show you’re serious about creating a special environment for an amazing dinner for two.
3. Fix the food.
If you’re anything like our family, time is of the essence. Even when the kids go to bed early, it leaves a very small window for a nice dinner before Christy and I are ready to pass out. Before you say it, this doesn’t mean we’re getting old. OK. Maybe this is a sign that I’m getting old, but we’ll not dwell on that). In this case, it just means our days are long and our nights are short. Since sleep comes at a premium in homes like ours, choosing to make easy, tasty food is of the utmost importance. Because time is of the essence.
You could choose to prepare a frozen entree from your neighborhood grocer. Or you could cook a pre-seasoned meat from that grocer’s meat section. Me? I chose potato soup – not only because of our family’s history with this dish, but because Idahoan® has a line of soups called Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups, created to help us, the 92%, turn our house into a steakhouse for the evening. It only takes five minutes to cook on the stove, so it’s ultra-convenient. There are four exceptional flavors – Three Cheese Chipotle Potato, Loaded Potato, Creamy Potato, and Cheddar Broccoli Potato – to keep your tastebuds popping.
The ease of preparation and the variety of great flavors make Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups the perfect dish to prepare for a quiet, intimate steakhouse-quality dinner at home. Each package of soup contains four servings. It’s a meal all on its own.
I want to be crowned #KingOfSoup!
Here’s the deal, friends. I’ve already said that I’m no Casanova. But I think that this date night dinner setting helps make me the King of Soup. I hope you agree.
In fact, if you do agree, why not let Idahoan® know? You can visit their facebook page and tell them that you think I’m the #KingOfSoup. Just make sure to include the hashtag. Or you could tweet them. I even made it easier for you to tweet them. Just click this link:
This is such an easy and affordable evening to pull off. I hope you put your own twist on it and create a memorable experience with your significant other.