Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday Nights IN: A Romantic Dinner for Two

Friday Nights IN is a regular feature at GWU$20 that's intended to trim a few dollars from your entertaining budget by replacing a meal out with a meal in. Some suggestions are dinners for four, six, eight, or even ten. Some are for romantic dinners for two. And some suggestions are perfect for when you need time to yourself!

If you are looking for a special, affordable meal to share this weekend with the one you love, look no further. I've got the dinner and the wine for you. And if romance isn't in your plan for this weekend, save this combination for when it is.

The Recipe: How does a pasta dish made with cream, vodka and smoked salmon sound? This recipe is fast, easy, and tastes like restaurant food in terms of sophistication and layers of flavor. With its eggs and cream it's not a dish if you're on a strict diet. But it is a good choice if you want to make something that is special and decadent.

The Wine: To go with such a rich, creamy dish you'll want a wine with plenty of freshness and acidity. I thought I would color-coordinate it, too. We had this with the NV Mumm Napa Brut Rose (suggested retail $24; often available for $15-$20). This sparkling wine is a rosy salmon in color, and it looks perfect next to a plate of this pink-flecked pasta. Aromas of yeast, lemon peel, and under-ripe strawberries are fresh and inviting. In the flavor department, I was reminded of those tiny wild strawberries we picked as kids in that the strawberry here is not jammy but a bit tart. There is a nice, bitter note in the yeasty, doughy aftertaste. The bubbles are large and a bit rough without food, but they were a nice accent to this dish and helped to keep the overall meal light and lively on your tongue. An excellent QPR rose sparkler.

Fast, easy, affordable, delicious, and decadent--this is a meal that is sure to get anyone to agree to be your Valentine.

Full Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.

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