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French Dinner Date Night-In

By Romance Helpers January 29, 2019 0 comments

Our second themed dinner night-in is French. Just in time for Valentine's Day, use this guide to avoid overpriced restaurant meals, enjoy each other's company in a romantic setting, and splurge on a gift instead.

France is undoubtedly synonymous with the word romance. Its melodic language, divine cuisine, and rich history make this European country a delight to visit. Recreating the French spirit for our date night will be fun!

Let us guide you through a night of cooking easy French dishes in tandem and then enjoying the fruits of your labors accompanied by great wine and a French-themed movie (our list of suggestions has a pick for every film buff type). 

Setting. Our Dinner for Two Box is all you need to ensure that your place setting is on point! With all the romantic dinner essentials in tow, you will be able to turn your dining area into a romantic oasis that you will not want to leave even after the night is over. Light up the candles and tea lights, spread the petals across the table, turn on some French music in the background and you are immediately transported to a French romance movie set.

Italian Dinner Date Ideas

Music. We recommend downloading any of the albums by a modern French artist by the name of Stromae. Upbeat and soulful he also's got the moves. If you are not in the mood for modernity, try building your own Pandora or Spotify station with classics such as Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Charles Trenet and Serge Gainsbourg.

If you are going for the French bistro vibe, the famous accordion music is called musette - you can just type that into Pandora and it will answer with all the classic hits in that genre.

And, lastly, we love Thievery Corporation for romantic dinners in general: while this is an American band, their beat is very sexy and the melodic tango notes will give your night an extra kick.  

Movie. Below is the list of our suggested movies for your French adventure:

Lighthearted Romance

  • A Good Year (2006): The picturesque Provençal setting will compensate for the lack of real substance in this movie. Watch as a hardened financier from London played by Russell Crow grapples with his past and meets the love of his life (of course, this is a romantic comedy after all) played by Marion Cotillard. The winery estate, Chateau la Canorgue, where the movie was filmed is now a tourist stomping ground in Provence. And the best year of their wine? You guessed it! 2006. 
  • Midnight in Paris (2011): If you are a fan of Woody Allen's work, this one is for you. While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's (Rachel McAdams) family, a nostalgic screenwriter (Owen Wilson) finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight.

French Classics

  • The Umbrella's of Cherbourg (1964): Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve), a beautiful young Frenchwoman who works at a small-town boutique selling umbrellas, falls for dashing mechanic Guy (Nino Castelnuovo). Their brief romance is interrupted when Guy is drafted to serve in the Algerian War. Though pregnant by Guy, Geneviève marries an older businessman, Roland (Marc Michel), and begins to move on with her life. Throughout the musical film, all the characters' dialogue is conveyed through song.
  • Amelie (2001): this film is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating a world exclusively of her own making. Shot in over 80 Parisian locations, acclaimed director Jean-Pierre Jeunet invokes his incomparable visionary style to capture the exquisite charm and mystery of modern-day Paris through the eyes of a beautiful ingenue.


  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988): Two conmen of different skill levels battle for prey territory in the south of France.  Michael Caine and Steve Martin are magnificently entertaining, the ending will have you gasping in disbelief and you can't beat the scenery of the French Riviera. 
  • The Fugitives (1986): a classic French comedic duo of Pierre Richard and Gerard Depardieu star in this funny but heartfelt movie. Jean (Gerard Depardieu) who was released from prison an hour earlier is taken hostage at a bank by a foolish bank robber François (Pierre Richard). Of course, the police assume Jean is the robber. Everything goes comically wrong. François's little daughter joins the fugitives.
  • Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez (1964): French comedy staple Louis de Funès stars as a highly uptight gendarme who gets transferred to the tourist brigade in Saint-Tropez, which at the time is famous for its nudist beaches. Of course, hilarity ensues. 

What's on the Menu?

  • Appetizer: Friseé Salad
  • Main Course: Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet
  • Dessert: Creme Brûlée Ice Cream

NOTE: these recipes are included in a recipe card that comes with our Dinner Box.

Wine. France is famous for its wine. Due to the vastness of the country and the variety of its soil, there are a number of famous wine regions that are probably familiar to you by name: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Côtes du Rhone, Loire Valley and, of course, Champagne. For a detailed overview of champagnes and a bit of bubbly history, check out our blog post dedicated to this spirit here. For this dinner, we suggest a bottle of Vouvray for a light tasting white, or a bottle of Bordeaux's St. Estephe for a great flavorful red.   


    Ingredients: 4 large eggs; 2 slices of bacon; 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar; 0.5 tbs olive oil; 2 cups torn frisée leaves; 2 cups torn radicchio; black pepper to taste.

    Directions: bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs gently and cook for 6 minutes, rinse under cold water and peel. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp (7-9 min), remove from pan, crumble and set aside. Add vinegar and olive oil to the bacon drippings left in the pan and stir to combine. Place the frisée and radicchio in a bowl. Add the warm dressing and toss to combine. Serve topped with eggs, bacon and black pepper.

    Image result for Friseé Salad

    Main Course

    This simplified take on a French classic tastes delicious without hours of hard labor. 

    Ingredients1lb penne pasta, 4 tbs unsalted butter, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 tbsp flour, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper, 1 tsp mustard, 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken, 1 cup chopped thick-cut ham, 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tbs fresh parsley

    Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle in flour and cook until the mixture is slightly golden. Pour in chicken broth, heavy cream and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and add mustard. Reduce heat and simmer the liquid for 10-12 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cooked pasta, chicken, ham, Gruyere and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Broil for additional 2-3 minutes for a golden crust. Top with parsley before serving.

    Image result for Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet


    Cooking a full three-course French meal can be exhausting so we picked French dessert staple-flavored ice cream. You should be able to easily find a creme brûlée-flavored ice cream in your grocery store (Häagen-Dazs has this flavor).

    Image result for creme brulee ice cream

    Now that we have guided you through a French-themed night-in, make sure to check out our other themed dinner date nights to replicate this great experience with another cultural flavor.

    Prende Plaisir!



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