Best romantic dinners always have this special ingredient

Cakebread Cellars meal pairings, photo provided by Cakebread Cellars
Cakebread Cellars meal pairings, photo provided by Cakebread Cellars /

Besides the ambiance and the company, the best romantic dinners always have on special ingredient. Although many people think about the classic phrase, food made with love, there are other elements that seem to make the food on the plate shine. Are you ready to spark a love match with your cooking?

For some people, the best romantic dinners are simple and others believe that they should be an elaborate affair. Whether you are a skilled cook, a cooking newbie or a celebrity chef impersonator, a great dinner has a variety of elements. Still, one special ingredient is usually featured on the plate.

Romance and aphrodisiacs often go hand in hand. From oysters to spicy foods, there are a variety of ingredients that are said to boost the mood. While everyone has a favorite flavor, cuisine and food, one special ingredient has taken over the plate recently. More importantly, it is probably already in your kitchen.

Adding some avocado to a dish can bring the romance. Even a classic recipe can get a boost in flavor and mood with a little avocado.

For Valentine’s Day, Cakebread Cellars chefs had a cooking demo that featured some delightful recipes for Valentine’s Day. One dish was Dungeness Crab Cakes. Paired the Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay, the recipe and the wine make for a perfect pairing.

Here’s how to make Dungeness Crab Cakes.


  • 1 lb. crabmeat, picked over for shells
  • 1 ½ c. fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 stalk celery, finely minced (½ cup)
  • 1 green onion, finely minced (¼ cup)
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire
  • ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  • Combine the crabmeat, bread crumbs, celery, green onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and egg yolks in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the crab mixture. Shape 1/3 cup of the crab mixture into a 2-inch-wide patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  • Add enough olive oil to fill a large nonstick skillet 1/4-inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes, in a single layer, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the lemon wedges.

Serving the crab cakes with an avocado salad is a perfect start to a romantic dinner. The Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay is a quite versatile wine. With a touch of oak and golden apple flavors, the acidity and minerality add a lovely balance. One sip and you could be swooning just as the dinner begins.

While this recipe is just one idea for a romantic dinner, it could set the tone for the evening. Maybe a lifetime of romance is just a taste away.

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What is your recipe for the best romantic dinners? Share you recommendations with FoodSided.