Make Your Own Magic

by Neal KielarTastemaker in Residence


Valentine’s Day is bearing down on us, and every year a sizable number of us have the same dilemma: how to make dinner special especially if you don’t have a special go-to restaurant. Or if you didn’t have the foresight to make a reservation.

Who says you have to go out and jostle with the crowds, endure the noise or face the big check at the end of the evening? Get out of the rut (and the holiday-dinner-out rat race) by making your own magic at home.

The ingredients are easier than you might think:

1. Plan your meal: Just giving your menu a little more thought than usual can lead you to a few flourishes that raise the bar.

2. Set the table: A tablecloth, cloth napkins, some nice glassware and your best dishes will make the tabletop sparkle. If you don’t have “good china” then pop out to your local vintage shop to find a few special place settings for everyone who will join you at the table.


3. Add candles: Use candleholders – another vintage possibility – that complement the dinnerware.

4. Don’t forget dessert: If you aren’t a pastry chef (few among us are) your local bakery is your best option. Or maybe some super-premium ice cream.

The most important ingredient of all is the two of you.

Neal Kielar is the Owner of MidModMen.

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