Romantic Summer Dinner for Two

Nothing is as romantic as dinner for two in the garden on a summer night. Evenings with soft, becoming light, the scent of night blooming flowers in the air, the sound of crickets softly chirping far away. Light a few candles as the sun goes down, and the magic of summer evenings is yours.


My fresh, easy seasonal menu and antique & new plates in our perennial favorite of Blue & White make it an evening to remember. Read on for recipes and tips.

1. Set the scene.

You can use a cloth, placemats or just the surface of your garden table as the base for your table. I used antique hand woven grain sack runners for this one.



Layer pretty antique and French checked plates, stack an antique plate on a compotier, and gather beautiful flatware.  A name card is a fun, easy touch, I like it just casually stuck between the tines of the fork. Even with the two of you, make it special with simple touches that say “I’m so happy you are here tonight!”






Use antique French napkins, the ones with the monograms are always my favorites. It doesn’t matter whose monograms they have, the hand embroidered initials are so gorgeous.



2. Plan your menu.




This is a fresh, super easy seasonal menu. If you don’t care for artichokes, just substitute simple summer hors d’oeuvres: a bowl of olives, a perfect cheese, a French baguette, garden radishes served with sel de mer. Ce’st fini.


The recipe for the Salade Nicoise is at the end of this post.  For dessert, make it simple…a wonderful sorbet {every store has delicious artisan sorbet flavors now} served with sliced summer melon, and a small, simple cookie such as these Petits Beurres.  You can drink wine, iced tea, water, or all of those.  Sometimes I serve sorbet in the bowls, sometimes on the small plates. The pitcher is equally perfect to serve sweet tea, water with mint, or to hold a bouquet of flowers from your garden.

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Salad Niçoise

1/2 pound tiny Green Beans
1/2 pound tiny ripe Tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 English Cucumber, cut into strips
2 ounces canned anchovies, drained {I don’t like them, so avoid, but if you do, add !}
1/2 cup pitted Black Olives
7 oz. water-packed Tuna, drained & flaked
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
4 hard-cooked Eggs, quartered
5 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
1 clove Garlic, minced
Pinch Salt
Freshly ground Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Parsley

Blanch beans briefly until tender-crisp and refresh in cold running water. Pat dry.
Mix the tomatoes, pepper, & cucumber in a large salad bowl. Arrange anchovies (I don’t eat those so we serve those on the side!) olives, tuna, water chestnuts and eggs over the top.
Make dressing by vigorously mixing the oil, vinegar, and garlic with sald and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serves 4…you can also use a store bought dressing that is oil & vinegar based.

3. Relax, and enjoy some “together” time with someone you love.



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10 thoughts on “Romantic Summer Dinner for Two”

  1. Hallie

    Oh, this is just what I need! Just ordered a few plates, and I want to combine them in the patterns like you have. It looks elegant, but casual, just my style. Making the whole menu too, going to do both the artichokes and the other appetizer. You always have a way to celebrate in French style, elegant, but not too fussy. Parfait!

  2. Debbie Jones

    Oh la la! Love your entertaining ideas and recipes. Would love your favorite recipe for artichoke Provençal if you have a favorite to share! Bon appetite!

  3. Leah Metz

    The recent posts have been beautifully done. The latest is spectacular. I enjoy the tips, pictures, and intrroduction to new products. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Leah, I am so glad you are enjoying the summer posts!

  4. Beautiful, Lidy! You set a beautiful table. I love using real dishes and flatware outdoors as well as linen napkins, it makes the meal so special. I Pinned the Salad Nicoise, I’ve always wanted to make it and it will be so refreshing to have outside on the patio. Thank you for your inspiration.!

    Jane x

  5. Oh Lidy,

    Such an inviting and charming table, I would so enjoy an evening like this.
    Everything flowed so beautifully and it was casual and elegant all at the same time!

  6. What a beautiful table, Lidy. I have a confession; I have become smitten with monogramming. Here in the South, the saying is, If It Stands Still Long Enough, Put a Monogram On It. So far I’ve done napkins and pillow cases.

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