Romantic dinners are a vibe. They carry intrigue and excitement. And when you’re dining with a special someone who arouses “butterflies” and uncontrollable giggles, they are oh-so-fun! Or, perhaps for you, planning a romantic dinner feels like tapping into a deep well of comfort, slowing down to be close to the one and only who “gets” your innermost self.

A romantic meal is about so much more than what’s on your plate. And a romantic Valentine’s dinner at home allows for setting the tone with special touches — favorite flowers, music, and wine — that reflect your partnership and your personality, a unique experience that dining out can’t perfectly capture.Whether the force of cupid’s arrow has recently struck you, you’re popping the question or (finally!) planning a cozy night off from the hustle of work and family, here are 8 romantic dinner ideas for a vibe that’s all about you and yours this Valentine’s Day.

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Theresa Gambacorta is a food writer and 25-year veteran of New York City's restaurant industry. Her writing has appeared in such titles as La Cucina Italiana, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and Centennial's special interest publications. She is the co-author of chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and is currently working on a cookbook about Persian cuisine to be published by Knopf.

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