Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Classic Romance Menu

Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note

Share a seductively subtle French meal for the ultimate romantic evening.

The French are famous for knowing two things well: love and food. So if it’s a romantic meal you’re looking for, there is no better place to turn than French cuisine. This classic menu begins with the world’s most famous aphrodisiac—the oyster. These seductive shellfish are followed by a delicate salad of butter lettuce tossed in a light, creamy dressing and a pair of truffle-scented Cornish hens. But nothing will make your dinner date swoon like a citrusy crème brûlée topped with the perfect caramel crunch.

Menu Timeline

Up to two days ahead (but at least 6 hours before the meal):

  • Make the crème brûlée & refrigerate until ready to serve.

90 minutes before dinner:

  • Make the stuffing for the game hens.
  • Prep the birds: Slip stuffing under the skin of each hen, tie the legs, tuck the wings, and brush each with melted butter.

1 hour before dinner:

  • Put the game hens in the oven.
  • Shuck the oysters and return them to the refrigerator.

30 minutes before dinner:

  • Wash, dry & tear the lettuce.
  • Make the Verjus Mignonette sauce.
  • Make the salad dressing.

10 minutes before serving:

  • Take the game hens out of the oven and tent with foil while serving the first course.
  • Turn off the oven and put the loaf of French bread in to warm.

Just before serving:

  • Sauce & garnish the oysters.
  • Dress and plate the salad.

After dinner, just before dessert:

  • Caramelize the topping on the crème brûlée.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 1/4 lb. fresh wild mushrooms
  • 1 head butter lettuce (about 4 oz. total)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1-2 cloves garlic

Meat, Eggs & Dairy:

  • 2 Cornish game hens (about 1-1/2 lb. each)
  • 1 thin slice prosciutto (about 2/3 oz.)
  • 6-8 fresh oysters
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. crème fraîche
  • 1 Tbs. plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs

Other Groceries:

  • 1 Tbs. white truffle oil
  • 1 loaf crusty french bread (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup verjus
  • 1-1/2 tsp. poppy seeds

Pantry Staples:

  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grapeseed or canola oil
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • Table salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu


View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Santa Fe, NM (509)

Settled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe, New Mexico is home to a culinary scene of mixed influences and Southwestern flavors and ingredients. In this episode of…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks