A Special At-Home Valentine’s Day Dinner

By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman


As the economy shifts and inflation is still driving up the cost of everything, a number of folks are looking for Cupid’s Hallmark Holiday to take place at home this year. I suggest a romantic, homemade meal using some of the best ingredients and products from some of the most amazing culinary outposts in New York. I reached out to some friends of mine at ONENESS Hemp Wellness Drops, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, Il Mulino New York, and ROYCE’ Chocolate for a unique and romantic experience in meal planning.

First off, let’s talk décor. Yes, the cheesiness factor is extra important. After all, that flying imp known as Cupid wouldn’t want it any other way! So, lots of reds are a must! My advice: lit white ribbon candles, red rose petals and a traditional table setup with a red runner and/or red chargers are perfect. A single, long-stem red rose across the charger or plate with a hand-written love note seals the deal. A romantic playlist of your favorite love songs together playing softly sets the mood. Now, onto the food! 

ONENESS Hemp Wellness Drops

Let’s start off with something a little unexpected—a non-alcoholic, hemp-based “mocktail” for your dinner. The folks at ONENESS Hemp Wellness Drops have a lovingly delicious recipe just for you to make at home.  


The Rose Cocktail
• 1 oz Rose syrup
• 1 oz Kev Lime juice
• 1 mL Oneness Bright Day Rose Key Lime drink drops
• 8 oz sparkling water  

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

My pal, Stratis Morfogen, owns Brooklyn Dumpling Shop which sells their dumplings, frozen, on-line for at-home use. I would recommend either the Chicken Parmesan or Thai Curry Vegetables or Pork & Cabbage Dumplings to start. If you get the chance to go to one of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop’s locations, please do.

Info: brooklyndumplingshop/shop 

Il Mulino New York

What could be more filling, warm and delicious than a traditional Spaghetti Pomodoro from legendary Il Mulino New York? There is a reason this restaurant has been at the top of their game for over 40 years! They shared their recipe for you to use at home. Promise me you will use their amazing sauce!

Spaghetti Pomodoro

• 1 jar of Il Mulino New York
Pomodoro Sauce
• 1 lb. Imported Spaghetti pasta
• 1 oz. Butter • 10 leaves of fresh basil • 2 tbsp. coarse salt
• 4 oz. grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Boil 2 gallons of water with salt
2. Add the pasta and cook as instructed on the box
3. In the meantime warm up the sauce in a pan
4. Add the pasta and stir well
5. Add the butter, half of the basil and half of the Parmigiano Reggiano, stir for one more minute
6. Serve and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the remaining basil. 

ROYCE’ Chocolates

Lastly, is the dessert. ROYCE’ Chocolate has some of the most amazing and delicious chocolate. A couple of things you need to know about ROYCE’—they have some products that are only sold in their boutiques due to limited quantities, etc.  

My Valentine’s Day pick is one of those products. Secondly, their core offerings are available online and you should order them now!  

For your Valentine’s Day dinner, I recommend Chocolate Selection “ROYCE’ Sweet Season which includes Popcorn Chocolate "Original", Fruit Bar Chocolate, Jagaimo Chocolate, Pure Chocolate "Creamy Milk", Pure Chocolate "White", Bar Chocolate "Nut", Potechi Crunch Chocolate, Chocolate Wafers "Hazel Cream", Chocolate Wafers "Tiramisu Cream", Baton Cookies "Coconut", and Baton Cookies "Hazel Cacao". You can serve this amazing plethora of chocolatey yumminess with an aperitif or coffee. Info:  

Sometimes the best gifts are those that are made by the person giving the gift. In this case, the gift of a beautiful, delicious and romantic meal is sacrosanct to Valentine’s Day. Bon Appetit!