Chef Couples' Most Romantic Meals
Karen and David WaltuckChanterelle New York, New York
T+L: What makes a restaurant feel truly romantic?
KW: When the service is warm and welcoming—when you immediately feel put at ease—that immediately sets the stage for a romantic meal. You're relaxed, comfortable…so you're able to focus on each other. It's also important for a restaurant's décor to be understated; it should be beautiful and calm, but it shouldn't draw attention to itself. Our dining room is elegant but it's also simple; there aren't a lot of distractions. We don't even play background music—we never have, in 29 years—so people don't have to speak loudly to hear each other. And we purposefully left a lot of space between the dining tables, which is also romantic…each one feels private, like its own little world.
T+L: What's the most romantic way to cook together at home?
DW: We have a country house, and a few years ago in Paris I found a spit that I brought home and fitted into the fireplace. Now when we're there we like to put a couple of chickens on the spit and relax with a glass of wine while they roast. Being able to smell the birds cooking, and see them browning, enhances the mood—it's not just a meal, it's a complete sensory experience.