2007_02_food_tyler.jpgWe tried to warn you. But now, Valentine's Day is upon us and you haven't gotten a reservation for dinner. It's okay. In fact, it's even better. We're of the opinion that a home-cooked meal is far more romantic than dinner out (plus, it's closer to where you want to end up at the end of the evening, if all goes well). So -- get thee to the grocery store, grab some candles and, if your local bodega isn't already picked clean, some flowers, and get cookin'.

A romantic dinner need not be complicated. We took a quick look at the menus that Chef Eric Ripert put together for Epicurious, which are billed as "streamlined." If you have the time, go for it, but they're still a little complicated and time consuming given the hour at hand. We looked next at the Food Network, which offers Valentine's menus from many of their chef/personalities. It was there we found what we were looking for, from Tyler Florence. A V-Day dinner designed to woo and impress, but simple enough to pull off quickly. His risotto with wild mushrooms and scallops takes advantage of sweet, succulent scallops and earthy mushrooms, and can be prepared in 45 minutes total. For dessert, a molten chocolate espresso, that can bake while you dine and cool while you make the whipped cream to top it off (or just to have handy).

And in case you're even too late to pull off a romantic dinner, you've got one more chance -- breakfast in bed tomorrow morning is even better, and will score you major points.