Don't Judge Your Dinner by the Price Tag
It's easy to build a romantic night around dinner, but don't think that you have to pick a hoity-toity restaurant with a menu in a foreign language to create a special evening. There are all sorts of food options that will set a passionate mood without breaking the bank. For example, if the two of you are coming off a long work week, then take-out food on your fancy china enjoyed by candlelight can be quite romantic.
Perhaps your sweetheart craves comfort food and would adore a plate of macaroni and cheese as opposed to a labor-intensive risotto. For some couples, collaborating and cooking the meal together is the recipe for making sparks fly, while other couples may thrive on the adventure of trying a new cuisine at a restaurant on the other side of town. You may also enjoy a simple picnic of finger foods -- dining al fresco can be quite romantic, as can an indoor picnic in front of the fire. The point is to make your romantic dinner your own, not a stereotype of what you believe a romantic dinner is.