Thinking of going the fancy route with your sweetie for Valentine’s Day?  While we women appreciate it, you may want to think again. Here’s why.

Flowers, wine, chocolates, a card, a nice gift and a fancy meal may be your ticket “in” if you know what I’m saying, but here are a few reasons why you may want to do it on any other Friday night.

You May Be Disappointed

Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, so everyone will be out celebrating. If you waited to make your reservation, you’re going to be too late and you’re going to have to either eat at 4 in the afternoon or wait a very long time to get a table at any kind of good restaurant. Once seated, you’re going to wait a long time for your drinks, you’re going to wait a long time for your food and the “special” Valentine’s Day menu is probably going to be something boring and bland and not very ambitious. That “special” menu also may feature chicken, seafood, pasta, beef and slightly inflated prices to make up for the fact that you’re getting “free” dessert and a rose.

The Staff May Be Cranky

Not every server will be terse and smiling through gritted teeth, but let’s just say 80 percent will be. Bon Appétit’s Andrew Knowlton calls the holiday “amateur night” because restaurants are going to be jammed with people who probably don’t go out to eat very often and don’t know to. It’s going to be louder than you’d like, who knows how long your food has been sitting under the heat lamp, and (this has happened to me) they have a tendency to run out of things. So much for a romantic meal.

You May Go Over Budget

Sure, a fancy meal is always a nice treat, but how nice is it if you blow your budget? Chances are its easier and cheaper to cook at home. A bottle of wine, a so-so meal, dessert, chocolates and flowers can cost you, add in gas, parking, and then you still have to pay the babysitter. Can you even relax and enjoy it if you know you’re spending too much?

Here are a couple of my favorite meals to make at home that are sure to hit the spot.

Garlic Chicken

¼ Cup EVOO                                    4 cloves minced garlic

¼ Cup Italian breadcrumbs               ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

4 chicken breasts                              Basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper flake

Preheat the oven to 425. Rinse and dry chicken and pound to even thickness. Mix olive oil and garlic in shallow dish. Warm for 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese seasonings in a separate dish. Dip chicken breasts in olive oil and garlic mixture then roll in breadcrumbs. Place in 13 X9 baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Can be served with mixed vegetables or pasta and red sauce with a salad.

Steak Pizzaiola

20oz. Sirloin steak                           Salt

2 Tablespoons EVOO                     4 cloves of minced garlic

1 red onion, sliced                         1 each red and green bell peppers, sliced

4 pepperoncini, sliced                    15oz. can crushed tomatoes

½ teaspoon oregano                       Red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons parsley                     ¾ Cup of water

Focaccia bread

Lightly sprinkle salt on both sides of the steak. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add garlic for 30 seconds, then add onion and peppers and sauté until crisp tender. Add pepperonicini, tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flake and water and stir until well combined. Bring it to a rapid simmer and then place the steak back in the skillet and turn it once. Continue to cook until desired doneness. Transfer the steak to a plate and tent with foil. Simmer the sauce for five minutes. Slice the steak and fan out on plates. Serve sauce on side with Focaccia. Garnish with parsley.

Happy Valentine's Day!