For restaurant spouses, long hours and late nights leave little time for wooing. So when there’s an opportunity for a cozy cocktail or meal at home, these five culinary couples do it up right. Here, they share their favorite recipes — for make-at-home indulgences and romantic success. Make them for your valentine, or any time.
Solmon and Rokeya Chowdhury
The co-owners of Boston’s Dudley Cafe and Shanti launched Cambridge’s Monroe this month. When they’re not working, they enjoy spicy fish at home in Roxbury.
Years together: 11
How they met: Solmon visited an uncle in Dallas who happened to be friends with Texas-based Rokeya. Kismet! “I moved here in 2008. Why else move into this cold?” she says with a laugh.
First date: “I first came to visit him in Boston during Christmas in 2007. Everything was closed,” Rokeya recalls. No matter: They married the following year.
Local hangout: Newton’s Shaking Crab.
Why working together works: He handles the business side; she handles customer relations and menus.
Boiling point: “Food-ordering at restaurants! He likes to try a lot of different things, and I just want to taste it. I don’t want to waste food,” she says.
Alexis and Tatiana Rosana
Alexis is a banquet server at the Back Bay’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel; Tatiana is sous chef at Fort Point’s Outlook Kitchen and Bar at the Envoy Hotel. On rare mornings at home in the Leather District, they make a Dutch baby oven-baked pancake using a cast-iron pan salvaged from a camping trip.
Years together: 3
How they met: Working at the Mandarin. “It was just one of those whirlwind things,” says Tatiana.
First date: “We went out for sushi at FuGaKyu. Alexis took the reins, spouting off all these things I’d never tried before. The fact that someone knew more than I did about sushi attracted me to her,” Tatiana says.
Local hangout: “Townsman, bar none! I dream about the steak tartare,” says Tatiana.
Boiling point: “She thinks I’m messy. I’m the one making the little tornado, and she’s behind me cleaning it up,” Tatiana confesses.
Daniel Myers and Rebecca Theris
They enjoy garlicky mussels — “a very hands-on dining experience,” says Myers — when not running Cambridge’s Loyal Nine.
Years together: 11
How they met: Working at Joe’s American Bar & Grill at the Providence Place Mall. “We lived two blocks from each other in Woonsocket, R.I. It was quite serendipitous,” Myers says.
First date: Drinking wine at home. “I didn’t have a lot of money in college,” says Myers.
Local hangouts: The couple works on pottery together for the restaurant at Mudflat Studio; they also enjoy Kimchi Kitchen a few blocks away. “It’s very homey,” Theris says.
Why working together works: Theris handles wine and pottery; Myers oversees soda, beer, fermentation, and gardening. “We have our own little hobbies and focal points within the restaurant,” Myers says.
Boiling point: “Deciding which Chinese place to order from at the end of the night!” (The answer, says Theris, is usually Zoe’s.)
Tse Wei Lim and Diana Kudayarova
The pair operates Somerville’s Journeyman and backbar, plus Cambridge’s Ames Street Deli and Study. At home, they feast on pumpkin puttanesca with anchovies, black olives, and capers. “It’s a very easy pantry dish,” says Kudayarova.
Years together: 18
How they met: Playing pool as Harvard freshmen. “I was playing with another classmate I had a crush on. We ended up playing doubles, and at the end, Tse Wei got my number,” says Kudayarova. “It took about three months to go out,” says Lim. “It did not take three months!” says Kudayarova.
First date: Hot chocolate at L.A. Burdick in Cambridge. They progressed to sandwiches at Darwin and ice cream at Toscanini’s when the relationship blossomed.
Local hangouts: “A good wine list is our criterion: Oleana, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Bergamot, and BISq,” says Lim.
Why working together works: “It’s been so long since anyone asked us this kind of question! You stop really considering why you’re together. It just works, and don’t get me wrong, it works great,” Lim says.
Boiling point: “We try not to fight. We’re not fighting types in general. We’re more talking types,” Kudayarova says. “I do like cleaning up more than she does,” offers Lim.
Adam and Kris Lantheaume
When they’re not running cocktail-supply shop the Boston Shaker in Somerville, they unwind over a zippy Hearst cocktail at their waterfront Salem abode.
Years together: 12
How they met: At Cambridge’s erstwhile B-Side Lounge. “I’d just gotten back from a vacation in Greece. I was as thin, tan, and happy as I’d ever been,” Adam says. (“All very uncharacteristic, it turns out!” Kris hee-hees.)
Potential disaster: The couple planned a wedding brunch at the B-Side — but it closed a week before the big day. They went to Lucky’s Lounge in Southie instead.
First date: Spirit Bar near Porter Square. “Kris was sitting in front of a TV that was 400 feet wide by 400 feet tall,” Adam recalls.
Local hangout: Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Somerville. “There’s a place and time for fancy dinners, but we’re pretty much jeans and T-shirts,” says Adam.
Why working together works: Kris has an MBA and used to be a fiscal officer at MIT, so she handles the business side; Adam is the company’s face.
Boiling point: “We share an office the size of a closet,” Kris says.
Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.