Review: The Best Places to Kiss Cookbook: recipes from the most romantic restaurants, cafes, and inns of the pacific northwest

By Carol Frieberg

This cookbook is a wonderful compilation of recipes from establishments featured in the renowned travel guide; The Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest. For years this famed travel guide has provided tourists and locals with a comprehensive resource for romantic destinations in the Pacific Northwest, including accommodation, restaurant and winery recommendations. The cookbook edition – published by Sasquatch Books ($19.95) – features some of the favourite recipes from establishments included in the guide. A romantic weekend away not in the cards? This book will allow you to create irresistible dishes that will almost have you believe you are on vacation. Except for the pile of dirty dishes. And the laundry hiding around the corner… Nonetheless, a temporary (but oh so lovely) escape from your daily routine is always nice!

I bought this book a few years ago after Mr. Spock and I ran away for a romantic weekend to the Tuwanek Hotel, a boutique B&B featured in The Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest and located on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Being pregnant with our second at the time, for me the vacation was all about the food and prenatal massages. That and spending some quality time together before delving back into the world of diapers and sleepless nights, where the idea of romance becomes an extra hour of sleep or heck even just 10 minutes of alone time in the shower. It. Was. Magical.

Back to the book! Littered with cute sidebars that include tips for creating an intimate dinning experience, cheese and wine pairings, fun things to do with champagne, playlist suggestions and a list of classic romantic movies, I have no qualms recommending this cookbook. All of the recipes I tested turned out great and each time I was amazed at how effortlessly the dishes came together. Everything looked like it belonged in a fine dining establishment, not my rinky dink little kitchen.

Be warned that photos are scarce in this book (I counted six in total) and the ones that are included are not particularly inspiring. The main image on the front cover is an istock image, which I found slightly insulting given the rich and vibrant landscape of the Pacific Northwest and the array of mouthwatering recipes included in the book. That being said, The Best Places to Kiss Cookbook is guaranteed to provide you with the culinary arsenal to create an impressive meal capable of sweeping anyone off their feet.

So turn off your phone, choose some romantic background music, pull out some candles, put a bottle of something special on ice and get cooking! Romance awaits within the pages of this little gem of a book…

To read the results of my recipe tests for The Best Places to Kiss Cookbook, please click HERE