Friday, February 6, 2009

Date Night

Ryan and I went on a date tonight, which was a real treat. This wasn't always so out of the ordinary, as in school we were often part of a babysitting group and enjoyed regular dates. But tonight was special not only for the occasion, but for the unique experience. We had some friends graciously take the two older kids while we kept the baby with us. At first we went to a restaurant that was recommended by some residents Ryan works with. It was very unique and "cool-looking," with floor-to-ceiling mirrors on both sides that made the place seem much bigger than it was. On one side against the wall was a stack of three giant TVs playing different news programs. On the other side of the room, the menu was written in giant font on a wall that was painted to resemble a chalkboard, featuring categories like "leafy" and "hot." After a long wait with no table in sight, we decided to make a run for another restaurant in which one of Ryan's attending physicians had taken him and another resident out for lunch. As soon as we stepped in, I felt like we'd just entered a posh eatery in NYC. The lighting resembled a darkened dance club (without the booming music, thankfully). There were stuffed chairs running down the center of the room covered in beige linen that were paired off and facing each other to provide conversation areas. The side bar wall was made of glass and held countless glass bottles of drink that rested on glass shelves arranged head to toe, illuminated with colorful backlighting. Above we could see another level where people were eating and visiting. As we moved along and approached our table, I noticed a tall sheet of water falling between two panes of glass in the near distance. The place settings were made of fine woven bamboo mats and double-sided linen napkins of ivory and the same beige on the lounge chairs. The flatware was incredibly long and lean. The staff members were dressed impeccably in black and white. The wall that led to the kitchen had two huge windows so you could look in and view all the working chefs that were dressed in white. Everywhere I looked were men in suits and women in black dresses and heels, and all of a sudden I felt so out of place! We hadn't prepared for this. Here we had our baby (the last thing I'm sure any of these patrons wanted to see or hear), and I just felt scruffy by comparison. Ryan was still in his dressy clothes from the day, but he had taken off his tie to match my more-casual attire. Although I had heels on, they were only paired with jeans and a sweater. "Oh well", I thought, "I want to enjoy myself." Luckily the baby wasn't fussing (as long as I held him), so we proceeded to order...

Now I am notorious for struggling to order at restaurants--even with simple menus at Wendy's or Taco Bell. One problem is I focus on the fact that we hardly ever dine out, so I treat it like I'm ordering my last meal. Tonight was no exception, so Ryan just informed me that he was ordering for me. Sometimes I protest, but tonight I welcomed it... one less thing to worry about. His own food choice was a tad disappointing (translation: boring), but no surprise. He actually ordered a burger. I tend to want to be more adventurous, especially in a place that isn't run-of-the-mill. But we all have different tastes, and after our food came out, I must admit I was envying his burger over my plate of food... or should I say spot? Have you ever seen when they make fun of overly gourmet meals that are so tiny, they amount to a few spoonfuls? I thought we'd ordered a quiche-type thing with a house salad, cooked veggies and fruit. What I was served was a little Maytag blue and walnut tart (no bigger than the palm of my hand) topped with mixed greens, draped with four thin strips of sauteed fennel and a spoonful of fruit compote on the side, with four perfect circles of spicy brown mustard sauce framing the arrangement in a semi-circle. I looked from my plate to his and could feel my mouth water, wanting to sink my teeth into something more hearty. But I decided this would be a new experience and to have fun with it. Ryan let me try his fries (wrapped in a paper funnel)... awesome! They were perfectly seasoned in something so flavorful and interesting, I wanted to taste more to solve the mystery of what it could be. At the conclusion of our meal, they asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu. I almost thought, we're out an arm and a leg for this snack, might as well finish up with a sure-fire winner. How can you go wrong with dessert? Love it! But Ryan quickly said no and assured me we could go get some Reece's Pieces or something. Bam! Back to reality! Reece's Pieces? Somehow making a run for Reese's after this meal seemed ridiculous. Then they gave us our check and a little something for the road--blood orange truffles! Yummy! I tried to reassure Ryan I was glad we went there despite my minuscule meal, and I said I'd love to go back again some... year. At that price we would've been wiser to get full at Applebees, unfortunately.


Jennifer said...

tell ryan that he can't have a body like mine if he eats burgers and fries........joe ( good story though brenda)

Carmen/Alan said...


Could you send me an email? I made our blog private so we will have invited readers only. I have misplaced some email addresses. Email me at Thanks!


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