Dine-In Date Nights


date night inI’ll be honest. My husband and I were never really good at “date nights.” We’ve always used babysitters heavily throughout the work-week to help navigate childcare, so we always felt a little bit guilty leaving the kids with a sitter, again, for some quality time on the weekends. We would steal away for a few hours here and there when the kids visited relatives, but those times were few and far between.

Cut to this year, when my husband no longer has a commute, babysitters aren’t part of our world (right now), and we’re all together all the time. Of course, now is when we need alone time more than ever!

Problem # 1- no babysitter.
Problem #2- nowhere to go. 

So we sit at home, coveting meals from restaurants we see on the FC Mom Date Night Restaurant Guide and other foodie websites we follow, craving some adult food (that is actually hot because we didn’t have to wait to cut up everyone else’s meals first or grab some water, or a napkin, or clean up something that spilled), and some adult conversation.

We had to make it happen. And so we have tried to make ourselves a few “date nights in.” 
We’ll feed the kids dinner first and put them to bed, and then either order or pick up a more high-end meal, one that if we DID have a babysitter, and restaurants WERE back to normal, we’d be sitting in for a few hours. But our home is as good as any to enjoy an amazing meal.

As we all are seeing, the restaurant industry is struggling, so it’s also important to us to support our local establishments. Here are a few of our favorites!

1. Brick Walk Tavern  

We had heard about this place for a while but never had the opportunity to try it out. WOW. Talk about a fancy meal in my pajamas! From placing the order over the phone (and asking for a few suggestions), to pick up, to making it home with our delectable meal, we were thrilled with our choices. Their menu has enough variety that we could probably eat there a few time a week and never get the same thing! Everything looked amazing, but we ended up splitting a few different entrees to try as many things as we could in one sitting!

This mama’s must-try: The veal meatloaf with spaetzle was outstanding. It was something I wouldn’t normally get, and I’m so glad I did! The portion was a good size, especially since we were sharing, and I’ve actually never had spaetzle before, so it was exciting to try something new! We also ordered the French onion burger and the pappardelle Bolognese (yes, I know there are only two of us, but it was date night!). All delicious!

2. Nordic Fish 

I like sushi, but I wouldn’t say love until this meal. I’m usually concerned about it not being filling enough, so we ordered a lot(sensing a trend here?). You can order platters, but we decided to create our own at home after ordering about half the menu! The sushi was so fresh and bright. We ordered rolls with cooked fish and rolls with raw fish. I could not recommend this place more for sushi. In fact, I was so caught up in ordering the sushi, I missed that they had an entire cooked fish section, so I’ll definitely be back for fish and chips and clam chowder!

This mama’s must-try: The Empress Roll was my favorite; shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna, spicy mayo, and seaweed. I could have eaten the whole thing, but I had to share with my husband!

3. Washington Prime 

This was our first “date night in” in the earlier days of quarantine. I just wanted a night that felt normal, and normal for us was a nice steakhouse meal. Washington Prime did not disappoint! Our steak was cooked perfectly and was piping hot when we got home. Everything was packed in perfect to-go containers, and the thank you note attached was a super nice touch. 

This mama’s must-try: The prosciutto and fig crostini appetizer. I often have to be convinced to try something out of my comfort zone, and I honestly don’t believe I had ever had a fig before. Again, something that just made this whole experience feel special.

I recently read that we should be supporting local restaurants and stores that we want to ensure will be here when this is all over, so that’s what we’re doing in our house. It’s a special night for us, and it’s important for the establishments. I am looking forward to when we can spend hours on end at a restaurant, laughing with our friends shoulder to shoulder, but until that happens, our “dine-in date nights” will be just fine.


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