Sunday, December 2, 2012

Date Night with some Late Night

Planning dinner Friday night, Blue asks me if we have any gift cards with money left on them. I check and we’ve got a Lettuce Entertain You, gift card. This covers a good amount of restaurants… BUT it’s not a cheap night out, and we’ve only got $50 on it. It needs to be a date night out.

So he asked me to look up the restaurants, and pick one in Chicago… I about fell off my chair. I mean a DATE… AND Chicago?!

We decided to eat breakfast for dinner that night, and set up with his parents to take the kids Saturday night so we could go out.

I DE.STROY.ED our closet and bedroom, trying like hell to find ANYTHING that would look good for a date night in Chicago. I mean it’s Chicago. The last time a “Date night” in Chicago existed, it was July 2008. The restaurant had a dress code. So no jeans. I’ve got only TWO other pants that fit me. Black dress pants (those are good for a family Christmas party, NOT a trendy Chicago night out) or my black leggings… damn why I didn’t diet sooner… so the black leggings won. With a purple top. It was TIGHT and long enough to cover most of my ass, pair it with my Happy Place black heels, and I was good to go. And Blue, by the way, gave me hell about what I did to the closet. HE did the same thing! 

Date Night 2012

Plans for the night were to go as such…

Reservations for 5:30 at Hub51 restaurant downtown. Then after that possibly some walking on Michigan Avenue.

This is how it went…

Dropped off the kids at his parent, he was visiting with them, I said I don’t mean to be rude but we have 1 hour and 25 minutes to be IN Chicago AT our reservation. LETS. GO.

He gave me a hard time, joking that it’s a 40 minute ride… obviously he forgot it was a 60 degree December night in Chicago on.a.Saturday! It was a ZOO down there!

We made ONE wrong turn, AND if you know anything about Chicago, that damn upper and lower Wacker will get me EVERY time. YES there are TWO street levels to Chicago. YES the are both at ground level. If you are not confused yet, try it yourself and understand I was driving back and forth on Michigan Ave. State Street and just COULDN’T figure out how to get DOWN. I did a HUGE U turn in the middle of Michigan ave I was so frustrated!
(I studied the map, knew the area, and am VERY good at directions… sadly it didn’t work out that way)

Thankfully his good friend, 101 works downtown, so we called him to help us get there, and we were ONLY 45 minutes late. (I did call the restaurant and told them we were coming!)

Parking was a breeze, I prepaid online for a ticket in a garage. $8.50 for the night! That’s about $20 less then you normally pay in Chicago for parking!

We only had a 20 minute wait for a table, the restaurant was crowded! It was everything from dressy to casual. Bouncers at the door. Décor was dark, contemporary and fun.

Food was bar food, some GREAT bar food. Prices were not outrageous, as in we figured $50 could cover most of the meal. I enjoyed my first day of eating healthy by destroying THIS… man sized pulled chicken nachos. OMG it was a never ending bowl.

Ed went with the First-rate Cheese burger and fries. THAT was a good dinner.

Nachos and a burger 

Sadly I didn’t get a picture of their carrot cake and giant brownie we had for desert. It didn’t last long enough to get a picture of! Note their carrot cake is A.MAZ.ING. and they are known for it.

We both said we’d go there again. Wish we wouldn’t have had a table next to the bar with rude douche bags leaning on our table. I MAY have poked him with a fork on accident a few times. Asshole just WASN’T getting the message.

We did say we’d want to go during the week, where we could enjoy conversation and hoping no bar side view! I came prepared with a list of questions to help date night go smoothly.

YES questions to talk about. I found them in a magazine over a year ago, and have had them in my wallet. It’s questions for parents who’ve been married for a while. Questions that did NOT involve the kids. They were fun, like “What would you do with $10,000,000?” or “What would you do for a whole day by yourself?” we had a good time thinking out and talking out ideas and dreams, and then we ended up coming up with some of our own. Happy that Blue played along, and we had fun with our questions.

Blue’s good friend 101 and his wife JUST so happened to be having a date night in the big city themselves! JUST down the street from us. So they picked us up and we headed to a fun place called Eno, right next to Michael Jordan’s restaurant on Michigan Avenue, It was a wine tasting place.

Now understand this Blue and I are NOT wine people. I drink Boones farm. So this was ALL new to us, but we went with it. It was A TINY little restaurant, full of bamboo looking tables (or IKEA) dim lighting and a menu with things called flights and stuff.

Blue ordered a beer, I had a Sprite (driving!) and we checked out the chocolate list. I had seen when we came in a large display of ALL the chocolates, and saw Espresso. So I chose the trio called “Late Night”

Late Night

Starting at the top I had…

Chai Ganache. Organic Masala Chai tea and buck wheat honey infused into amber milk chocolate.
That was GOOD.

Cinnamon Cappuccino. Hint of warming spice, with bittersweet chocolate. Again good.

THEN there was Epsresso Fusion. Fresh ground medium roast espresso with vanilla. 70% dark chocolate. LOVED it.

YES we paid $11 for three tiny chocolates, BUT you cut them up with a knife, and enjoy them! Not like the bag of MnM’s where you shovel handfuls into your mouth. These people knew their stuff, telling us about what pairs well with each other, I was just happy eating chocolate and having a good time with friends.

Date night friends 2012

Afterwards we walked to our parking garage, but enjoyed the stroll down Michigan ave one more time, this time on foot and not frustrated in the car. Each couple holding hands, smitten with the idea of freedom from our kids for the night, conversation as adults, dreams of our futures, and life together.

On the road and into bed by midnight. Pretty much a perfect night out in my book. Now THAT’S how you start off December!

JCat McGack

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