12 in ’12: Date #5

So thankfully, there are no rules for the 12 in ’12. I just get to make them up as I go, because I’m the boss of it.

I kinda love it.

For instance, there’s no rule that says you can’t use a gift card you, as a couple, have already been given as a gift, as one of your planned 12 in ’12 dates. Some people might think that’s lame, and on the surface, I may agree, but this was an exceptional gift card.

Last fall, my brother Zach and his wife, Michon, gave us an unexpected gift card to Tony’s in downtown St. Louis as a thank you for a couple of things. Totally not necessary, but hey, who turns down a lovely gift like that? So thanks, you guys, for making this date happen!

I scheduled our June date as the time we’d use this gift, since Matt’s birthday is in June (and mine is in July), and I felt like we kind of needed an occasion to celebrate if we were going to Tony’s for what is probably our one and only time ever.

So last Friday night, we got a sitter for the boys and headed downtown. Thankfully, we remembered to check the dress code before going…I mean, I knew it was nice and we needed to be dressed up, but guys, you need to wear a jacket (tie isn’t necessary). For me, it was the perfect opportunity to wear the dress I’d worn in my dad’s wedding a couple of months ago again, since it was simple and black.

The service was amazing…like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. Like when you come back from the restroom, and a waiter at a neighboring table sees you, he stops what he’s doing and comes over to push your chair in for you. Silverware, if it is slightly askew, is straightened next to your plate as a dish is served. The final stages of food prep are done table side, so food isn’t carried out by a waiter on a tray, but rather pushed out on a cart. The owner and his son both made the rounds through the dining room several times, which was cool.

It was such a treat. We had gorgonzola-stuffed zucchini flowers that were flash-fried in a tempura batter, and then Matt had risotto and I had a wild mushroom and penne dish. We both ate salads, and then for the main course I ordered filet and Matt had halibut. Maybe my absolute favorite thing I ate all night, though, was the arancini that was the side for the filet…it was absolutely delicious (flickr pic here). Arancini is a fried rice ball covered in breadcrumbs. This one, though, was stuffed not only with a delicious risotto but the middle was full of some kind of seasoned, shredded beef. If you go there, get one. And then get one to go, for me.

Clearly, this isn’t the kind of place that wraps up your leftovers, so I was sick about how much food we DIDN’T eat, but again: once-in-a-lifetime, right?

After we dined on so many delicious courses, we opted to skip dessert in lieu of an idea I had that started as a joke at the dinner table that night. Even though we didn’t order dessert, they brought out 2 little shortbread cookies and 2 small chocolate truffles to finish our meal.

Now, for the funny end-of-the-date story: at the table, I joked that it would be funny to make our dessert be those tiny ice cream cones that you can get at Lion’s Choice. You know, since we’ve just eaten the nicest dinner of our lives, we should finish the date with drive-thru ice cream.

And that’s just what we did…

For more date ideas, check out the June link-up on Shannon’s blog!


It’s appropriate that I’m posting this today, June 27th, as it’s the anniversary of our first date 17 years ago.

I read this quote on Laura’s blog some time ago, and saved it for this! I think it’s sweet and pretty and full of truth.

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being β€œin love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

Louis De Bernieres

17 years…wow. I know I’ll keep saying every year that I can’t believe another has gone by, but it’s true. So thankful for the past 17, and looking forward to the next 17, and the 17 after that, and the 17 after that (that gets us up to 86 and 88. We’ll take it one year at a time after that, k?).

8 responses to “12 in ’12: Date #5

  1. Wowzers!! Sounds luxuriant! And about the waiters seeing you returning to your table: unnecessary, as I’m sure Matt would already be up in a flash, rushing to push your chair in. Must have been so fun to pretend like you “belonged” in that kind of eatery!! What a nice gift from Z & M!

    • It was amazing. And oh, yes, you totally described Matt to a t! πŸ™‚

      What was funny was how incredibly out-of-place we felt, but that it was still an awesome, enjoyable experience!

  2. Sounds like it was a good time! How were the stuffed zucchini flowers? I saw Chuck Hughes make some with a tempura batter and was fascinated. We almost made some here with what’s in our garden but I didn’t want to risk wasting a couple of good would-be zucchini.

    • They were good, but honestly, you could barely taste them at all with the gorgonzola and the tempura batter. It was really just interesting because you’re eating a flower, not because it tasted that amazing.

      While we were eating the arancini, I told Matt that it was something you guys would try to recreate if you tried it. SO, so good.

  3. Elizabeth Ward

    Sounds like a fun night! Thanks for the great restaurant review! πŸ™‚

  4. um, that menu looks amazing!!!

  5. This sounds really cool and unique! Glad you guys had a good time! Loved the ice cream idea!

  6. Wow! What a fancy date! Sounds so great, and I think dessert was a perfect touch. πŸ™‚ That quote is awesome. Happy First Date-iversary!

    and thanks for linking up!

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