Saturday, February 9, 2008

Valentine's came early this year!

Brad and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day early this year. (Well, more like we had to celebrate Valentine's early because a certain husband forgot to call the babysitter in January, as requested by a certain wife, in order to secure a babysitter for this occasion, but who's counting?) This year was my year to plan our evening, so I planned a fun night in Dallas. Our first stop--drinks and appetizers in the lounge/cigar room at Javier’s. It is a great place to take a guy--trophy mounts of exotic animals on the walls, leather couches and plush chairs in a smoky, dimly lit room. We snuggled into a couple of chairs and enjoyed some actual, uninterrupted adult conversation. What a treat!

After Javier's, we proceeded to York Street, a small chef-owned restaurant in the lower Greenville area. The restaurant is off the beaten path--at the end of a residential street, sandwiched between a tire-n-lube shop and a Texaco, it doesn't exactly scream high-class from the curb. However, it has been rated by Gourmet Magazine as one of the top 50 restaurants in the US, is listed as THE restaurant to visit in Dallas by the New York Times, and has more glowing reviews than I care to recount.

Luckily, the interior was much more promising than the exterior--elegant, cozy, and warm. The restaurant is small--only 12 or 13 tables total. We were seated immediately at our reserved table and were served sherry to sip and salted nuts and marinated olives to munch on while we considered the menu. The menu changes nightly, so we had no idea what to expect, but I was pleased to find several different options that sounded incredible. Brad chose the mussels for an appetizer, and elk with pomegranate-glazed carrots and parsnips for his entree; I had the salad with pears and blue cheese and the wild striper over a bed of lobster chopped salad for dinner, and we ordered a side of the butternut squash.

The food came and it was INCREDIBLE! This is my new favorite restaurant! Every item was perfectly balanced, every morsel was delicious! The butternut squash was heaven in a bowl. The elk was perfectly cooked and wonderful. The striper was moist, deliciously-seasoned, and over a generous serving of chopped salad that was full of large medallions of lobster tail. We finished dinner with dried-cherry bread pudding and a sampling of homemade cookies that were absolutely to-die-for. The service was impeccable and Brad and I had a wonderful time. This was heaven on earth for a couple of "foodies" like us!

After dinner, I had planned to take Brad to a couple of bars down the street for cocktails. We walked to the car, climbed in, and then sat there. After a couple of awkward minutes where we both made hints about being stuffed and unable to drink or eat a thing more, I finally asked him "Do you want to go home?" and he quickly replied, "YES! Let's go!" You could tell neither one of us wanted to deprive the other of a rare night out, but that both of us were just so full and happy, we didn't want to spoil it by going elsewhere. When I looked down at the clock, though, I really felt old. It was only 10:53 on a Friday night, we had a sitter until 2 a.m.--yet we were both ready to go home! I'm just glad that Brad and I are both in the same place--I'm thankful that we've both realized that we're happy just enjoying the simple things in life--like a great dinner, an hour of snuggling on the couch with our zippers open, and then crawling in bed by 12:30!

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