Date Night

In the frenzied hours filled by working full time jobs, hitting the treadmill, wrangling the cat, and realizing that there's less than six months to our wedding, Fiance and I have found it a bit difficult squeezing in something critical to the success of our future marriage.

Romance.

Last night, we took a much needed break from the gym and left the cat to her own devices to go out and treat ourselves to a gourmet culinary experience.

"Going out to dinner" is what Fiance and I do when

  • We're tired of spaghetti and meatballs.
  • We haven't done dishes recently and have nothing to eat our spaghetti on.
  • We have a "Buy One Get One" coupon at Houlihans or IHOP.

No, "going out to dinner" seems much too bland to describe our most recent date night. This was more of an adventure in fine dining. I stuffed away my red fleece sweatpants in favor of a tartan skirt, threw on some makeup, and eked out the motivation to at least get my hair up in a ponytail. Fiance, who is required to wear a collared shirt and tie to work, managed to stay in uniform for our special evening out. We clean up pretty good when we "try."

Our destination for the evening was David Burke's Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. Rumson is the kind of place that those in the lower half of the "1%" might actually feel poor driving through. And the Fromagerie is Rumson's casual restaurant. Nothing says "Hey, we're totally out of place here and we have no clue what we're doing" like seeing the restaurant valet chase your car down in the parking lot to let you know you've parked in his territory and he'd be happy to re-park your car for you.

Which happened. I thanked him and moved my car to the rear parking lot.

We were seated in a pleasant, charming dining room and promptly greeted by the restaurant sommelier. He tried not to look too disdainful when I shared I had never met a wine I didn't like, and offered us a reasonable priced (his opinion, not mine) half-bottle of chardonnay. It was fantastic. In fact, every morsel of food and drink I put into my mouth at the Fromagerie made any negative feelings of awkwardness and social displacement disappear. I dined on warm duck confit salad, pan roasted monkfish, and a toasted coconut layer cake with a mango drizzle so sweet, I'm sure there must have been something illegal about it. Fiance scraped every last bit out of his bowl of tomato soup, even though he despises soup and loathes tomatoes moreover. Even the dinner rolls were something to speak of - flaky, crusty, muffin-shaped mini loaves of bread that were simply delicious.

Most importantly, however, Fiance and I had a solid two hours to sit, catch up, and drool just a little. Good food certainly gives you a better appreciation for your good company.

How have you kept the romance alive during your engagement or marriage?