Date Night Dilemma: Going Out For dinner



Back in January when I was working on my blog post Hello 2018 some of the goals I had in mind for the year included working on my marriage. Now my marriage isn't falling apart but it isn't perfect either. With all of our daily struggles I didn't want to end up with a failing marriage too. Prior to kids we used to go out all the time. Obviously for financial reasons, and well life, we can't do that anymore. But we can try to reconnect, and make more time for each other. Don't get me wrong, Family time is so important, but so is one on one time with your spouse. 

So a couple of weeks ago my sister was visiting and the hubby and I decided to seize the opportunity and asked her to watch the boys so we could go out on a dinner date. Truthfully we were supposed to go to an appreciation dinner but wanted to utilize the whole babysitter and get some time alone together. I honestly can't remember the last time My hubby and I went out to eat for dinner just the two of us. Our oldest had been sick the night before and after the week it had been we needed  deserved a night out.

While we were getting ready to leave we were trying to decide where to go to eat. We knew the handful of restaurants that we had been to, had terrible meals at and were going to avoid, but where were we going to go? It was a Saturday Night so we knew if we went to a Pub style restaurant, it would be super busy and probably have some sort of band playing. Which there isn't anything wrong with but we weren't exactly thrilled with the idea either. We had looked a few restaurants that had set menus for the evening that we were willing to try, but alas a majority of them were only featuring seafood. Now while that would be right up my alley as I love almost all seafood, my hubby on the other hand doesn't particularly care for it. This sparked our conversation of why it was so difficult to go out these days.

By the time we got into the truck we were still at a loss and figured it was early enough that we could drive around and try to make a decision. I had reached out to some friends and asked where their favourite places to eat were and reached out on social media, most recommendations were a) either places we didn't like or b) places that needed a reservation (and we didn't have one). So we started a little outside our town and drove through 4 towns and 3 cities. While driving past places we had never heard before I was frantically searching them up on-line to read reviews and check out the menu. So many places were a bust.

We continued on our drive and after 45 minutes had narrowed it down to 4 places. At this point we were both really hungry and the process of trying to pick a place was no longer as funny as it had been 35 minutes ago. It also got us talking about going out on a date with kids. It generally takes planning and it can be costly. Factor in the cost of sitters, the meal etc, it can become quite pricey. We we very fortunate that my parents sent us money to go to dinner so it was a real treat, but if we were the ones to foot the bill, we don't want to pay between $100 to $150 for a lousy meal and service.

Finally after driving around for over an hour decided on a place that we had never heard of and sounded neat based on the reviews and menu. So enter Billie Jax. When we first entered we noticed that it had a very industrial feel to the place and it was loud. So loud in fact that we had a difficult time hearing our poor server and each other. Despite the reviews and the description complete lies it was more of a sports bar type atmosphere. Which is what we were trying to avoid in the first place. (When we do go out for a meal as a family it's generally at a louder restaurant as we have 2 kids). We ordered drinks and perused the menu. There was so much to choose from. We ordered some appetizers to start us off and each picked a main and sat back to take it all in. Our server was so friendly and nice so the service was impeccable. The appetizers were good. When we got our main dishes we tried them, we weren't entirely disappointed but we weren't over the moon either. (looking back we realized that an impromptu dinner date wasn't the greatest choice. Making decisions based on reviews, menu, and when you are hungry isn't always the best)

As we sat there talking we were trying to figure out if we were food snobs? Other people said the food was great but we weren't feeling that vibe. Was it so wrong of us to expect a good meal for the price we were paying? My husband and I discussed how hard it is to find a good date night spot as you want to have a decent meal, but "paying an arm and leg" as he put it and then receiving a meal you could make better at home just really deters us from wanting to go back out to dinner. We did decide that Billie Jax had a great atmosphere if you were going out with friends for drinks and apps, or going to watch the game. We also decided that next time we decide to go to dinner we are going to plan well enough in advance so that way we can make a reservation somewhere that has an executive chef and is probably a little quieter so we can hear ourselves thinking.

We salvaged the evening with a trip to the grocery store where we bought ourselves each a pint of Häagen Dazs Ice Cream and watched a movie on the couch when we got home.

So for now we will wait until the next opportunity comes for us to go out for dinner. Until then I am quite content with having our "date nights" consisting of us eating our favourite foods and snacks in the comfort of our own home while enjoying a movie or a show we like to watch together.

What are some of your Favourite Date Nights?

~Mommy Dearest

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