Date Nights All Year Long
July 11, 2014

bistro-le-cep[1] There is nothing that makes me happier than sitting around the dinner table and talking until the candles are burned down. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

A few years back, we bought a $100 raffle ticket at a fund raiser. There were several prizes available, none of which we were really hoping to win. Honestly, we just bought the ticket for the cause.

But we won one! Our prize was the “Casual Dining Package” which was a collection of gift cards from various restaurants around Houston, from $20 at James Coney Island to $400 at Truluck’s, and even a dinner for 20 at Armando’s! And there were many, many more, all for $100.

So last Christmas, I had the idea to re-create it for one of Joel’s Christmas gifts. I picked 12 restaurants, thinking that we could have a once a month date night. My selections included old favorites, both casual and upscale, but mostly focused on our usual “go to” spots out on the west side.



I bought $100 gift cards at the following restaurants: Russo’s, Los Tios, Brenner’s, Piatto’s, Union Kitchen, Jonathan’s The Rub, Damian’s, Danton’s, Kam’s, Bird and Bear, Lupe Tortilla and Bistro Le Cep. 

He loved it! We have both loved it. Just last weekend, we drove in to have a seafood feast at Danton’s. While we ended up having to detour around a local parade, we discovered some parts of town that have been so re-developed, we barely recognized them. Thank goodness we knew how to get around the parade gridlock!

Once we got there, we both had the seafood gumbo, then I had soft shell crab and red beans and rice. Joel opted for the crawfish platter, which he said was the best Gulf Coast seafood he’d had in a long time.



When we got the bill, it was for $105. Of course, he added a tip for the entire amount, but still, our total credit card charge was only $27. Not bad for a most excellent date night!

Alas, my vision of going out once a month has gone by the wayside, and here at midyear, we’ve only got two restaurants left to go. But there are other a number of others where we didn’t spend the entire $100, so we have balances yet to use. Guess we’ll have to go back and finish them off!

Note to self: do this again next year. Pick 12 different places. Maybe this Christmas, I’ll let Joel pick them. Yes. That’s what I’ll do… then it will be my turn the year following. And so on.

Thank you, Santa!