Monday, January 12, 2009

on a mission

With my birthday less than one month away, I'm searching high and low for that perfect place to celebrate. As I've mentioned before, Brad and I only exchange gifts at Christmas. For birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, we either take a trip or dine at a fancy restaurant in DC that we could never afford on a regular basis. We both love this tradition as neither one of us really enjoy buying gifts and we see this as a perfect way to experience the best venues of our marvelous city together.

I posted a plea for help last week on Facebook and now I'm overwhelmed with suggestions. And I know that time is running out. My birthday's close proximity to Valentine's Day makes it difficult to secure the reservation of our choice. I think that I will narrow down my list into three or four "finalists", and I will call today to make reservations at all of them. Then, because I grow pickier every single year, I'm going to swing by each venue this week to scope out the ideal tables and make an assessment, and ultimately, a final decision.

I actually have TONS of restaurants on my "must try" list. Please be assured that I'm not this finicky for a regular night out. Brad and I had a delightful time with our friends this past Saturday night at Founding Farmers. But in my mind, special occasions are much different. While Brad just hopes for a delicious steak and good service, I demand a little more:
  • French, Italian, Asian, American... I'm not picky about what I eat, but the portions must be moderately filling. I know that I'm a big eater, but I hate spending hundreds of dollars on a meal and eating four or five courses only to leave the restaurant starving (which has happened to us before). Considering that fancy restaurants aren't known for adequate portion sizes, perhaps now you begin to understand the challenge of my task.
  • Atmosphere trumps cuisine. The lower the light, the better. In fact, a solitary table in a black room with only one small candle on the table for light equals perfection to me. I've deserted many a restaurant for excessive brightness.
  • Being a DC resident, I refuse to leave the city limits and spend my birthday in the burbs. And this goes without saying, but absolutely no chain restaurants are allowed.
  • I enjoy tucked-away tables in corners, alcoves, and small rooms. I like privacy while dining. I dislike feeling like we're sitting right on top of the next table or in a fish bowl in the middle of the room. I adore the private tables surrounded by floor to ceiling curtains at Two Quail.
  • I don't want to feel overdressed if I wear a black dress and Brad dons a suit. I prefer not to see other diners dressed casually.
  • I do enjoy unsolicited treats from the chef, but of course, this is a perk and not a requirement.
  • While I do love trendy and modern-decor restaurants, my experience has shown that these types of establishments are better suited for group outings or dinners with friends. For a date night, they tend to be too loud and bright for my taste. Give me exposed brick, dark wood, a fireplace, and a cozy nook in the corner any day.
Some day, if we ever want to blow a minimum of $1,000 on dinner and a night away for my birthday (or maybe for both of our birthdays), I'M SO THERE!! But until then, I'll keep shopping.


Katie said...

Good luck! I can't wait to hear where you go and how it is. I also can't wait to see you soon!!!

Organized Living by Amy said...

You are too funny Miss Particular and think it's hilarious that you hate bright lighting. Looking forward to seeing where you go!

Dr. Blondie said...

Restaurants that are too bright make me feel like I should be there with the old folks at 5 p.m. for the early bird special. That being said, I'm only picky about lighting if it's a date. I'm much more flexible if I'm there with friends or a group.:)