Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A PRE-Valentine's Date Night

My parents gave us tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which turned into the beginnings of a wonderful date night. The evening began with dinner in Little Italy at our favorite restaurant, "Chips" or Chipiarelli's. They serve whole wheat pasta now, so the seafood pasta dishes with fresh tomato sauces were much healthier choices. Their salad is rather tasty at Chips, full of garlicky dressing, and lots of parmesan cheese. It's just made with iceberg lettuce, but a classic nonetheless. Below is the sign painted on the side of a building as you enter Little Italy, which is a wonderful old Baltimore neighborhood tucked between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point.

Our sons have worked for several years during the winter months for a valet parking service in Little Italy, Blake, our 22 yo is working this winter, but unfortunately he was not scheduled to work this night. Too bad, since I'd have rather tipped him a kiss plus a few dollars than the other guy who parked our car. I didn't kiss the other guy!

The next stop was Baltimore Symphony Orchestra home at the Joseph Myerhoff Symphony Hall to see Cirque de la Symphonie, which was a wonderful show blending beautiful aerial and stage circus acts with classical music. Some of the feats were amazing and "ooooh" and "awww" inspiring. Thanks for the tickets Mom!

We have a friend who plays the voilin in the BSO, and it was fun picking her out on stage. "Hi WonJu!" we whispered.

After finding the car, we wound back to Little Italy to a favorite spot, Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop. This place only serves drinks and desserts, but has an exhaustive menu and is famous for it's humongous desserts. You should see the Napoleons, and the Bacci balls! They serve 2-4 people at least.

One time we took some friends there for dessert and the table next to us provided pure comedy relief. The lady in the party was quite petite, and the gentleman was rather large, and it was obvious they were tourists. Their orders arrived and it was a Kodak moment. Set before the little lady was a Napoleon which literally extends off the sides of the plate, oozing with filling, and covered in chocolate icing. Before the gentleman was a smallish piece of cake. When we saw they realized the irony of the moment and had the attention of several surrounding tables, we all enjoyed a good laugh.

Oh, are you still waiting to hear what we ordered? First let me tell you my summertime favorites. A single (humongous!) scoop of Hazelnut Gelatto, creamy, nutty, and cool. Or an Italian Iced Tea which is a scoop of lemon Italian ice floating in a tall iced tea. It's chilly and lucious, and the perfect ending to a hot summer night! We've driven down just for dessert many times for a special treat.

But this is February folks so after a classic dinner, and wonderful music, it had to be a classic Italian dessert with something warm to drink. A cannoli and a cappuccino. mmmm..... Why I thought we should order two cannoli, I'll never know, be we did and it was heavenly, even though a bit too much.

What a lovely evening, and it was so nice we didn't have to fight the "gotta go out because it's V-tine's Day" crowd. Yes, there was traffic, but we were in the city. With reservations and lots of margin in our time schedule it was the perfect evening.

I felt a little like Cher in Moonstruck when she went the opera with Nicolas Cage. Except this was no movie folks and the man I was with is much cuter than Nicolas, and he's been commited to our marriage for 28 years. No, this was a date night with the love of my life. Thanks, babe!


Renna said...

What a fabulous sounding evening!

You and the Mister certainly know how to enjoy life, Dana. You make a very good-looking couple, too, I might add. ;-)

Marilyn - A Mixed Bouquet said...

What a wonderful evening! You are such a cute couple!