My amazing Love Day 3-day weekend is officially coming to a close, so it’s time to let you in on my unusual list posted earlier this week! I decided to start a tradition this year, where I’d treat Mr. Wonderful to a fun Valentine’s Day Eve treat. I wanted to show my appreciation for his V-Day plotting and scheming, so I went out and purchased the ingredients for one of his favorite meals – caprese paninis with cured salami. I also wanted to buy him a gift, which is kind of hard to do when you don’t have any income. I decided to get creative with the grocery budget to show my Cupid-worthy appreciation. (P.S. the meal gets EVEN better at the end of the post… Stick with us here, ladies…)
Reynolds 50 Count aluminum Foil Sheets, wrapped with a combo of pharmacy sales fliers and duct tape bows. Bizarre Valentine’s present, you say? Well, my official gift was a year-long supply of Once A Month Cooking breakfast burritos for the hubby-to-be. My reasoning is that he always has junk for breakfast (or no breakfast at all) in his office, as our lifestyle doesn’t really jive well with a hot morning meal on the run during his daily commute (I think subway riders are prone to face-punching anyone eating hot food breakfast food on the train). I wanted to find a way to provide him a fairly nutritious b-fast on the run, while still respecting the “please don’t even THINK about getting me up before 8:00 each morning” pact we made when we moved in together. Frozen burritos you could nuke in the office seemed like a win-win for everyone involved. Score one for the Lulu.
The next treat Mr. W had in store for me was a reservation for a proper brunch out on the town. We haven’t go out for a classic Manhattan brunch since I lost my job, so this was a very fun treat. We hopped in a cab, and were on our way!
We had brunch reservations at Rue 57, which I had never been to before. Mr. W had waxed poetic about their pommes frites on more than one occasion, so I was excited to give the place a try. The whole meal was *such* a dream! We were seated as soon as we arrived, in what I think was the best seat in the whole house. We spent the morning people watching and sipping mimosas in the cosiest little corner booth. The bernaise on the Benedict was the best I’ve ever tasted…. and those pommes frites the Mr. had mentioned? All I could say was “ohhhhmygorrrsh” over and over again (picture being said as politely as possible with a mouthful of pommes frites). They were even better than anything I’d had during my visits to Amsterdam (apologies to my little Dutch lovely, Saskia! haha). I can’t wait to go back there!
After brunch, we strolled up to Central Park and wandered around for a bit to catch some air. We walked through the park and over to Columbus Circle to do a little window shopping. It was *so* tough to see all the gorgeous new Spring goodies at J. Crew and Williams-Sonoma! SO tempting!
The rest of the afternoon consisted of Blockbuster movies on the couch, glasses of vino, and leftover snacks from the night before. Total bliss. I had already had the perfect Valentine’s Day thus far, and had completely forgotten about our surprise dinner plans! Mr. W told me to get ready, and then we hopped back in a cab to head to our mystery location.
We wandered around Times Square area for a few minutes, which completely threw me off. The next thing I knew, we were walking into what was basically an unmarked door next to a bodega. I couldn’t believe what I saw!
We were eating at the Aspen Social Club! As a Colorado native, it was such a thoughtful touch! I loved the nouveau lodge feel to it, and the *massive* antler chandelier you can see in the photo above. The dirty martinis were impeccable… So much so that the only part of the lavish 4 course meal I can distinctly remember besides those martinis was their 4-cheese mac. I guess that’s the sign of a great evening, right?
(Disclaimer: I also may or may not remember telling Mr. W that the guy sitting to the right of us looked like a vampire. And I may or may not remember Mr. W shooting a look that meant “That’s nice, Lulu, because Mr. Vampire man just heard you say that.” Let’s just say that if that major social faux pas did occur, I would stand by my actions because nobody should go out in public wearing a shiny, billowy lame’ shirt. Nobody.)
The final portion to our Valentine’s Weekend extravaganza was a lifelong dream of Mr. Wonderful’s. A unique combination of two favorite foods- bacon… and chocolate. That’s right, boys and girls. The Mr. and iI made the ultimate sweet-savory desert as the finale of his Valentine’s Day present… Chocolate-covered bacon.
Apparently, everything that your bacon and chocolate-lover could ever hope for, and more. Try it.