Before my son was born, my husband and I loved to work out at the gym together in the evening and then spend our post-workout hours doing pretty much whatever we wanted. Pop out for a drink? Sure! Grab takeout on the way home from the gym? Absolutely! (No matter how counterproductive the takeout might be to our workout.) Every night was date night!
Now, our workouts — and our date nights — take more scheduling. Who is working out first? Whose turn is it with our son? How well stocked are our adult drink supplies? Is it worth it to create a special dinner at home when we’ve already done dinner with our son?
Date night is definitely different these days.
But my husband and I love making time for each other after our son is in bed. One of the ways we do this is by planning special dinners at home that we can enjoy (in peace) post-bedtime. We do enjoy dinner with our son, but sometimes we snack with him while he eats dinner and save our main meal for later. Sure, it’s not really a “date” — but it’s more than a weeknight dinner.
And it doesn’t even require that much planning — for us, it’s often a text a couple hours before our work days end asking what we want to eat that night. Here are a few favorites on our list that can elevate any weeknight dinner.
Once upon a time we went on a day date to a restaurant that had a delicious cheese board appetizer. Now, we build them at home! We keep staples on hand that are always on our cheese plates, like honey goat cheese and camembert. We also enjoy seeing what Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have that’s new to try. If you’ve never built one at home, hostess queens Ina Garten and Martha Stewert have easy guides to build your own at home.
Sushi has a special place in our hearts. One of our favorite date spots is Seiyo. We once went there on a February evening and sat at a window table to watch as the first flakes of a snowstorm began to fall. We live on the South Shore now and don’t always have it in us to battle the traffic in town, so sushi date night at home is always fun (even if our view is Netflix).
Champagne and French fries
Did you know that fries are a delicious pairing to bubbly? We almost always have a bottle of bubbly in our home, whether it’s champagne, prosecco, or a plain sparkling wine (we prefer extra dry). So picking up fries from a local restaurant is an easy and quick treat!
Life is complicated. Date night doesn’t have to be! Cheers!
*And for an elevated date night at home, check out these Valentine’s Day-inspired ideas!