…anything you want… (to the tune of that M.I.A. song). Well, that was the hypothesis I was operating under on my birthday. Karen couldn’t get me to commit to a place for her to treat me for dinner. The Roosevelt was opening on the very same day, but I didn’t wanna be THAT gun-jumping food blogger, or THAT persnickety vegetarian on the day when Kendra Feather and Lee Gregory would turn the open sign around and see who wanders in. Besides, my restaurant todo list is basically back-logged by about… (how old is Jasper now?) THREE YEARS. So, the Richmond restaurant class of 2011 (Selba, Enoteca Sogno, Ejay Rin, etc) would have to get in line while I try to get caught up.
Another factor in my decision was my aging pile of Restaurant.com coupons, Groupons, and Living Social deals. It’s not really a pile, per se, but they loom on my mind basically any time I leave the house. Not only do I wanna use them up, but I wanna party down on my B-day without racking up a big bill (no surprise there, if ya know my affinity for the frugal). Karen wouldn’t weigh in with her inclinations, probably exacerbated by unrelated argument that we were having in the days before my birthday. But, was just extra heat under the pressure cooker that eventually got my ideas percolating. I decided that we’d hit two places for dinner. One for appetizers and another for entrees. Both places offered $20 specials.
I didn’t tell Karen where we were going. She (and everyone I know) thought this was weird that I’d be surprising my wife with MY birthday dinner plans, but we’d been butting heads, stressed to the brink by our kids and work, and she deserved something special too on that day. Besides, seeing my wife pleased with an unexpected turn is one of the best presents I can get, and I don’t think ANYONE would have expected me to pick Lemaire for my destination restaurant. However, the Lemaire folks and I have exchanged some sympathetic Twitter RTs, and friends have told me not to sleep on their happy hour discounts. And that friendly advice became the game plan. Get my wife to dress up and then split three appetizers for $20 before 7pm. (more…)