Sunday, November 15, 2009

Date Night in Hartford

Several months ago we signed up for a half season subscription to a local theater. We got tickets for Mistakes were Made. We began talking about our night out a few weeks ago when we got a great coupon for a restaurant we really like. I even bought a new shirt specifically with this evening in mind. We've got this all planned.

So Saturday morning we wake up and run some errands (more on that later this week) and start talking about what we're going to wear, what time we should leave, where we should park since it's raining etc. Since it's Saturday night in Hartford, we could probably find street parking. And the few times we've been to this restaurant we've had no trouble getting in and have been disappointed at how FAST our service was as though they were specifically focused on the show-going crowd.

So we leave a little before 6 and as we drive by the restaurant entrance looking for parking we notice it appears quite busy in there with some people standing up by the door. I drive around the block, find street parking and walk (with no umbrella in the rain) about a block and a half. We wait in line, ask for a table of 2 and are told they aren't seating anyone without a reservation. Huh? I think tonight might be the Trans Siberian Orchestra at the XL center, but that show is pretty corny and not THAT big, right?

So we rush back to the car and I dial several other restaurants ranging from high end to brew pub, all are running either 1.5 hour waits or not seating until after 9. IN HARTFORD? What is going on?! We consider heading back to our town and call a few restaurants there and they are also running a wait. WHAT? Isn't there a recession going on? What are all these people doing out?!!

So tick tock, tick tock... (OH, and I forgot to mention- Dave looks fantastic in a new silk sweater I got for him and dark pants. I mean, we really dressed up nice for this evening.) Dave looks livid. I'm frustrated because I considered making a reservation but decided against it since it's HARTFORD. So I suggest we head down to Franklin Ave- the Italian area- to find a place offering pizza slices. It's not glamorous, but it's food and most likely it'd be delicious. We drive around, find a pizza spot- we walk in, wait in line for a few minutes when Dave says he'd rather not eat than eat here. So now I'm livid. We head back to the car and I ask what we should do now. It's about 6:55, show starts at 8. Jokingly I suggest Subway as we drive by one. Dave shrugs, ok.

So we walk into Subway in not-so-nice-area-of-Hartford in our hot-date gear, order some subs, find a lovely corner seat by the window and enjoy our sandwiches. We even splurged on cookies- they were no Chocolate Chip left but Oatmeal Raisin was a decent second option. Dave even said 'things are looking up'. It isn't fancy, but it is food. Our mood lightens and we begin to giggle about our hot date. We joke about how we can put our saved money from our frugal dining experience into the baby's college fund. About 10 minutes later we're off to the show.

We arrive with plenty of time, take our seats and sit through 90 minutes of a sorry attempt at comedy. It was really pretty bad- not funny, bad timing, stupid storyline, sloppy script. About halfway through the play I begin to smile. Looking around the theater it appeared that many people were having as difficult a time staying awake or interested as I was. The couples immediately to our right, left and in front were all sleeping or nodding off. It was rough. But it was Date Night.

I was out with my man. After a rough start we had a really lovely night, I mean, come on, there were cookies involved. It was a night filled with some giggles, food and sophisticated entertainment. It was a night we will laugh about for years to come, every time we make a reservation for a restaurant in Hartford, I imagine.

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