Today is H's birthday - I would be remiss if I didn't tell all 4 of my readers that (better chance than not that you already knew). One of the things I love about H is just how much she loves little events like birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas - they are really important to her and she gets really excited for them. Its really...cute. Can I say cute? No matter - its just one of those things I really enjoy about her - you cannot help but get caught up in the holiday euphoria when you're with her.
I have a special night planned. I have been trying to give her her gifts for over ten days. I won't spoil it here with details (hyperlinking to follow), but I am really excited.
Happy Birthday baby.
I know that my loyal readers will be interested to know about H's birthday extravaganza. In a word - it was perfect. With the wedding and the economy, our nights out have been fewer and farther (further?) between...so, going out for a big night out has taken on a new meaning for us. If I can brag for a moment - I think I delivered on Friday night. We had an amazing night filled with terrific conversation, food, drinks and company.
Per our custom, we don't tell the other where we are going to take the other for the birthday. I had made 8:00 reservations at Takashi. Its a place that we have wanted to try for sometime. Its in the old Syclla space - which we just love - we took our parents there the weekend we introduced them to each other. So, the space, itself, carries a special meaning for us...and it was just named in Esquire magazine as one the Country's top 20 new restaurants. Not bad at all. I made reservations almost 2 months ago. Needless to say, it almost killed me to keep from examining the menu and researching the place to death.
Before Takashi, however, we had a stop to make. We have long talked about making plans to have drinks at The Violet Hour. It was fitting that it was H's birthday to finally make good on those ideas. If there is a cooler place in Chicago, I want to hear about it. The understated, vintage feel was worth it alone - add to that some innovative and crafted cocktails - and you had us. The most disappointing thing about the Violet Hour, we decided, was that it took us so long to try it. Now we're looking for a time to go back.
It is a short cab ride to Takashi from the Violet Hour - we were on time and seated. Immediately, you get the vibe that Takashi is a step above. Everyone wished H a happy birthday and they gave us a nice corner table by the window on the top level. The food was insanely good (highly recommend the Grilled Octopus as a hot appetizer). Our entrees were both pinch perfect (she had the Fluke - I had the chicken in a clay pot). Neither of us were uncomfortably full after the meal - which is nice for a change. We loved this place (I have already e-mailed several friends to recommend it). The subtleties make the difference to us at a restaurant - neither of us could say one bad thing about this place...
Best Birthday ever? I know there was no easy bake oven involved, but I would like to think so. It was one of our nights that I won't forget.