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Valentino’s on Valentine’s February 15, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Life Balance.

IMGP1216bIn 27 years of marriage, we’ve dined out once on Valentine’s Day.  Why only once?

Simple.  The experience did not bear repeating.

Blowing snow and frigid February temps made travel to and from our favorite Italian eatery (aptly named Valentino’s) a chore and a bother.

Maneuvering over and around three-foot high snow drifts in high heels and stockings is challenging, unpleasant, and apt to lead to frostbite.

Or a trip to the emergency room.

Or both.

We chose Valentino’s, a lovely Italian bistro, that Valentine’s Day because  we had enjoyed the food, the ambiance, the service, and each other’s company on each previous visit.

Not so on Valentine’s Day.

Tables jammed together and jam-packed with other love-struck couples challenged our efforts to chat with each other, converse with our waiter, or hear the  music playing in the background.

Instead of a menu filled with favorite fare, Valentino’s  presented a “special” Valentine’s Day menu ~ limited choices offered at inflated prices.

Harried waiters hurried and scurried about, slapping plates of luke warm food down on tables with less than usual grace.

After dinner, we ordered coffee and dessert and sat waiting for close to an hour for their arrival.

While we waited, we decided . . . Never Again.

After Valentino’s on Valentine’s that year, we’ve enjoyed quiet togetherness at home instead of competing for attention at crowded restaurants.

A few favorite stay-at-home Valentine’s Day dinners involved ordering an Antipasto Platter and fresh rolls from Bertucci’s to enjoy fireside.

Candles glowing . . . Wine flowing . . . Romance growing . . . That’s Amore!

No rules.  Just write!

loveHow about you?  

Have your efforts at romance ever gone up in flames rather than igniting passion?

Has a favorite restaurant ever jacked up prices while ratcheting down service on a special occasions?

Have you ever had a meal out that made you wish you’d stayed in?

Related post: Valentine’s Day Aftermath (Walk A Mile In My Shoes) * Valentine’s Day 2011 (The Fancy Delight)


1. estherlou - February 15, 2011

It is the time spent together that matters the most. And anything stress-free is always more enjoyable! Sounds like your time in front of the fireplace was a great choice!

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

I agree, Esther ~ less stress, more time to focus on each other.

The one thing I miss here in Florida ~ no fireplace in our villa. A minor downside to living in the Sunshine State.

2. Nannie Flores - February 15, 2011

What an interesting post you have! Well, at least you have a lasting marriage and you were able to spend time together in any case 🙂

Somehow, my Valentine’s dinner this year was a success! I recently blogged about it, hope you can check that out too 🙂

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

Thanks, Nannie. Enjoyed your post. Thanks for swinging by.

3. kateshrewsday - February 15, 2011

We don’t go out – we save it for when we feel more like relaxing rather than collapsing- work nights are rarely conducive 🙂 Right on the nail with this post, Nancy – thanks.

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

That’s how we feel. Going out to eat can eat up a lot of time during the busy work week.

We like going out for lunch ~ and eating outside, weather permitting.

4. Rosa - February 15, 2011

I went to a dinner party at a friend’s house last night and we made a spaghetti feast! It was better than any restaurant could have been!

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

Sounds great! I find it’s more relaxing to entertain friends at home where people can get up and mingle.

Rosa - February 17, 2011

I find that the more I eat in, the less I like going to restaurants! Home is more intimate- both in relation to people and the food we’re preparing and eating!

nrhatch - February 17, 2011

There’s a feature on our local news station called Dirty Dining ~ it reports on restaurants in the area that have been cited for healthcode violations:

* improper food storage
* rats and other vermin
* employee hygience issues

Every time I see the segment, I am less inclined to eat out where I have so little control over how the food I’m eating is prepared.

5. jeanne - February 15, 2011

Yes, yes and yes!!! Valentines Day is our anniversary. We have probably eaten out no more than 3 times in all the years. I refuse to stand in line, pay higher prices for fewer choices and recieve poor service at a restaurant that would normally deliver a great dining experience. If you want to impress your significant other, pick a random day and go all out for no apparent reason.

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Picking a random day to celebrate is an ideal idea.

6. suzicate - February 15, 2011

We no longer go on on Valentine’s Day either. We usually go the day before or after or cook a nice dinner at home. It is just too crazy on that day!

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

Great minds think alike! 😀

This year, we went for a walk on the beach and picked up a special dessert to enjoy.

7. oldancestor - February 15, 2011

Mrs OA and I love to dine out. But not on holidays. A busy restaurant is a restaurant at its worst.

She made me a wonderful seafood dinner last night that was superior to anything a hectic eatery could have served up.

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

That’s wonderful!

We learned our lesson. Now, like you, we avoid eating out at times when restaurants are overflowing.

8. Carol Ann Hoel - February 15, 2011

Mother’s Day we went out for dinner one time. That experience has kept us from going out to dinner on any occasion that is common to the entire nation.

We mostly frequent fast food restaurants. Now we are impatient to wait for a real dinner at a real restaurant. We want instant service AND a fabulous meal. You can’t have it both ways, of course. Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - February 15, 2011

Oh, yes, Mother’s Day mayhem ~ another holiday when it pays to stay home. 😉

Thanks, Carol Ann.

9. jannatwrites - February 16, 2011

Valentine’s Day “in” isn’t a bad thing!

We also avoid Friday/Saturday nights and holidays because the restaurants get too crowded. If we do go out to eat, it’s usually Saturday between 2 and 4 because it’s the least crowded, and we can order off the less expensive lunch menu 🙂

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Amazing how many folks flock to restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights knowing they are going to stand in line for 45-60 minutes waiting for a table because they forgot to make reservations.

Maybe they feel they’ve accomplished “mission impossible” by the time they order? 😀

We prefer the lunch menu ~ especially since we don’t like eating a big meal at night.

10. Tilly Bud - February 16, 2011

Your option sounds much nicer, more romantic and sexier…

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Thanks, Tilly Bud. Going out to eat can be quite distracting (perusing menus, interacting with waiters, oggling other diners, etc.).

Intimacy thrives in seclusion from the “rest of the pack” ~ with no distractions, couples can focus on each other with exclusivity.

11. Julie Jordan Scott - February 16, 2011

On the “big days” almost anything is better than going out. I prefer creative ways to avoid the big, densely populated with revelers places.

Thanks for commenting on my blog ~ and the image you enjoyed in it was a slice of a larger painting I made last week, so it meant a lot for me to hear it.

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Creativity is key to enjoying life, love, and the pursuit of happiness!

Loved the painting of the heart.

Thanks, Julie!

12. Greg Camp - February 16, 2011

Twenty-seven years–that’s impressive. Good sense goes a long way.

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

I agree. From the outset, we allowed good common sense to pave the way for effective communication.

Thanks, Greg

13. flyinggma - February 16, 2011

If we choose to eat on out any special occasion days it is usually with lowered expectations because after working in the food service industry I know how difficult those days are to predict what customers want.

You may prepare a special that misses the mark as far as what customers are hungry for that evening and not have enough of something else.

We usually go with the flow and just enjoy each others company and try to be flexible if they are out of our “heart’s desire” that evening.

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Thanks, Jeanne!

Happy Wednesday. Looking forward to giving you the Grand Tour next week. 🙂

14. flyinggma - February 16, 2011

I am so looking forward to the Grand Tour with an experienced tour guide. Now if only I could get some things off my to-do list before Sunday.

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Do what needs doing . . . and let the rest wait. Our “In Boxes” are NEVER empty.

If you have reading to catch up on, maybe bring it for the car ride home? Or to read on the flight out?

15. flyinggma - February 16, 2011

I once read a sign somewhere….

“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part”

I’m trying to take care of the things that need to be done so I don’t create any emergencies for others to deal with while I am gone.

Other than that my list is pretty short and I plan on relaxing for the next week. Yay!

nrhatch - February 16, 2011


And I love that quote: “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part”

16. linda - February 17, 2011

Home should always be better or else why are we there?

nrhatch - February 17, 2011

Good point ~ and one which many lose sight of in the hustle and bustle of life.

Home is where the heart is.

17. theonlycin - February 18, 2011

It’s a complete non-event in my life.

nrhatch - February 18, 2011

We pay it the same degree of attention as we do all other holidays these days . . . scant. 😀

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