Special Valentine’s Day dinner

Or, how we still had a great time despite the popular restaurants being full.

Last night my wife and I ended up at one of our favorite restaurants, a Mediterranean spot near by. We had a great time, and the food was exceptional.

Fortunately for us, ‘Ephesus’ is not the trendiest restaurant in town and we were able to get a reservation on just a few days notice.

Ephesus was not our first choice. Instead we wanted to play the more trendy card, so we called around last week, but learned that everyone was full. We know we could have tried to walk-in to one, but that’s risky and we just wanted to keep it calm.

So, we went to Ephesus.

Here’s what I loved about it:

We know the menu pretty well. The right dishes, the wrong dishes, the crazy ones and the authentic ones. So in terms of ordering fatigue, that was prevented.

The food is really good. If it’s a special occasion or Hallmark holiday, (Valentines day) rolling the dice on a trendy restaurant can backfire. Ephesus is tried and true, and it never disappoints.

The prices are more affordable than other restaurants. If you want a ‘special’ meal at a local favorite, maybe get two desserts, and order a nicer bottle of wine like we did. We also got our favorite dish to-go for lunch tomorrow. We spent about 50% more than usual there. Special occasion!

Not being a shlump. At trendy and busy restaurants, it’s hard to get the attention and respect of the staff. They are highly trained, but packed on a busy night. Ephesus was also busy, but the service didn’t suffer. We felt like we belonged there.

Save the trendy restaurants on nights with more flexibility. Doesn’t have to be a special occasion, and maybe a trendy night is a great reason to catch up with friends. The food is probably going to be good, but more heads means you can order family style and try dishes.

Alternatively, if Ephesus was booked, we were going to cool at home. Nice cut of meat, good bottle of wine. But we didn’t have to, and we’re glad we went to our favorite spot on Valentine’s Day.

Maybe next time, super hip and trendy farm-to-table place. Maybe next time.

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