This weekend our date night started out with a delicious new place, The Capital Grille, in downtown Minneapolis. The wait staff pranced around in the cream colored dinner jackets, with their crumb sweepers hidden in their pockets. I laughed inward at one of the more flamboyant of the bunch. His movements cried high wait staff but with a less stiff flair. I blinked as we sat down in the low, yellow light and my eyes scanned over the old world paintings in the frames.
Then, the serious decision making began. I committed a faux pas and ordered a diet soda instead of wine or a drink special. I wanted to stay awake for the show and anything will alcohol makes me sleepy. My husband ordered an aged bourbon drink that knocked my heels off a little under the table. The nose hairs curled but it aging was sweet. Yes, I tried a sip. Our belated valentine dinner was planned last month to go along with out show tickets.
Our waiter returned with dinner menus and gave use a few recommendations. He even asked if we were going to see a show tonight in order to turn out our orders faster. Since they are a steakhouse we decided on 2 different kinds of steak. I ordered the filet mignon with fig essence, and little French onions. He went with the waiter’s suggestion of one of the rib-eye steaks. The speed of the plates coming out was about a total of 15 minutes, a pleasant surprise.
The smell coming from our plates as they were set on our table made my mouth water. I’m extremely picky about my meat but they knew what they were doing. My huband’s rib-eye filled an entire 12” plate and I was worried about the char on the outside. Mine was neatly cut just like the menu suggested and not overly sauced but the French foodie in me wanted more juicy fig. I was looking for my fat purple fig and it was nowhere to be found the my first bite made me forget about the sweet sauce. It was perfectly cooked. Not too rare and under well.
When I tried my husband large bone in steak, my heels were knocked off again. His plate won me over. The char created a smokey flavor that seeped into the lines of the meat inside and the marbling melted in my mouth. The flavors and scents went up my nose and made my mouth water again as I chewed. If you’re wondering what to order, I would get this next time. Mine was good but the marbling in his tasted like melting butter coat in the smell of juicy meat. I wanted more so we traded a few slices. Both were worth the high bill at the end and we didn’t mind because it was worth every penny.
A few bites of seasonal berries with creme anglaise drizzled over the top cleansed our pallets and turned our tummies into digestive machines. The fact that we were done fifteen minutes before the show was perfect. The metal detectors were a bit of an inconvenience but I’m okay with a little peace of mind. We bypassed the long line because we did our health check before we went into dinner. I had to smile at my planning ability because our dinner spot was in the same building and all we had to do was come up from the underground parking without our coats, and then walk into the theater lobby. No need to go outside.
We were way up in the top, top balcony but I planned for that too. We took out our mini binoculars and scoped out the stage. The curtain read “We dance for peace”. I had to admit that I was worried about protestors because we were seeing the Russian ballet perform Swan Lake but the entire theater was packed. No need for seat fillers. Row after row was filled with people like me – those who love performances and talented people. This wasn’t the Bolshoi in Moscow but it’s not like that’s a good idea right now.
Tchaikovsky started to go full force in the background and the curtains opened. Dancers on point started to tiptoe across the stage. The performances were the classical scenes of Swan Lake and everyone loved the jester as he did the quick pirouettes. If you’ve never seen the show, don’t expect the prince to do much. His job was to lift the beautiful swan. I have to admit that I wanted a male to male duel between the black male swan and the prince but it was about her. The way she gently fluttered, and twisted amazed me. No wobbles, or missteps. Every line was long and graceful like a ballerina. We all cheered when the curse was broken and the princess was with her prince.
I stood for all of them and their talent. I also stood because one my lifelong dreams came true. I finally got to see the Russian ballet perform Swan Lake. If I ever wanted to one-up this experience, it would be going to Moscow to see the Bolshoi. I might push back Broadway for that opportunity. One thing off my list and one thing added.
Before we left the theater, I pushed through crowds to get my red ballet slipper keychain and t-shirt. There was no way I was going to check one to-do off my list and not get proof that I was there. My husband didn’t even complain as he navigated through the crowd like a cat with me. To avoid the long line waiting to get out the garage, we sat in Rock Bottom brewery for their last call. He unwound with a blue Hawaiian and I drank another diet because I was driving. We watched all the others that followed behind us get turned away because the closed after last call unless you still had a drink at your table.
Driving home I was a crazy driver downtown to escape the long lines of cars who weren’t from here. Drizzle sprinkled the windshield and I drove home with the music still in my head. The night was filled with a new place to get a good steak and a performance that I might only go to once, unless I’m in Moscow.
Stay on that thought. What might happen if your date flew you to Moscow for the ballet? Well, that’s you’re writing prompt. No being realistic today. Dream big.
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