I Meant to Write About Date Night . . . Last Week

by Jill

Lately, Monday has been date night. It’s a perfect night to go out since most places aren’t crowded, which leaves us with little pressure to eat-and-run. It’s really nice to have plenty of time for lounging around, enjoying the food, drinks, and atmosphere.

Last Monday night we hit up the old stand-by, Continental in Old City, for a light meal and some drinks. Typically, I don’t order fancy cocktails at restaurants or bars. They just aren’t my style. I prefer beer. But we were told that the restaurant recently added a whole bunch of new cocktails to their menu so we figured we’d consider ordering one. Boy-oh-boy! They did not disappoint! Before we even made our selections, our first round was sent out by a manager D worked with at Midtown, and it included the South Pacific (mango, passion fruit infused vodka, fresh orange and champagne with a raw sugar rim) and the Strawberry Fields (vanilla vodka, strawberries, balsamic vinegar and basil with a balsamic sugar rim).

The South Pacific was awesome! It wasn’t too sweet—I hate super sweet fruity fancy drinks—and the flavors worked really well together. Passion fruit is just wonderful, whether it’s in a drink or dessert or anything, so naturally, this drink had DELICIOUS written all over it, from the start. I especially liked the way the champagne gave it a little extra zing. The drink was like an updated version of a mimosa. But better. I would order this at Sunday brunch, for sure.

The Strawberry Fields, on the other hand, I found to be a little too sweet for me. I think it might have been the vanilla vodka that did it. Other than that, it was good. The aroma of balsamic when you pick up the glass to drink it—fantastic! Too die for, even! (I fucking hate that phrase—it reminds of robot waitresses at Olive Garden or some other chain restaurant, but I had to use it!) I wanted to like this drink so much more, simply because I love strawberries with basil and balsamic vinegar but the sweetness that hits you after you sip it, well, it wasn’t working for me. Both the manager and our server claimed it to be their favorite new drink on the menu. D liked it a lot, too. I probably wouldn’t order this one again, unless they made it a little less sweet.

First round of drinks aside, it was time for food. We ordered the special, a fondue platter with hangar steak, tempura vegetables, toasted bread, and sliced apples. I’m not sure what kind of cheese was served with the platter but it was delicious. Fondue is fun! We also ordered the tuna tartare (my favorite thing on the menu) and the wasabi mashed potatoes. It helps to know people because we somehow also ended up with an order of cheesesteak egg rolls. I didn’t try those because I really do not like mushrooms and they were stuffed in there with the meat. But D found them to be much tastier than the ones they serve at Midtown. Apparently, the presentation is much prettier, too. But enough about those . . . on to the rest of the drinks!

For our second round of cocktails, D had the Aloe-Ha and I had the Blackberry Mojito Martini, both of which were keepers. The Aloe-Ha (I can’t get over the name! Love it!) is made with Hendrick’s Gin, aloe, fresh watermelon, and cucumber. I know, this drink sounds kind of bizarre. Aloe? In a drink? Really?

My initial reaction: it smells like Bath & Body Works! Cucumber Melon! No kidding! I instantly felt like I was amongst shelf after shelf of lotion, body splash and other smelly skin stuff. And the taste . . . it even tasted like lotion! But in a good way! Seriously! (I swear, I am not a lotion-eater, I’m just excited about this drink, can’t you tell?) I felt like I was drinking a cocktail while taking a shower or something. This seriously needs to be the summer drink. It’s very light and refreshing. And lotion-y! A++! It was so good that we even stopped laughing (for a minute) at the girl sitting diagonal from our table who was wearing a dress so small and short that it could’ve fit my 8-year-old cousin. And at one point, I think I saw her vag. But hey, at least we had delicious cocktails! Bottoms up! (Except for hers, please.)

Now, my Blackberry Mojito Martini. It did not disappoint. At all. I admit, I’ve never had a mojito. Yeah, yeah, whatever. I don’t care for rum. I think it all goes back to one time when I was out with my cousin April and her friends and whole bunch of rum & cokes. Anyway, rum. Can’t stand it. But I really wanted to try a drink with blackberry, which is my ultimate summer fruit this year. I love blackberries. So tart, yet still sweet. Mmmm . . . Anyway, I figured if I hated it, I could just shove it off to D and order something else. Of course that wasn’t necessary, though, because it was wonderful. I believe I made some kind of strange noise during my first sip and suddenly had Gollum eyes, which D took to be a good sign. I think I could drink a whole pitcher of blackberry mojito. It went down like punch. Tasty, tasty minty blackberry punch. I would absolutely order this again. And again. And again.

What on earth am I going to do once summer is over and the appeal of fruity or crisp and refreshing cocktails has fizzled? Scotch, maybe? I don’t think I’m there yet.

At this point, we were thinking that maybe we should end our cocktail tasting party since those things really add up! But then we rationalized that “it’s date night!” so we ordered another round, along with dessert.

Drinks round three: a blueberry martini and the Mexico City (Grand Marnier, tequila, lime, and cranberry juice). The blueberry martini was very much like drinking a pint of blueberries. If you like blueberries, that is a very good thing. If you don’t, well, you’re screwed. It was really good, though, despite the fact that I’m still working through my love/hate relationship with blueberries. The Mexico City was good by default because it’s a tequila drink. Enough said.

Continental Midtown has some of my favorite desserts in the city but the last couple of times we dined at the Old City location, we were impressed by their re-vamped dessert menu. The desserts are now served in tall shot glasses and the server brings the whole tray over to the table for you to choose which ones you’d like. We picked out two: the Milk & Cookies—panna cotta with two tiny Cookie Crisp-sized chocolate chip cookies on top (I am a sucker for adorable desserts); and the Chocolate Cake with Rasberries, which has layers of bittersweet chocolate (mousse, I think), a dark chocolate brownie-ish square, raspberries (duh!) and cake. Both were scrumdiddlyumptious.

Desserts at The Continental in Old City

I think I could eat those desserts every day. Gimme! Please!

To top off the evening, our check came out surprisingly (very) low—perks of D working where he does—and our waitress got a nice big tip out of the deal. 🙂 Good times all around! We ended up leaving with full bellies, a slight buzz, and money left over. (Not for long, though. We ended up stopping by Johnny Brenda’s on our walk home for a couple date-ending beers and use of the bathroom. Mostly, the bathroom. A thirty minute walk is no fun when your bladder feels like it’s going to explode.)

I love date night!

Date night!

Love it!!!

Coming up: What Not to Wear Anywhere to a Nice Restaurant Unless You Are Trying to Look Like a Cheap Hooker.