***Disclosure: We received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
As busy parents, my husband and I don't get out enough....Well, we get out plenty. We just rarely have the chance to relax and unwind as a couple, without any kids in tow. This is especially true during the hectic Holiday season.
Now don't get me wrong: We absolutely love doing the family thing, but sometimes it's important to do things together as a couple. Ya know, to keep that spark alive without hearing that so-and-so hit so-and-so, or that the dog had an accident....Again.
Couple time is important.
Couple time paired with food and wine? Even better.
When our wonderful friends at Romano's Macaroni Grill invited us for an exclusive Holiday Wine Tasting Dinner event, we jumped at the chance. A 4 course Italian meal, complete with expertly selected wine pairings?
Yes, please! (Full disclosure: I do not drink....Ever....Like, at all...I guess I'm not much fun at parties. However, the hubby is a bit of a wine snob and loves to enjoy wine with a nice meal.) Despite the fact that I don't partake in the drinking of alcoholic beverages, I was SUPER excited about this event. After all, I could take tiny sips to see how they paired with the food and give the rest of the glass to the hubby. It's a winning situation for everyone!
We headed out to the Romano's Macaroni Grill in Akron, Ohio. Our server was Natasha, who actually remembered us from a previous event, and she was AMAZING, as usual.
No, really. Natasha is the bomb. She is literally one of the best servers I've had in recent memory. That is a HUGE compliment, and Macaroni Grill hopefully knows what an asset they have in this gem of a human being.
She was knowledgeable about the menu, and was able to make some great food suggestions. She really helped make this a highly personalized and pleasant experience. She truly goes above and beyond for her guests, and we were absolutely thrilled to see her again at this Holiday event.
For our first course, I chose the Lasagna Fritti and Dan chose the Calamari. These dishes were served with a nice Lunetta Prosecco.
The Lasagna Fritti was great, and I really enjoyed the crisp coating and cheesy, flavorful filling. The flavor was bright and fresh, and definitely left me hungry for more!
Dan's Calamari was also to die for. This came with dipping sauces of a flavorful pesto and even a citrus black pepper aioli, both of which made the fresh calamari POP with flavor.
Our first course was perfection, and set a high bar for the rest of the meal.
For our second course, Dan ordered a Fresh Greens Salad and I had the Asparagus Risotto.
Dan's salad was nice and crisp, with a nice selection of greens, carrots, croutons, and a nice, light Mediterranean dressing.
My Asparagus Risotto was equally delightful. It was creamy, cheesy, and had the bright flavor of fresh asparagus. The real crowning glory of this dish were the Parmesan Crisps. Everything was perfection, and I'd order this over and over again.
For this course, we each had a Pinot Grigio, which went nicely with this course.
For our entrees, I chose the Gorgonzola Steak and Lobster Ravioli, and Dan chose the Salmon Piccata.
Full disclosure: I do not eat seafood. At all. Ever. I asked for the Lobster Ravioli on the side, and I gave that to Dan to enjoy. He is a huge fan of seafood, and this dish had him drooling. He said it was really well made, and had tons of flavor.
I still had my perfectly cooked Gorgonzola Steak, which had a side of absolutely delightful spinach with roasted garlic. The steak was served Medium-Rare, and had a creamy, pungent Gorgonzola sauce on top. It was fantastic. The star, though? Surprisingly enough, I couldn't believe how wonderful the spinach was! It was simple, but so very flavorful. I especially enjoyed the roasted garlic addition. I'm salivating just thinking about it.
Dan's fish entree was also well liked, especially the freshness of everything. The flavors were bright and vibrant, and he described this dish as a "flavor explosion", and one he'd order again!
Our entrees were served with a Chianti Classico, which paired nicely with both dishes.
Another successful course at the Macaroni Grill!
Next, it was time for our final course: Dessert!
I ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Dan got the Decadent Chocolate Cake.
Our desserts were paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon, but Dan also tried something new...You see, he doesn't care for red wines in the slightest. Natasha, our beautiful and clever server, told him about a slightly fizzy Lambrusco. She insisted that many people who don't enjoy red wines end up liking this particular wine.
He didn't expect to like it, but was in for a shock.....Thanks to Natasha, Server Extraordinaire, Dan found the first red wine he's ever enjoyed....EVER! That's no small feat!
Needless to say, we were incredibly satisfied by the end of our 4 Course Wine Tasting Dinner. In fact, we had plenty of leftovers to take home. The kids didn't mind, though! They happily gobbled it up!
Overall, our evening was amazing. This was a "fancy" experience and nice escape from our everyday lives and responsibilities. We felt bougie and extra, in a GOOD way, while we were served course after course of deliciousness....The best part, aside from the meal? We got to reconnect with each other, kid-free, while enjoying this luxurious experience.
The neat thing? This meal, wine included, costs only $60 a person! For 4 courses of amazing food and 4 different wine pairings, this is an incredible value. Can't wait till the next event! We love Macaroni Grill, and definitely look forward to visiting again soon!
If you have a Romano's Macaroni Grill near you, which you can check on their website, I would highly recommend stopping by for a great dinner date! Whether there's a special event like our Wine Tasting dinner or not, you're bound to leave satisfied. The dishes at Macaroni Grill are fresh, flavorful, and can definitely add some authentic Italian flavor to your day! We will definitely be adding Macaroni Grill as one of our favorite date night destinations!
Have YOU ever tried the food at Macaroni Grill? What are your favorite dishes? Let me know in the comments!
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I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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