***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.
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 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.
See, I concocted the perfect plan to ensure maximum enjoyment for all! Dan thought so, too!
We headed out to our local Macaroni Grill, which is located in Akron, OH. Our server was Natasha, and she was AMAZING.
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.
In fact, Natasha took it upon herself to create a tasting notes sheet which included descriptions of each wine, as well as her personal pairing recommendations. This came in very handy for Dan, who had a hard time choosing his wines for each course. He said her pairings were spot on, which took the guesswork out of the equation.
For our first course, I chose the Bruschetta and Dan chose the Sausage + Peppers Flatbread. Each dish was paired with a complimentary wine, of course. In this case, we had some whites like a nice, white blend that was very unique.
The flatbread was great, and we really enjoyed the flavors of the Italian sausage and peppers. The flavor was bright and fresh, and definitely left us hungry for more!
My Bruschetta, though, was to die for. It contained toasted bread, fresh tomatoes and basil, whipped Ricotta, and garlic. Oh. My. Goodness. That whipped Ricotta? The stuff dreams are made of.
Our first course was perfection, and set a high bar for the rest of the meal.
For our second course, I ordered a Fresh Greens Salad and Dan got the Soup of the Day, which happened to be Corn Chowder.
My salad was nice and crisp, with a nice selection of greens, carrots, croutons, and a nice, light Mediterranean dressing.
The star of this course, and honestly of the whole evening?
The Corn Chowder.
I know it doesn't look like much. I get that. It looks like soup in a bowl. Brownish mush, right?
Let me tell you, this Corn Chowder was SO incredibly flavorful and delightful that Dan and I were sharing it, and we were both sad when the bowl was empty. I am not even kidding, the Corn Chowder is enough to call me back to Macaroni Grill on it's own. It is that darn good. Like, I have never fantasized about bathing in Corn Chowder....Until now.
For this course, we each received a Chardonnay pairing, which went well with both of our dishes.
For our entrees, we chose the Chicken Parmesan and the Parmesan Crusted Sole.The Chicken Parm came with a bed of pasta and the Parmesan Crusted Sole came with a grilled lemon and a nice serving of spinach and sun-dried tomato orzo.
My Chicken Parmesan was paired with a Pinot Noir, which went nicely with the robust tomato sauce in the entree. The chicken itself was beautifully breaded, and full of flavor.
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", especially with his white wine pairing!
Another successful course at the Macaroni Grill!
Next, it was time for our final course: Dessert!
I ordered the Cannoli, and Dan got the Lemon Passion, which is a citrusy-cake with delightful frosting and lemon curd.
My dessert was paired with another red wine, as it went well with the chocolate chips in my Cannoli. Dan's lemony dessert was paired with a nice, sweet Moscato.
Needless to say, we were incredibly satisfied by the end of our 4 Course Wine Tasting Dinner. In fact, I had to take most of my dessert 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 $40 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 mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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