This past weekend, my wife and I had a fancy-pants date. Thanks to the fickle finger of fate, we won a fantastic date night package at DeAnne’s company Christmas party a while back. The package included a $150 gift card to Webster’s Prime restaurant and two tickets to the Broadway musical, Les Miserables, that was showing at Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, MI.
We left the girls with the grandparents for the evening and drove down to Kalamazoo. The drive was pleasant, and conversation even more so. I’m infinitely thankful that my wife and I have never been faced with awkward silences when it is just the two of us.
First, the dinner. Webster’s Prime is a steakhouse for people who like to spend lots of money on steak. The portions are small and expensive, but delicious all the same. I ordered a $34 sirloin, prepared medium and side dishes of maple pecan sweet potatoes and mac & cheese. The steak was the best part of the dinner, though their version of medium was much closer to well-done than I prefer. The side dishes were tasty, but nothing to write home about.
On a side note, I know that ordering mac & cheese at a super fancy steakhouse may seem juvenile, but I’ve had some really good mac & cheese at pricier restaurants before and I thought it worth the gamble. My favorite mac & cheese is from the Twisted Rooster in Grand Rapids, MI. Like Webster’s Prime, the Twister Rooster gets a lot of their ingredients from local sources. Unlike the Twisted Rooster, the mac & cheese at Webster’s Prime was mostly bland and the portions were far too small.
My wife got a $36 tenderloin, also medium (and much pinker than my steak) with a Caesar salad and smashed potatoes with bacon. She agreed that the steak was the best part of the meal.
For dessert, we both ordered the cheesecake to go, since time was running away and we needed to drive over to the theater. The service left a bit to be desired, as it felt like we were waited a bit too long for our food as well as the bill, but perhaps I was just in a bit of a rush to get to Les Mis. The total of the bill came quite a bit less than our gift card had on it, but judging that we wouldn’t likely find ourselves in Kalamazoo in the near future with a desire to spend $20 at Webster’s, we left it all to our waitress in spite of the service.
On to the show. After a quick, unintentional tour of Western Michigan University, DeAnne and I found a parking spot at some distance from the main entrance. For future, similar events, we probably won’t dress up as much as we did this time, and DeAnne will certainly avoid heels in the snow if we have to walk long, slushy distances. Once inside Miller Auditorium, we found our seats easily with the help of the friendly staff. The seats were in the first balcony, dead center, and we had a commanding view. The only downside to the seats was the need to crawl over absolutely everyone, no matter which side you enter from, but it was worth the awkwardness.
Les Mis was incredible. I had seen it once before while a student at Western, but had forgotten how good it could be. Victor Hugo knows how to weave a tale laden with dramatic turns and moral quandaries. The songs are memorable and were all sung well. The action was nicely broken up with humorous interludes. And the actors and actresses gave a flawless performance. DeAnne and I both agreed that if we had more time and money, we would love to become regulars at such theater performances.
Leaving the theater went better than I expected. There were no long waits to get out of the parking lot and the road remained clear for the drive home. We arrived at our house just after midnight and were in bed by 1am, which, by the way, is about 4-5 hours later than we like to be in bed. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about our date.
Thank you Uniform Color Company of Holland for giving us the means for a wonderful night on the town. And thank you to my wife, DeAnne, for being the best date a man could ever hope to have. I love you more than sopranos love shattering crystal.