I don’t mean to brag, but I’m marrying the most amazing man on earth. So I guess I do mean to brag.
Last week, while paging through my planner, I noticed a hand-written note that said, “Dinner with your sexy man?” on Wednesday the 25th. It was a note from Jake, and I circled this suggestion and said, “Yes! Dinner with my sexy man it shall be!” He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, but he did tell me he was getting his best suit dry-cleaned—which meant I had to come up with a stunning ensemble to not look like a goat next to my soon-to-be-husband.
Wednesday at 4:30 PM, we got on the road and started driving north. Jake wore his fancy black suit with a brand new green dress shirt. (Verrrrry handsome.) I wore a purple, satin dress that once belonged to my Aunt Susie—a dress Jake had never seen before—and I felt pretty dang good standing beside him. So we drove north. And north. And north, until we finally got off the 17 at the Thunderbird exit. Now, I was completely lost. I’d never been vaguely close to that area before. Where on earth was he taking me?
Jake turned the car into the entrance for the Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Up and up a mountain we drove, until we finally reached the top and the restaurant, Different Point of View. A different point of view it certainly was! The bar was on the third floor of the characteristically red and orange building—very Southwestern—and it overlooked the entirety of the Valley of the Sun. We could see the skyscrapers of downtown Phoenix, the white mansions of Scottsdale, and even the edges of Camelback Mountain. Jake ordered a mojito; I had an “Appletini.” Then, we headed to the fourth-floor dining room.
The staff at Different Point of View treated us like celebrities. They were there whenever we needed anything. They asked questions, making sure we were happy. They offered to take pictures of us. They smiled and chatted and kept the table spotless. The bus boy even had a crumber!! But what about the food?
Well, when we first sat down, a lovely young lady brought us what appeared to be fancy tater tots—compliments of the chef—covered in crème fraiche and chive. Who knew tater tots could be so good? We then ordered an appetizer: the Pan Seared Diver Scallops. I can never resist scallops, plus these were covered in a caramelized butternut reduction. For our entrées (not an easy choice with all the amazing menu items), I went with the Ancho Seared Palo Verde Pork Tenderloin, served with Pumpkin Honey Corn Cake, Charred Shallots, Pepita Pesto, and a Dried Bing Cherry and Tarragon Reduction. It was practically too beautiful to eat … but I ate it, and once I ate it, I realized it was practically too rich to finish!
Jake got the Rosemary Port Wine Braised Milk Fed Veal Shank, served with Root Vegetable Parmesan Risotto, Maple Reduction and Chervil Toasted Garlic Gremolata, and some cheese-covered gnocchi I can’t find on the menu. Needless to say, not only was his meal a piece of art, but it was the best veal I’ve ever tasted. Finally, we had crème brulee. We had to, even though we were both set to explode, and it was well worth the extra calories. When they brought the check, they also brought little cubes of orange-flavored chocolate. Heaven.
When I told my father on Wednesday morning that Jake was taking me out to a restaurant and wearing a suit, he said, “What are you, getting engaged?” To which he followed with, “Oh, wait a minute …” No, we didn’t go to Different Point of View to get engaged again. Jake took me there as a reminder of how much he loves me and how, even though we know we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together, it doesn’t hurt to rekindle the romance every now and then.
I challenge all of you to do the same. Whether dating, engaged, or married for thirty years, I believe the only way to make love stay is to treat it right. I’m not encouraging you to go broke on expensive dinners and romantic getaways. Instead, guys, buy your girl some flowers for no further reason other than to say, “Hey, I love you.” Ladies, make your guy a nice dinner. (I believe in the adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It’s true of women, too.) Or—one of Jake’s favorites—I buy him some good local beer.
I made Jake go shoe-shopping with me yesterday, and I later thanked him profusely for putting up with my explicit girl-ness. He replied, “I don’t care what we’re doing, as long as I’m with you.” And, I suppose, as long as we always tell each other things like that, even cheap beer and pizza will feel like a romantic night out—as long as we’re together.
Thanks for the amazing dinner, babe! I can’t wait to be your wife!