Wine and Dine

You only have one chance to make a first impression.  The Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City, NJ offers an amazing dishes from brunch to dinner.  Be sure to tour the winery and learn how they make some of the best local flavors including their specialty, Blueberry Wine.  Remember to drink responsibly.  Spending a couple nights at the hotel on the premises is an excellent way to extend your romantic time, but try to make reservations in advance.

renaultwinery.com

2 Comments May 4, 2011

Look at the Chart!

The Chart House in Philadelphia is a premier dining experience along the Delaware River. Definitely classy, the Chart House is by far one of the most romantic restaurants in the City of Brotherly Love.  Choose from steak, seafood, chicken, and more, and don’t forget to have the chocolate lava cake for dessert.

chart-house.com

Leave a Comment April 29, 2011

Argue Art, Discuss at Dinner, but Don’t Get Icy over Ice Cream

Perhaps that was one of the worst headlines in the world, but this date could be one of your best.  Head to Lambertville, NJ and wander the many blocks dedicated to art stores and unique gift shops.  If you’re lucky, you’ll meet some artists and find out the real meanings behind their works.  When the stores and galleries start to close, stroll along the canal.  Feeling famished?  Inn of the Hawke, restaurant, bar, and inn, 74 S. Union Street, offers delicious meals in a cozy, romantic, and relaxed atmosphere.  Take your time dining; perhaps you’ll be too tired to drive home, but make sure you’re not too tired for ice cream at the art-filled Buck’s Ice Cream and Espresso Bar, 25 Bridge Street.


Leave a Comment April 22, 2011

P.Y.T. (Hey, it ain’t Mickey D’s!)

A burger on a date?  For real?  Yes!  Hey, it ain’t Mickey D’s, but it’s not the Chart House either.  P.Y.T. is a fun place to go, relax, and chat.  It’s perfect for the fresh couple or the ones who’ve been dating for an eternity.  It may not scream ballroom gown and tux, but it definitely screams FUN, and the $10 Adult Milkshakes are all the rage.

Besides, this place is at The Piazza at Schmidt’s…  Be sure to check out the local art galleries and shops before you’re too full to stroll.

pytphilly.com

Leave a Comment April 20, 2011

Pick Up Your Chopsticks

It’s no secret that Philadelphia is not known as the fittest city in the world.  Greasy, tasty cheese steaks, oily, mayonnaise-filled hoagies (known as subs in other cities), sweet, sugary water ice, and salty, soft pretzels are just some of the town’s feel good delights.  Yummy and inexpensive, it’s easy to spend your time in Philadelphia shoveling on the calories.  But not all people know that Philadelphia is also home to delicious and healthy cooking, right in the heart of one of the city’s best attractions – Chinatown.

Prove you care about yourself and your date at Charles Plaza, 234 N. 10th Street.  A healthy alternative to the Philly junk food scene, the Chinese restaurant is a classy but casual BYOB, allowing you to pick what you want to drink without overpaying for a glass of wine.  Fuki Plum Wine, sweet, different than the usual Merlot, Chardonnay or Zinfandel, is an affordable way to accompany your entree.

Upon arrival, Charles Chen, owner of Charles Plaza, or one of his friendly staff will seat you.  While the restaurant can and is sometimes arranged to fit larger parties, on a typical night, the tables hold couples of all ages, taking in the ambiance of white table cloths, candlelight, and mirrored walls.  But if you’re inside Charles Plaza, the simple but elegant scenery is not what you’re likely to remember.  It’s the meal and the service.

After sipping on tea, water and wine, the House Special Won Ton Soup for two, a healthier version of Won Ton Soup, complete with vegetables and low sodium broth, is a great way to begin the dining experience.  It’s not an unusual item on Charles’ menu — he specializes in healthy Chinese food, using brown rice and not using MSG.

Charles Plaza is also a vegetarian’s delight, featuring a large selection of entrees and appetizers, including the crispy, light, and flavorful vegetarian spring rolls.  If you like meat, that’s no problem either.  If you’re hungry, order the Orange Chicken, delicately cooked white meat, tossed in an orange sauce, complete with orange zest, veggies, and brown rice.  This large portion is usually enough to satisfy one person with a doggie bag, but if you’re with a group, think about sharing entrees.  Because empty dishes are placed on the table before your meal comes, you can dish out what you want and share what you don’t.  If you’re sharing, the Sesame Chicken with Lemon Sauce goes nicely with the Orange Chicken.  This isn’t your typical Sesame Chicken.  Thin pieces of white meat, heavily coated with sesame seeds, are lightly fried and placed over shredded lettuce leaves.  A sweet, lemon sauce is served on the side.  If you haven’t mastered eating with chopsticks, this is the dish to practice, but forks are readily available.

Those with dietary concerns or favorite dishes not found on the menu can happily learn that if you ask nicely, you will get what you want.  When you’ve eaten to your heart’s content, the check is placed with fortune cookies and either orange slices or almond cookies.  You’ll pay your bill while dreaming about the next time you’ll return.  Even if months pass, Charles Chen, master of delicious dining, also has a fine memory and may remember not only you, but also what you ordered.

Full and content, Charles Plaza is just the place to go to keep you from munching on cheese steaks, even if it’s just for a night.


Leave a Comment April 15, 2011

A Date with Victor

Few things are as passionate as opera.  If you can’t personally serenade your sweetheart, allow the singers at The Victor Cafe in South Philadelphia to set your love to song while you enjoy fine Italian cuisine.  Be sure to make a reservation in advance.   victorcafe.com

Leave a Comment April 13, 2011

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;-)

Carpe Diem,

Jeannette Ryder,
Owner and Author of DimpleDate.com