Downtown Progressive Appetizer Date Night

This year, David and I celebrated our SEVENTH anniversary! I’m sure you can all agree that time flies!!! I really can’t believe it’s been that long. It feels like yesterday that I was the stupid girl who couldn’t open the pool gate and had to ask the sexy shaved head, red beard, smoking a cigarette guy for help. And despite what he tells you, no I was not trying to get his attention, I really couldn’t figure out how to open it!

This was right after we got engaged in NYC! We celebrated with a Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

How it all started seven years ago! This was right after we got engaged in NYC at Serendipity!

Anyway, this was our first year to have two kids, so we were both pretty ready for a kid free night! We had been going back and forth on what we should do for the night. We knew for sure we wanted to stay at a hotel, mostly so we could watch cable and sleep in without interruptions! We played around with different ideas. Go to San Antonio, the hill country, stay in Houston, etc. I eventually found a boutique hotel on TripAdvisor called the Sam Houston Hotel. I read the reviews, which were all pretty nice and decided for $76 (that’s with tax) it seemed like a good place to stay. So our decision on where to go was decided, now we just needed to figure out what else we would do while there.

David and I are both huge foodies, so anything involving food is good with us. We usually pick an upscale restaurant and enjoy ourselves there, however, we wanted something different and couldn’t quite decide what we wanted. I remembered hearing about a progressive dinner before and thought that might be fun. A typical progressive dinner is when you go and have an appetizer at one place, dinner at another, and finish it off with dessert at a different place. We decided to change it up a bit and only do appetizers and drinks, but at multiple locations.

Luckily, our hotel was within walking distance to tons of great downtown restaurants! Once we arrived at our hotel we literally dropped our bags and headed out the door. One of our favorite downtown spots is Sambuca, great food, drinks, and live music seven days a week. We ordered calamari and I had a Texas Mule (a name twist on the Moscow Mule) and David had something girly (I honestly don’t remember, but I know he’s a fan of girly drinks).

Next we headed to Azuma, which is literally right next door. There we ordered the Crazy Irishman, which I am not a sushi fan, like at all, but this is so good! It’s a salmon, tuna, and avocado flash fried in soy paper, masago, spicy mayo, and topped with unagi sauce. We also ordered a beef kabob. Which was equally delicious. The best thing about it was that we made it just in time to shut down happy hour, so we got two lychee martinis (which we were not fans of) and the above food for less than $20! Not bad!

Flaming Leah and Whitney from Hearsay Gastro Lounge

Flaming Leah and Whitney from Hearsay Gastro Lounge

Our next stop was Hearsay Gastro Lounge, which we first tried during Houston Restaurant week (I’ll have to blog about that next August), the food was really good the first time, but you definitely go there for the drinks! I was pregnant the first time, so I could not wait to try the drinks this time! I had a Flaming Leah, which is vodka, strawberry, mint, and lime, OMG it was so good and refreshing! They use all fresh squeezed fruits so it’s always good. David got a Whitney, which was vodka, lemon, blackberries, and sparkling wine. It tasted like a jolly rancher, he was not a big fan, but I can see how people would very much enjoy it. We splurged on the appetizer here and ordered the Hearsay’s Chef’s Platter. It came with Saint Arnold Battered Asparagus, Smoked Salmon Crostinis, Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, and a miniature version of caprese salad. Sounds simple, but my favorite really was the caprese salad, the balsamic they used was AMAZING. David’s favorite and my second favorite was the smoked salmon crostinis. We then followed our drinks up with a glass of wine for me and a beer for David.

After leaving Hearsay we walked to a park called Market Square, it was such a neat place! There is a Niko Niko’s there. If any of you have ever been to the original location, you know how delicious there Greek food is. This location is really cool, you just walk up to the window, order, and then sit down at any of the outdoor tables. We weren’t planning on it, but we ordered two beers (yes, if you stay in the park you can drink your alcohol freely here) and an amazing Greek pastry. I know beer and sweets, not ideal, but it was fun. We sat and ate and then walked around the park for a bit, they have a lot of cool stuff, including a dog park and interesting art structures. It’s pretty simple, but a fun place to stop for a treat.

Once we were for sure full (I mean we might have overdone it a bit), we continued stopping at a few places for drinks. We went to the Pastry War, which serves agave spirits. It was really cool and super lively. We also stopped at El Big Bad for some margaritas (and I might have eaten some chips and salsa), it’s more of a restaurant than a bar, nothing super special, could have done with or without. We stopped at an Irish pub along the way for some beers and they had a jukebox, so obviously I had to play “Golden Years” by David Bowie. I’m serious, when I see a jukebox, I ALWAYS have to search and play that song. It’s my favorite song ever!!! We were going to go to a speak easy, but the line was out the door and let’s face it, we’re too old to wait in lines. Plus as David put it, “I never even waited in lines in college, we always knew the people.” Haha, so basically we decided we were too good to wait 🙂

Here's a pic of us at one of the many stops!

Here’s a pic of us at one of the many stops!

Clearly it was a busy night, and we probably went to more places in one night than we ever did in college, but overall it was really fun. We experienced lots of fun new tastes and sights that we never knew Houston had. We definitely did not save money on this anniversary and mentioned after the fact that we probably should have set a budget! Oh well, there’s always next year. We really enjoyed spending time with each other and doing something different and special this year.

Have you and your special someone celebrated an anniversary in a fun way? Feel free to share below! Also, happy Friday!!!

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