Italy: Celebrating “Only” our First Date

Okay, so maybe celebrating your first date is not the biggest deal after you get engaged.  September 6 will become a distant memory after May 29, 2015.  After the day we say “I Do” no other date will be celebrated as our anniversary.  However, on this day and time Bridget and I were celebrating our first date anniversary.

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To celebrate this day we went back to the home of our first date, Maple (www.DC-Maple.com).  Maple is a small Italian restaurant hidden in a corner of Columbia Heights.  We met here 3 years ago on a brutally hot summer day.  We’ve celebrated a Valentine’s Day here once but coming here on the anniversary of this date was much more important to us.  (I won’t put in here that Bridget thought the date was October 6 for a few years.)

We sat at the bar first and had a few drinks, we had something to celebrate (not that I have to justify it).    Bridget’s Venetian spritzer was tasty but didn’t have the kick my drink did.  Mine was quite strong and had a few treats on the bottom, bourbon cherries.  After a few sips of my Amaro (Italian for bitter) Manhattan I was buzzing enough and ready for an appetizer.

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We stayed at the bar and continued to enjoy our drinks while we ordered an appetizer.  Maple had a large selection to choose from, letting you pick a few types of bruschetta as well.  We went with a fig spread, topped with fresh prosciutto and Gorgonzola.    Man, these bruschetta were outstanding and the fig spread was to die for.

I don’t eat any seafood, at all, but for some reason I just love mussels.  Usually it is because the sauce they come in is usually cooked in tons of butter.  Well this dish was no different in the way it was cooked.  The mussels were fresh out of the water and steamed in beautiful tasting wine sauce.

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After enjoying our drinks and appetizers at the bar, we closed out and found what turned out to be a non-secluded table by the front window.  We sat down to an interesting couple that were obviously having a “meeting of the parents.”  Bridget, who keeps her ears open all the time, enjoyed listening to this awkward dinner.  That part was not as weird as both parents enjoying their vape pens during dinner in this restaurant.

Dinner for us was much more simple and enjoyable after ignoring the awkwardness next to us.  One of Bridget’s favorite Italian sauces is pesto, pesto anything.  So this made her order much easier as she went with the Basil Pesto Gnocchi.   It may look a little green but the flavor was tremendous and highly enjoyed by both of us.

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I am easy to read and always predictable as I ordered the same dish I get every time, Lamb Ragu with Tagliatelle.   I may be boring in this fact but I am never disappointed in how it comes out.  In fact the dad next to us (in between vape puffs) let me know it was the best thing they had all night before I even ordered.  Giant chunks of lamb with a fantastic seasoned sauce, this meal was enjoyed and devoured pretty quickly.

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Maple will always be a staple in our relationship and one of my favorite memories.   This may be the last year we celebrate “only our first date” but I look forward to the many years celebrating May 29.  However, September 6 may be one of the most important days to me, as this is the day I first saw my future companion for the rest of my life.

-Matt

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