This Saturday, Andrew and I did several remarkable things: we left the house after 7:30pm; we went into Manhattan together; and we had a fancy dinner, just the two of us. The occasion was a close-to-expiring DealOn purchase for a great Spanish restaurant in Soho called Mercat—and Barbra and Chris kindly agreed to babysit (well, at least sit in our apartment while Lucia slept). We were free!
And dinner was amazing. We’d been to Mercat once before, several years ago, and this handily surpassed our good memories and high expectations. We ordered many things from the tapas section of the menu, including patatas bravas, croquetas (shrimp and chicken), bombas (large balls of potato and meat), and pan con tomate. We had jamon serrano and a cheese plate that included a cheese that is aged in underwater caves—perhaps the most delicious cheese I’ve ever had. We had clams with bits of chorizo in a briny broth. We ate it all with a bottle of wine in a candlelit room that, I’m certain, offered no high chairs. And, of course, we reminisced about Barcelona.
Before catching a cab home we walked a few blocks past an apartment in the East Village where Andrew used to live. It was freezing—a real winter night—so we didn’t walk much farther. Then we drove home over the Manhattan Bridge and returned home to our still-sleeping baby, who was oblivious to our absence. It was a perfect date.