Whatever You Do, Don’t Call It A Valentine’s Day Dinner, at Villa Mozart in Fairfax, VA

I don’t remember the last time my husband and I went out to eat on Valentine’s Day.

1. We hate crowds.
2. We don’t like being “forced” to celebrate our love.
3. Like many holidays, it’s not the most socially conscious, as evident by this article on child slavery in the Ivory Coast.
4. We are lazy.
5. We have 3 children, and we are tired.
6. We are lazy.

Two days after Valentine’s Day, my husband emails me, “We’re going out tonight. Have your dad watch the kids.” Hmm, I will never pass the opportunity to eat out! I ask him, “smart business attire? sexy casual? barebutt nekkid?” He writes, “Whichever. As long as you don’t wear your floor cleaning slippers.” He, of course, is talking about my Slipper Genies.

I wear this around the house - IN LIME GREEN

After cooking the kids mac and cheese (my mommy-and-daddy-are-going-out-tonight-here-eat-this-simple-and-easy dish), helping with homework, getting their pajamas ready, etc. etc. etc., we finally get out of the house. I have no idea where we are going, but after he puts in the address in the GPS, I have an inkling.

We get there and I think, ok, it’s small but very, very nice. I’m glad I didn’t wear my Slipper Genies. The guy takes my coat and hangs it up (it’s THAT kind of place.) We sit, and everyone around me is wearing something fancy and has that “I’m really important” look on their faces. They’re going to think I’m weird for taking pictures of my food, I think to myself. Screw them, I also think to myself.

The service is a bit slow, but this is the perfect opportunity to catch up, relax, and engage in deep, profound conversations with my husband, without the children nearby. Of course, 70% of our conversation is about our children.

The waiter comes by with the breadsticks. I’m serious – they are breadSTICKS. Like literally, sticks.

 I taste rosemary and sea salt. Yum.

We order the 3-Course Meal (appetizer, main course and dessert). I order an artichoke and salted shrimp soup, lobster risotto and a strudel. He gets the caprese, beef tenderloin and a chocolate souffle. Before our meal came, we had to consume a mini crabmeat.

It's like a crabcake, only tiny.

Artichoke and salted shrimp soup.

I joked that the waiter must have sneezed on his plate, but in all seriousness, he didn’t.  It’s just buffalo milk foam. This caprese was made with Napoli buffalo mozzarella, avocado, fresh marinated tomatoes, cucumbers, Cerignola black olives and basil. Very light and refreshing, and really, anything with avocado is ok with me.

Beef tenderloin, salsify sottocenere cheese black truffle timbale, wild mushrooms, oxtail red wine sauce. The things in the cute, little yellow container? Cheesy potatoes that were so hot, it burnt my tongue. Repeatedly.


I will haunt your dreams.

Yes, honey, this is a very nice dinner. Oh look, the waiter is coming out with my meal now AND OMG, GOOD LORD, IS THAT A FACE ON MY PLATE?!?!?! Decapitated heads of sea bugs aren’t really my thing, but once I got past that, I thought it was a rather tasty risotto.

Chocolate souffle with grapa sauce.

 Strudel with ice cream

At this point, my belly is feeling completely full and I’m wishing I hadn’t eaten a bar of peanut butter and chocolate bark two hours before dinner.

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