The Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner

Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil

Carey and I celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday.  Valentine’s Day is a special day for me because it is the first holiday Carey and I ever celebrated together.   We started dating December 27th of 2007, were apart on New year’s Eve, and so Valentine’s Day was the first opportunity I had to celebrate a holiday with Carey.

I tend to take VDay very seriously as a result.  This year, we had the “Weekend ‘O Love,” meaning we celebrated all weekend.  It started on Friday when I gave Carey an hour-long massage in our bedroom with the lights low and soft jazz playing on the iPad.

Saturday, while she slept in, I went out and got her a big box of chocolates and a dozen roses.  We spent Saturday mostly relaxing, reading, and lounging in bed.

Sunday was the official VDay celebration for us.  Around 1:00pm I handed her a red gift bag and a card.  The card was silly – something about couples looking alike after time with a picture of two monkeys on it.  The gift was more than she expected.  I have this habit of setting a price limit on gifts, that she agrees to, then going WAY over it for her.  Drives her crazy, but secretly she loves it.

For months, Carey had been mentioning that she likes sapphires.  Every time we went to the mall she’d swing by the jeweler and look at the sapphires.  She mentioned over and over again that she liked them but really didn’t see the value in getting one right now.  Yeah, right.  I know a passive hint when I hear it.

So I bought her a sapphire and diamond necklace, on a thin chain of white gold.  I knew I did right when she saw it, gasped, and threw hand over her mouth.

Valentine’s Day was off to a good start.  The only thing left to do was the VDay dinner.  One of our favorite restaurants is Texas de Brazil.  If you haven’t been to Texas de Brazil you are doing yourself a serious injustice.  It is, bar none, the best steakhouse I have ever been to.  The meat beats Houston’s, Ruth’s Chris, and Morton’s.

Let me describe the experience.  You have to make reservations or else you’re waiting 90+ minutes to get seated.  You had better valet the car when you get there or else you’ll spend 30 minutes trying to park.  It’s that popular.  When we got in, gave our name to the hostess, and made our way to the bar, we were almost elbow to elbow with other patrons waiting to get in.

Everything about Texas de Brazil is about a fine dining experience.  They have a premium selection of liquors and wines, from Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac at $180.00 for 1.5oz to Silver Oak Cabernet for $250.00 a bottle, to the best luxury cigars this side of the Cuban embargo..  As tempting as it was to get a bottle of my favorite wine, we opted for more reasonably priced Cabernet and Riesling at the bar at around $12.00 a glass.

Just one of the great mets served at Texas de Brazil

Just one of the great meats served at Texas de Brazil

After we were called to be seated, our server, Oscar, took great pains to make us comfortable and explain how Texas de Brazil works.  We had been there before, but the premise does need explaining for those of you not familiar.

You are encouraged to try the salad bar before the main course.  This can be tricky, because the salad bar is amazing.  It’s not just salad; it’s meats, cheeses, pastas, and seafood.  If you’re not careful you’ll fill up on the salad bar and be too full for the meats.

After you are done with the salad bar, you are given a clean plate and a card.  The card is red on one side and green on the other.  This is important.  You don’t order a meal at Texas de Brazil.  You turn your card over so it is green and wait for the magic to begin.  There are dozens of servers walking the restaurant with huge, sizzling, skewers of meat from the kitchens.  When they see a green card facing up, they stop by your table and offer you some of the meat.  You get prime rib, new york strip, parmesan pork, parmesan chicken, roast pork, lamb chops, ribs, sausages, and more!  When your plate is full, or you need a break, just flip your card over so the red side is facing up.

Every meal comes with 2 sides; mashed potatoes and candied bananas.  And of course you can go back to the salad bar as often as you like.  And of course you can eat as much meat as you like.

The meat is simply amazing.  Savory, salty, rich, full-flavored – it’s cooked and seasoned to perfection.  I must have eaten six pounds of meat.

After we ate our fill of meats, we forced ourselves to partake of the yummy deserts.  I had the pecan pie and Carey had the creme brule.

After an hour and half, we spent about $180.00 on dinner (with tip and valet).  It was well worth it.  Each plate was $50.00, but add on the wine and desert and we quickly racked up a nice bill.  Texas de Brazil is not for everyday casual dining, but if you want to treat someone special to an amazing meal, this is the place to go.

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