dining out

I’ve already established that I’m a minimalist when it comes to material possessions. So nearly 11 years ago, shortly after my husband and I married, I began a tradition that we instantly clung to and wholeheartedly enjoy today. We don’t exchange presents. That is, we don’t exchange material goods for birthdays and anniversaries–Christmas is our only exception.

Instead of gifting the other the latest electronic device or a piece of jewelry, we go out. We frequent a fancy restaurant that we would never otherwise step foot in and go all out by ordering a nice bottle of wine and all courses. Or, better yet, if available, we usually choose the tasting menu with the wine pairing. What a luxury!

These special occasion nights out, even more enjoyable now that we have a 17-month-old, proffer two reluctant shoppers and insecure gift givers a reprieve from the stress of finding that perfect gift for each occasion. My husband and I would never call ourselves foodies—in fact, my love of cooking and our one-income budget necessitate eating most of our meals at home—but because of this tradition, we’ve delightfully sampled some of DC’s finest restaurants: Komi, Citronelle, Palena, The Caucus Room, 1789, Tabard Inn, Marcel’s, and the list goes on.

One benefit of these dates, besides having a worthy excuse to dress up and escape the house, is that we feel no guilt at spending an inordinate sum on a fancy dinner because it’s our gift. The best part of this gift is sharing these experiences together in a city we love and call home.

When it comes to recommending DC’s staple restaurants, Rebecca has no clue. But she has plenty of suggestions if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion. Rebecca writes about reading, cooking, gardening, and life at home with a 17-month-old at Dr. Blondie.

Photo credit: Rebecca Thomas