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The years of mixed tapes and candy hearts are over.

February 16, 2009

Guess who made dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day for February 15?

ME!!!

Yeah. Can you tell I’m new at this whole “Valentine’s Day” bit?

When Erik and I woke up on Saturday morning, I decided to scroll through my email using my iPhone. I saw a confirmation email about our 5Ninth reservation pop up so I clicked on it. As I scrolled through the message, Erik says, “Woah, woah, woah, wait a second…”

“What?” I said.

He pointed at the date. The date which said: “Sunday, February 15, 2009.”

Oh shit!

I panicked. It was only 8:30 in the morning so it was too late to call the restaurant to beg to change the date, so I flipped over to OpenTable.com, which is the website I use to make my dinner reservations. We looked up 5Ninth to see if they had any openings at any other time that night…

Nothing. The whole evening was booked.

Apologizing profusely (and with Erik being very kind and considerate), we looked up other options. Using the OpenTable iPhone application (I swear I am not being paid by OpenTable – just a very loyal user), I was able to scroll down a list of restaurants in Manhattan that had availabilities at 6pm that night. Most didn’t. Most were completely booked within a 2 hour window of 6pm.

I scrolled down, looking at dozens of restaurants I couldn’t have described to you if my life depended on it. I scrolled down to the S section, to check if a couple of restaurant I had considered were available. Lo and behold, Savore, my back-up restaurant, did have a 5:30 p.m. opening. Upon conferring with my other trusty local website, Yelp.com, we made the reservations.

Crisis averted in less than 30 minutes.

The rest of our Valentine’s Day went very smoothly. We got dressed and took a bus to Port Authority. We weaved through crowds of people on our way to the Ethel Barrymore theater to see Speed-the-Plow. The play was wonderful. Our performance starred the three main actors, William H. Macy, Raul Esparza and Elisabeth Moss. Neither Erik or I knew a thing about the play, but we knew we wanted to see William H. Macy.

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The play is about a pair of Hollywood producers who are going to make some silly action movie with no plot or point, but they have a chance encounter with a young secretary who encourages one of them (William H. Macy) to make a film based off an incomprehensible, metaphysical novel about the end of the world. I don’t want to ruin the ending for anyone, but it was a mix of comedy, drama, romance and existential thinking that made the hour and a half play go by very quickly and gave us a lot to think about.

When the play was over, we wandered around Times Square, since we had a couple of hours to kill until our reservation. We hung out at the M & M Store, and then grabbed some Dale & Thomas popcorn before taking in the view from the center of Times Square, in the island between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.

Dinner at Savore was wonderful! It was almost fate that I had made the reservation for the wrong date because nothing about my dinner was bad. Appetizer was a lobster and asparagus salad, followed by a fettuccine pasta with sun dried tomatoes and artichokes (so it was much lighter than the heavy Alfredo sauce). For dessert, we split a berry cheesecake and apple tart, which were both amazing and delicious. The restaurant was very cute, and the acoustics were accommodating, so Erik and I were able to hold a conversation without yelling at each other (a rarity at many of the crowded Manhattan restaurants). The location was also ideal, just a block from the Spring Street subway station in Soho, making it easily accessible and the perfect end to a day of shopping in Soho (had we been doing that, of course).

All in all, it was a great day. Unlike many of the horror stories I hear about Valentine’s Day plans, our “oops!” moment turned out to make the day even better!

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day too!

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