Date Night! Why? We are married, we don’t need date nights anymore!
Have you ever heard anyone say that? To many, a date night is a luxury, because you get so focused on work, domestic issues, and tending to the kids, that there ends being little to no time for romance.
This is when I feel and say that you should make the time. Why should any of that stop now because you are married? It may not happen as often as when you were dating each other, but I do think that it’s extremely important to make the time and put some effort into ensuring that the romance continues. A date night is one of those ways in which you can try to keep the spark alive or even reignite it.
My husband and I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Maximillien Restaurant, situated at the Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton, last Thursday, to sample their new Date Night Spring Menu. We arrived just before 19h00, so the restaurant was still very quiet, with us being amongst the first patrons to arrive for dinner. We received a very warm welcome from the staff and was directed to our table by our very professional and courteous server, Ronnie.
The first thing that caught my attention was the piano, I loved the sound of it playing in the background, it created a soothing ambience, but not too intrusive to those wanting to have a conversation. I also loved the choice of art on the wall, I meant to take a photo of those frames before we left, but I didn’t, so I’ll blame it on the wine…let me tell you about it.
I know we’re supposed to have white wine with fish or chicken but both my husband and I prefer red wine. Ronnie gave us some options to choose from and we selected a Ryk Neethling wine, called “Val de Vie”. We both had never tasted this wine before, so our sense of adventure to try something new on this date night kicked in without us evening knowing it. Looking into each other’s eyes, saying “cheers” as our glasses met, we take our first sip each and after a few seconds nod in agreement that it was a good wine. We were happy with our selection. It is certainly a wine we will be buying in future.
The Starter was the Chef’s salad, to share. The key ingredients were biltong, blue cheese and butternut. I usually am not a lover of salad, although I wish I was. My hubby suggested that I try some and so I did and wow, what a marvellous combination of spices and flavours that made me enjoy this salad, so much so that I had to have more.
The only other time I eat butternut is on the rare occasion, and then, only as an accompaniment to a steak. This butternut infused with an urban touch, made is thoroughly enjoyable. It is a relatively simple dish, but the use of fresh ingredients and some creativity from the Chef Sylvester Nair, makes it truly delicious. At this stage of our date and the meal, I was already anticipating the rest of the dishes!
There are 2 options that you could choose from, so we each decided to try them both. I must admit that I am but wary of set menus…….the lack of choice may not be to everyone’s liking. So I pondered over the menu with some trepidation.
I chose the chicken dish, which was a rolled chicken, stuffed with hazelnuts and parsley butter, bacon, wild mushrooms, green pea puree with confit cherry tomatoes, served with and creamed potato on the side. I could tell by the way that it was plated that Chef Sylvester Nair was all about the attention to detail. The presentation was exquisite, and which certainly awakes some of your senses, and this definitely adds to the dining experience.
The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender and juicy. I was mesmerized from the first bite. Good food, good wine, with the man I love, sitting right opposite me, what more could I ask for, for a perfect date night?
My husband knows that I am very fussy, so I could see that he was happy to see that I had no complaints. To say that I was pleasantly surprised, would be an understatement. I can’t recall the last time I had such an excellent chicken dish. Everything on the plate was carefully selected to complement each other. It was absolutely divine!
My hubby had the Sole en Papillote – sole served with mussels, clams, a white wine veloute, tomatoes and spring onions. The presentation here is quite unique, as the dish is unwrapped in front you, releasing all the lovely aromas at once. The seafood was cooked perfectly….juicy and tender, but the sauce in which it was cooked, together with the seafood flavour induced into the sauce was absolutely delicious and the perfect accompaniment.
It looked divine and it was indeed, as my husband kindly shared a bite across the table with me. I smiled inherently when he did this, because when we were dating, I often had a taste of whatever he was eating! I love how fond memories are triggered during our date nights, they bring back pleasant thoughts, but at the same time, we make more new memories.
It was halfway into our meal that I could feel the effects of the red wine, none that I wish to complain about, quite the contrary, I love the feeling brought on by the wine. By now the restaurant also got rowdier – well to my husband it did, me on the other hand, was feeling the music with familiar love songs from a few years back. That’s just our different personalities observing different things.
It was relaxing to just sit there, without having to think about anything else except each other and of course, we spoke about our child. As it was date night, I did make more effort on my appearance and the choice of perfume I wore. I’m not saying I don’t care about these things on any other day – I just feel date night is different to the other days we go out. This is about us, a celebration of our love and we need not have a wedding anniversary or any other special occasion to celebrate our love.
At this point in time, I questioned the price of the Date Night Experience. I tried to remember if it was R400 per person, or R400 per couple. Surely not the latter……not for such a divine dining experience, with a full 3 course meal and a complimentary bottle of wine!
But it is R400 per couple! I must admit, I was a bit sceptical at first, before we got there, thinking or questioning in my mind, what you could possibly get for R400. I’m still mind blown by the fact that this Date Night experience costs only R400 per couple. It is unquestionably exceptional value for money! I would even go far as to say….under-priced!
Even if you are not married and simply want to impress someone on a date, you won’t go wrong with this Date Night package.
Dessert was a Maximillien Dessert Platter, to be shared. I thought that sharing a dessert platter was such a subtle but romantic gesture. I quite enjoyed that. There was cheese cake, macaroons, chocolate, ice-cream, strawberries, fudge and all beautifully topped with some flowers.http://peanutgallery247.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IMG_9146.mov
Throughout our meals, the service was nothing less than excellent. Ronnie was very attentive to our needs, without being too intrusive. Unlike a restaurant we had lunch at the day before – the server was so delayed, unenthusiastic and made us feel like we were a burden to her. Thankfully Ronnie and the rest of the team at Maximillien didn’t give off that impression. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know that I enjoy customer service excellence. It’s one of the defining factors that makes me decide to go back to a place or not.
In this instance, Maximillien definitely has my vote, there was absolutely nothing I could fault on our experience.
If you’re in the Gauteng area, I highly recommend you treat your partner to this wonderful Date Night special, you will score lots of brownie points…all that’s left for you to do is sit back, relax, gaze at each other, sip on some wine enjoying a scrumptious meal and share quality time with your loved one.
Quality time, quality food in the very heart of Sandton!
Thank you to the Maximillien Team for an awesome Date Night out!
To stand a chance to win a Date Night at the Maximillien Restaurant, check out this post on my Facebook Page for more details.
For more information, check out the Maximillien Website