A rare date night

Last night Mike and I were able to take a rare opportunity for a date night without the kiddo. We took a cooking class, which was his gift to me for my 30th. Five extra points for not getting me a gag gift, and another 15 for not getting me a last-minute gift. I have to admit, the gift of sharing an experience is much more thoughtful than a new Coach bag. (Which was my go-to, pick-your-own birthday gift in my 20s. Not that I’m complaining.)

We arrived at a beautiful loft in San Francisco, which doubles as a home and the location for First Class Cooking. Our host, Emily, was incredibly thorough and had some great tips for slicing, dicing, blending, and baking our way to an awesomely refreshing summer meal.

Wino

Mike didn’t waste any time pouring me a glass of my favorite organic Moscato. He also made it abundantly clear that he would give up our four-bedroom home on the East Bay for a one-bedroom loft with this view. Yeah…no.

Spanish gazpacho

First up, authentic Spanish gazpacho. It was cool, refreshing, smooth, and I would’ve never thought there was bread in it! I believe this was my first gazpacho, although I was informed there are many, many variations of this dish that it’s possible I had it and didn’t know it.

Basil butter corn

As a side, roasted summer corn with basil butter. I had a Ratatouille-like epiphany moment when I tasted the basil-butter-corn combo.

Mahi mahi ceviche

And what we’d been waiting for, the Mahi Mahi ceviche. A delightful change from the typical shrimp ceviche we usually have. We found out the place to go is Pier 33 for fresh fish–if you want something that was doing the backstroke in the ocean yesterday and on your plate today.

Raspberry rhubarb tart

Last but definitely not least, raspberry rhubarb meringue tart. Apparently I couldn’t resist a nibble before getting a photo. The tartness of the raspberries paired with the crust was out of this world. And rhubarb! What the heck? Where have you been all my life! Sending the hubby to the hardware store to pick me up a propane tank so I can brûlée my way to meringue heaven.

All in all, it was a great night to kick off my 30s. Good company, great food, spectacular view.

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