We’re Enjoying: Date Night

Tempura Beech Mushroom with Siracha Aioli at The Grape

Friday night Gary and I had a good old-fashioned date night.   We went for a cocktail, went to the movie and ended with a spectacular meal at one of our favorite spots, The Grape.  This wouldn’t seem to unusual, especially if this was a year ago, but since Gary left WFAA he has gone from seeing 400 movies a year in a theater to maybe 50….which means I have gone from seeing maybe 60 or 70 to about 20.  We love going to a theater, especially one like Magnolia, Angelika or Studio Movie Grill where you can enjoy a bottle of wine and some good snacks with your movie, just hard to find the time now.  So, Friday was the night…

Pre-Theater Cocktails

We decided on Woody Allen’s new film Midnight in Paris.  From the first scene to the last it was simply delightful, funny, engaging and would make anyone want to catch the next plane to Paris with a hope to experience any of its magic, and very well played by Owen Wilson. We had a bubbly and a martini before the film in the lounge at The Magnolia, and then took a bottle of white in to sip while we laughed.

Feeling in the romantic bistro mood after the movie, The Grape was an obvious and perfect choice.  Chef/Owner Brian Luscher and his partner, wife and Sommelier Courtney Luscher have made The Grape a destination for neighborhood couples looking for a quiet, romantic evening sipping wine at one of their candle lit tables or groups of friends ready to dive into any of Chef Brian’s house-made charcuterie, and of course the very well loved mushroom soup.  A new sous-chef has just come onboard, Danyele McPherson, and her influence is already popping up, especially in some of the items on their just introduced summer menu.

Spicy Summer Gazpacho at The Grape

I dove into a Spicy Summer Gazpacho soup with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber and beets topped with house-made fromage blanc and panzanella salad…..can it get any better!!!!  Colored a deep purple red (from the beets) with a spicy kick cooled just slightly with the creamy, silky cheese.  Gary also tried a new addition, a Tempura Beech Mushroom with a spicy smoky Siracha aioli.  A huge beech, or clamshell mushroom, fried until just crisp and not greasy, and served warm with the spicy, smoky sauce.  Incredible!  Washed down with a Merryvale Chardonnay for Gary and a Meiomi Pinot Noir from Belle Glos for me.  Cheers to a simply beautiful date night.


  1. What a beautiful evening, Hayley. I recently had those Beech mushrooms. Wunnerful, wunnerful. Also tried the gaspacho, but my fave is always his myriad of charcuterie. I had a chance to nibble this afternoon with Brian and a few of his chef pals at the Grape for lunch, and his terrine and pate rock the palate.


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