As a fun spin on making resolutions and setting new goals for 2014, a creative idea came to me.  It would be recorded as a unique relationship building goal called DiFfErEnT DiSh.  The concept is very simple and should prove to keep my courtship with the beautiful Mrs. Nellie happy and healthy for another year.  Which shouldn’t be hard, I mean we are still pretty much newly weds!

How it works: Essentially my spouse and I have agreed to setting up a date night each month this year where we will visit a new eatery or trendy restaurant that we have never been to before. And for an added measure of spiciness, I decided that we would alternate months and keep secret our selections until the moment of arrival.

1.9.2014 – MARIN

The MARIN Restaurant and Bar.

The MARIN Restaurant and Bar was host to a friendly vibe, warm decor and good music. My sweetie surprised me with her choice and all I can say is “well-played”, she has set the bar! #DiFfErEnTDiSh

Our special dinner date was to start promptly at 7:30 P.M. on a casual Thursday evening. After getting spiffed up we left the house and Nellie navigated us downtown. I thought to my self that this was going to be interesting. After having worked in the vicinity for several years, I had a preconceived notion that I had pretty much tried all the restaurants downtown, but I guess I was wrong.

When we arrived at the MARIN, we were happy to find a close public parking option that was both affordable and somewhat heated (bonus – especially in January). I snapped a couple of pictures of the entrance as we made our way inside.  Nellie and I were both promptly greeted and were soon sat at a cozy table in the middle of the establishment.  The staff was very gracious and everyone seemed to be in a warm mood.  Once we were sat we finally had the chance to let the amenities and decor sink in. It had a nice atmosphere one that was best described by Nellie as “modern, sheek and classy”, for a second there I had thought she had started on a tangent about herself, lol.

I couldn’t have agreed with her more, the place was charming and the accompanying music was really good.  I thought about asking what satellite radio channel they were playing.  It was a consortium of classic rock and smooth mellow rifts that blended well. Thankfully it was not too loud and we were able to finally do what we had primarily set out to do, spend time together talking and sharing about our work week.

We discussed in detail about things that were keeping us on our toes at the office and of course the latest gossip from our friendship circles. As we were discussing things we perused the MARIN’s dinner selections. Their seemingly Paleo influenced style menu was perfect for us as we both swore off carbs this month in an effort to combat the effects of too many holiday treats. Though the options were limited, they did offer a blend of different protein based dishes that were accompanied by a couple nicely prepared sides. I would consider the fair to be a bit on the spendy side for american, but once you calculate in the attentive service and atmosphere, you find yourself agreeing with the overall cost for the experience.

DiFfErEnT DiSh @ MARIN! Great food, enjoyed with the best company!

DiFfErEnT DiSh @ MARIN! Great food, enjoyed with the best company!

A couple of glasses of wine kept us company as we waited for our entrées which were served up shortly after. We both found them to be very well prepared; hats off to their head and sous-chefs.  I can tell that they are all about quality and not quantity, which I appreciated, yummy! Nellie had their roasted chicken while I had the pork tenderloin, we finished and being too full for dessert, paid our tab and made our way home.  It was a fun date and we really like this spot, we will be back again.

MARIN Recap:

  • Food – 4/5 stars
  • Decor – 4/5 stars
  • Music – 4/5 stars
  • Service – 4/5 stars
  • Price – $$$