Trade your regular old date night for something different this year. Step outside your date night comfort zone and you won’t regret taking it. I know as parents we’re tired and sometimes lucky enough to make it out the door on date night. You’ve got this and once you get there you won’t regret the extra effort, which when you think about it wasn’t so much of an effort anyway.
The first time I walked into Trade a few years ago, I fell in love despite the fact that I had just extracted a fairly cranky and tired child from the Children’s Museum and then walked him over unwillingly to the farmer’s market where I had a meeting set up and told him we were going to a ‘grown up’ restaurant for lunch. We definitely stood out from the usual lunch crowd who were at least a decade older than my son and younger than me and were dressed in business suits. But that first visit sealed the deal. I loved the space and the food was so good I can still remember exactly how certain dishes tasted and day dream about them. I was recently invited to a dinner at Trade to experience a #TradeParentsNightOut.
What I like even more than lunch at Trade, is spending a grown up night out. The location is perfect because you’re by the water and a stroll across the bridge and around Fort Point is a great way to work up an appetite or to spend hand in hand with your loved one after dinner. There is a parking garage right next to Trade, you can try to snag a spot on the street in the Financial district or for just a couple more dollars than the garage you can go all out and use the Valet parking.
Trade has a beautiful bar and an ideal menu if you just want to enjoy a few cocktails or a glass of wine and enjoy an assortment of small dishes. They are small plates but in terms of flavour and detail that goes into each dish you will not feel like you needed anything more. The other option is to settle into a table together or with friends and spend an entire night lost in a world of laughter, stories, the occasional parenting anecdote, as you drink and dine the evening away and stroll out into the street at the wee hours of the night (which for parents may be 10:30 p.m. – Don’t mock us! We’re up at 4 a.m. partying with the tots.) You will be trading your usual night at home lost in the tedium of cleaning and cooking and stepping on legos for a luxurious night of delicious food prepared by a chef who really understands his ingredients and a chef-owner who is a master of her trade. The boost of energy and joie de vivre you get from a great night out is something that benefits everyone in the family.
Fish Tank because grownups like to play too. This cocktail is for 2 (but I suggested a double date with good friends and share it with 4 unless you’re staying next door at the Intercontinental for the night.) #parentsjustwannhavefun
It was a bit spicy for some, which was fine by me because I could not stop eating this salmon poke with serrano, red onion, avocado and plantain chip bowl of perfection from the raw bar.
The falafel pancakes with tzatziki had a nice texture and were on top of some delicious purée underneath. They were grown up enough to enjoy with our cocktails, but simple enough that if we came as a family, the kids would enjoy them.
Okay so I almost don’t want this picture to be here. What I really want to do is put a black square over them like an X-rated photo. The photo just doesn’t do it justice. Even the best photo couldn’t do this little quali justice. This Buttermilk fried quail with harrisa aioli and pickled root vegetables is something I find myself day dreaming about. I don’t even usually like quail. This is like the best friend chicken you’ve never had.
Squash with muhhamara, which is a favourite dip of mine made with nuts and pomegranate. Trade’s version of muhhamara is magical.
When I go out to dinner, a flatbread is my last choice because it is so simple and I can make it at home. Trade’s flatbread’s are layered with lots of special delights (that I don’t make at home). This one is topped with lamb sausage, eggplant, Manchego, peppers and garlic yoghurt.
Salmon with shredded kale salad and a lemon-tahini vinaigrette. The crust on this salmon is full of flavour and perfectly crips.
Henry approves of these fries. It is what he ate when we came to lunch at Trade, while I indulged in a bowl full of grilled octopus.
Sometimes your date just wante a really great peice of meat and some comfortingly, fried and salty potatoes. This steak-frites is just that. You almost want to invite someone who is not an adventurous eater to join you for dinner just so you can steal some of her fries and a bite of her steak.
I love fish and I cook it fairly often, but this Black Bass was above and beyond any fish I’ve made or had. The arugula pesto was a shocking green on the white plate and a shock of freshness and flavour as you put it on your tongue.
I love mustard and I often forget to use it as a crust on chicken. This Oven roasted half chiken with fried potatoes, lemon aioli and charred romaine. The chicken itself was tender and juice but the mustard roasted into it made the dish another one I dream of having again soon.
Beautiful comfort food a cast iron dish with baked rigatoni and a spicy lamb ragu and provolone. I had a bite of this because I had run out of room, but just from that one bite, I know if I worked nearby I would get a drink at the bar and then order this to go at least once a week.
Rush Hour…what a waste of time. I say, stay in town, grab a seat at the bar and sip on this bourbon cocktail until traffic clears. Rush Hour at Trade is a cocktail made with Bulleit bourbon (you know I love Bourbon), lemon, honey, saffron and lavender.
I also happen to love ginger. This Ginger Ice Cream and TRADE brownie is outstanding. I don’t like brownies but this is airy and light and still chocolatey and rich. The chili chocolate sauce is just slightly spicy.
Milk and Cookies like only a fairy godmother could make you. This is chocolate shortbread with butter cream and crema spressa. I have no idea what crema spressa is exactly but it tasted like a cross between a pudding and a panna cotta. Whatever it is, we were practically wrestling each other for it like a pair of cranky siblings by the end of the night.
Isabelle got to be an honorary parent during parent’s night out (she met us after ballet). She won the wrestling match and got the last spoonfuls of that crema spressa.
Find out what all the #TRADEParentsNightOut experiences were like: