Friday, December 11, 2009

Moms' Holiday

There are a lot of events in The Heights. Monthly we have First Saturdays. We have White Linen Night and annual home tours. The Holiday season is even more active. Holiday on 19th, Mistletoe Madness, the holiday home tour and Lights In The Heights. When the season starts, The Heights puts on its festive best.

However, there is one annual event that gets minimal notice outside of one small social circle. Well, maybe not so small. Heights Kids Group has over 600 families. That's some social circle. And one night a year 40 moms from the group have a night out and get treated like A-listers.

This was my 3rd year attending "the event"- it doesn't really have a snappy title like "Mistletoe Madness." It's just the monthly Moms' Night Out. However, December is the only MNO the group has where we end up with a waiting list. It goes like this:
Shade provides a 3 course special menu, along with Happy Hour wines by the glass, for 40 people. First 40 to RSVP get their seats. The rest go on the waiting list. A couple spots will always pop up at the last minute, though. Having kids will do that...

Before dinner we get the Oprah treatment, with several stores on the block staying open late exclusively for us. Hors d'oeuvres are passed and drinks served as we shop for gifts and trinkets for ourselves. Sometimes a discount is offered.

Heights Moms getting some private time to shop for themselves or others. Noshies and drinks were served at several 19th St merchants who stayed open late for the group.

After shop/nosh/drink is over, everyone meets at the bar at Shade and waits to be seated. We get a corner of the restaurant to ourselves and fun goodie bags (I guess they're called "Swag bags" by real A-listers) from 19th St merchants.

The tables at Shade set with goodie bags

Gifts, gift certificates and discounts for Heights shops

The set menu starts us out with a green salad and finishes us with a trio of mini desserts. In the middle, there are 3 lovely entree choices. This year there was a vegetarian plate with things like chicken fried asparagus, a shrimp and scallop pasta, and a pan roasted chicken breast. I had the chicken and it was excellent. I think you have to do something really right to make a chicken breast special and Shade does. I have had it on their lunch menu several times and it's excellent every time.

My pan roasted chicken breast

One thing that is nice and interesting about this night is many people come in little groups to shop and eat together. But several people will just show up on their own, knowing that they have at least one thing- motherhood- in common with everyone else. Whether moms come alone or with friends, everyone ends up sitting at large tables and inevitably you meet someone new (or put a face with a name you see post on our forum). It's a great social event. It's fun, good food and a little something extra for moms that really makes us feel special. And we all deserve that.

Mixing with friends and meeting new ones

On a side note: My husband and I took my brother to Shade when he was here for Thanksgiving. We had something great to drink that night and I couldn't help order this amazing bottle to share with my friends at dinner. Want an earthy, sumptuous but easy to drink red wine? Order this Washington state Grenache (90% Grenache, 10% Syrah) from K Vinters: The Boy. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics--looks like you all had a great time, as always! We absolutely love our new city, but we miss our friends in the Heights. Happy Holidays!