I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014. See the full list here.
8. Try one new Omaha bar or restaurant each month. We love our city, but tend to go to our old favorite places all the time. Time to branch out.
It was high time for a date night. A perfect opportunity to go to try a new restaurant. I keep a list on my phone of restaurants I want to try (and books I want to read and movies I want to see and…) but I was torn between 3 new-ish places that have opened up downtown: Wilson & Washburn, Kitchen Table and Block 16. Part of the problem was that on the surface, they seem pretty similar – part hipster, part hyper local, part new American and part good online reviews, and they’re all within 1/4 mile of each other.
I couldn’t pick just one, so we thought we’d try all three, progressive dinner style. Start with appetizers at one, then move on to dinner, then dessert. I turned to their online menus for direction.
Appetizers were an easy pick – Kitchen Table has a great happy hour from 4-6 PM, so we headed downtown right after work (or maybe a tad early). Half price apps and $3 select wines are hard to beat.
Kitchen Table is exactly as hipster as I thought it would be, with teeny flowers and wine served in Mason jars, natch.
Their menu is small-ish but interesting. They have a few staple items, plus a menu selection that changes weekly. They also have a few dishes they offer just that day. We were there early – a little before 5, so it was pretty quiet.
Their appetizer selection is unique, but AWESOME. I wanted to try it all. We settled on popcorn & pickles (homemade giardiniera – delish!), ricotta & berry bruschetta, and a housemade pimiento cheese spread. I wasn’t as impressed with the cheese spread, and kind of wished we’d had went with the caramelized onion dip instead. Serving sizes were shareable but not large. But, during happy hour, 3 appetizers and 3 glasses of wine only ran us $20 including tax & tip (which was maybe unnecessary/overdone since we ordered at the counter? I never know what to do with that.). We’ll definitely be back for HH.
Despite our sort of large first course, we headed to Block 16 for dinner. We’d heard great things about their food from friends. We got there just in time – tables filled up just after we ordered our food and sat down.
Block 16 definitely caters to a vegan/vegetarian crowd but has offers meat entrees as well. Plus, they have pig art on the wall. Love it.
I forgot to take pictures of our food, but Chad had salmon and veggies en papillote and I had a spare rib french dip sandwich and side salad. Both meals were definitely good, but didn’t live up to the hype in my opinion. Our dinners and one bottled cider ran us $40 after tax & tip (again with the counter ordering and the not knowing what to do) and that felt a little pricey. We’ll probably keep it in our rotation of downtown restaurants and I’m definitely going to use Block 16 as a resource to find a vegan to have coffee with, but Block 16 likely won’t become a regular of ours.
There are very few days of the year when Chad and I both enjoy being outside. He has a low tolerance for humidity, and I get cold easily.
Our date night was perfect weather for Team Wastell and it was nice to walk around downtown and in the Old Market after dinner.
La Buvette – site of our first date. No turning around!
Wilson & Washburn didn’t have much on their dessert menu that sounded good, so we headed back to Brix in midtown for their strawberry shortcake and drinks – coffee for her and whiskey for him. We’ll try W&W another evening.
I love this city of ours. And my husband.