it's been almost a year now since Mike and i were in a long-distance relationship. although we both agree that long-distance was good for us, we're both incredibly happy that it's no longer the case. we see each other just about every weekend, so we've definitely been taking advantage of our relatively close proximity to spend time together. it's been fun to have him around to explore Chicago with me!
since seeing each other regularly is 'old news' these days, i've found that i appreciate date night even more. and it's even better when it's a full date day, which is what happened last weekend! we decided to rent some bikes and ride along the lakefront path, both for exercise and to enjoy the beautiful weather we had. on our ride, we decided to stop at Lincoln Park Zoo - one of our favorite things to do together. after watching the monkeys and apes for quite some time (they're incredibly fascinating to us) and walking through the cat house to admire the lion and few cervals they have, we got back on our bikes to continue riding. after what felt like hours (it was pretty toasty outside, so every minute felt like 30), we finally made it back to my apartment to clean up and get ready for dinner. we took a fast-paced walk down to P.F. Chang's and were seated immediately, at which time we could have probably eaten anything put in front of us. hungry doesn't begin to describe how we felt.
P.F. Chang's has a new seasonal menu featuring perfect pairings with new dishes and wine pairings (and craft beers!). my family is particularly fond of P.F. Chang's and i dine there probably about every 2 months or so. i'm hooked on their crispy green beans, chicken lettuce wraps, and chang's spicy chicken, but you really can't go wrong with any dish! although i tend to stick to my ways, especially when it comes to ordering food, i was excited to try some items off the new menu to broaden my horizons a bit. i'm not a particularly adventurous person when it comes to food, but Mike is willing to try just about anything and there's almost a 100% chance that he'll eat every last bite (even if he doesn't like it much!). he tends to eat about 1 1/2 meals every time we go out to eat - his and the leftovers from mine.
after browsing the menu for a few minutes, we settled on starting with the Heirloom Tomato Salad (we wanted the Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Spring Rolls but they were out) and a couple entrees. his was the Chiang Mai Curry Noodles with Chicken (the man loves curry, which i do not share an affinity for) and mine was the Korean BBQ Chicken Stir-Fry. i ordered the wine pairing for the salad and Mike enjoyed a beer.
the salad was a yummy combination of fresh tomatoes, avocado, basil, and a zesty dressing. i love a good vegetable salad (sans lettuce), so i was excited to try it! the mix of flavors and textures was refreshing and tasty, and went perfectly with my glass of white wine. when our entrees arrived, we were both pretty excited to dig in and give them a try. Mike's plate was clear within about 7 minutes and then he helped himself to some of my Korean BBQ. i'd never tried any sort of dish like that before and i was pleasantly surprised by how much i liked it. like i said, i'm not particularly adventurous with food, so i'm always hesitant to order an entire dish that i'm not 100% sure that i'll like, but i can honestly say that i'd order this entree again. the mix of veggies, chicken, and kimchi slaw was wonderful. the veggies still had a bit of crunch to them and the chicken was nice and tender. it had a bit of a kick to it, but nothing my wine couldn't handle!
overall, we really enjoyed our meal. it was light and refreshing, but also incredibly filling. we walked out of the restaurant happy as clams.
P.F. Chang's is currently running a Perfect Pairing Contest, where one lucky winner will win an all-inclusive food trip to Boston, including a personal tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery and a craft beer pairing dinner at P.F. Chang's! You can enter the contest here.
this post is sponsored by P.F. Chang's. all opinions and images are my own.