On Beating Baby Brain

A few weeks ago, we started planning our first kid-free date night since Sam was born. We lined up Mike’s parents to babysit and expected great things from Dinner Lab’s Harajuku Nights, an east-meets-west, Japanese-themed evening of intrigue. We love that Dinner Lab transports us out of the bubble of people, places and food we normally encounter. Each event is unique, and we were ready for a little adventure.

But there was one problem. The day before, we never received the email disclosing the event’s location. Upon further investigation, it became clear that we never actually purchased the tickets…

Baby Brain – 1, Alli and Mike – 0.

Leaning on his quick wit and an adorable wide-eyed picture of Sam, Mike tweeted Dinner Lab with our predicament. The food gods and good souls at Dinner Lab smiled upon us and squeezed us into the 9:00 seating at the last minute. Thanks Dinner Lab, you’re our hero!

We ventured to Friberg Photography Studio in South Minneapolis where Chef Chris Bailey translated Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s works into five incredible courses, each based on an excerpt from the writer’s novels. We ate with our awesome new friends Emily and Derrick who recognized me from the halls of General Mills. Our favorite dishes ranged from pork shoulder with seared grits to short rib pastrami to a refreshing cucumber signature cocktail. Yum.

In the end, the night provided us with exactly what we were looking for – great food and great company in a fun setting, plus we managed to stay out past midnight. I’d say our first kid-free date night was a major success and we beat Baby Brain into submission.

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks



  1. Allison O

    Love love love this post! Great job using the power of social media! Sounds like a wonderful evening!

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