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Date Nights, Desserts and Fire

I am amazed at the amount of planning that goes into a date night when you have little ones. Babysitters have to be coordinated, a list of instructions has to be composed, fees negotiated…and let me tell you, today’s babysitter makes more than the $4 an hour I topped out at in my teens.

Do you do the dinner-and-movie-night? Then you are sitting in the latest LoneRangerPacificRimManofSteel blockbuster only to realize halfway through that the movie is not good. When the meter is running, it’s a lot to pay for a crappy movie!

It is a ton of work to arrange that night out away from the kids. You want to be sure it’s a night well-spent. So here are some definite ways to help you end that date night on a sweet note: some of the best desserts in town.

Image courtesy of Sardina's
Image courtesy of Sardina’s

I am going to start with an all-time favorite of mine, the Lemon Cake at Sardina’s. Located on Longley Lane, Sardina’s is run by Susan Sardina and Brett Whiting. This husband and wife team offer a full menu of Italian specialties, amazing fresh pastas and a homemade mozzarella that you can’t miss.  However, my husband will walk through fire for a slice of that Lemon Cake they serve. It comes out looking like a normal slice of lemon cake with some sauce and powdered sugar on it. You take that first bite, it is warm, sweet and tart all at the same time. Suddenly, it is a dueling fork match for each bite and you are scraping the plate to get more of the lemon citrus sauce!

One night my very jet-lagged husband nodded off during a group birthday dinner at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse and woke up to a table full of candle-laden Pizookies. He thought we were trying to light the place on fire. Hey, we were celebrating five birthdays, the candles were warranted and Pizookies are delicious! We all love a warm, gooey, fresh-from-the-oven, oversized cookie with scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the top. But what makes Pizookies all the more amazing is that when you order a regular-sized Chocolate Chunk, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Peanut Butter, Red Velvet or Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Pizookie, a portion of the purchase price goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. So after the movies at Summit Sierra or a shopping trip to Scheel’s at Legends, maybe stop by BJ’s for a bite of heaven.

The Gianduja, an amazing chocolate cake with caramelized bananas. Image courtesy of Homage Bakery
The Gianduja, an amazing chocolate cake with caramelized bananas. Image courtesy of Homage Bakery

This summer, Homage Bakery has your date night covered with desserts, drinks and entertainment. Music starts at 7:30 pm and runs until about 9:30 or 10 pm. Depending on the night, you could be relaxing with a glass of wine, beer or a hand-crafted coffee drink and listening to jazz, acoustic, folk or rock, while enjoying some of the most inventive and luscious desserts in Reno.Their special dessert menu changes each week, but hopefully for you, features their Monster cookie with M&Ms and peanuts, the Gianduja (a chocolate sourdough cake, with a bourbon ganache, caramelized banana and hazelnut croquant, which is a cookie-like confection), one of their seasonal crisps with fresh fruit or a macaroon ice cream sandwich.  Bonus: you can feed the kids dinner and maybe even tuck the little ones in before you head over to their Ralston Street and Fifth Street location near St. Mary’s.

A communal table and an order of white chocolate bread pudding will make for a sweet end to date night. Image courtesy of Old Granite Street Eatery.
A communal table and an order of white chocolate bread pudding will make for a sweet end to date night. Image courtesy of Old Granite Street Eatery.

After a perfect night at the Pioneer Center, you might want to linger for a little longer to talk about the performance. Head across the parking lot to Old Granite Street Eatery, take a seat at the communal table and order an after-dinner drink and their White Chocolate Bread Pudding. This decadent bread pudding is studded with white chocolate and covered with a creme anglaise-type sauce. It has been described as everything from heavenly to perfection and is worth every spoonful.

Maybe you just need a low-key date night, or maybe the babysitter fell through at the last minute. No worries: bring the kids along to Yogurt Beach. With three locations in Reno and Spanish Springs, Yogurt Beach has a cool treat for a warm evening. The Mayberry location even has a nice grassy area for the kids to play on while you savor the last spoonfuls of the Thin-Mint-Cookie-&-Cheesecake-frozen-yogurt-sprinkled-with roasted-nuts masterpiece you created, as your honey chows down on their own personal Creamsicle made with the Beach’s Madagascar Vanilla yogurt and Valencia Orange sorbet.

All of these desserts required intense market-research and are guaranteed to leave you and your sweetie perfectly satiated on your special date night. But if I missed any, please feel free to leave it in the comments. My own sweetie loves market-research too!

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About Shelle Murach

Shelle Murach
Shelle Murach has been an Aunt since 1985. She specializes in saying things like, “Should that child be doing that to her brother?” “Where did that juice box go?” "Can Aunt Shelle have some of your Cheez-its?” She is an expert at attending dance recitals, soccer games and ice skating competitions all while clapping or cheering at the appropriate moments.While she is very good at passing out cake at birthday parties, due to an unfortunate incident with a stick, her husband has made her promise to never again help with piñatas. Something about lawsuits and personal injury nonsense. She precariously balances being a full-time Aunt with a career in PR and has found that many of her client management skills can also be used on her various nieces and nephews. She is very excited to be part of Reno Mom’s Blog where she will focus on the Reno food and events scene, booster seats and face paint are optional. You can check out her blog at Care & Feeding in Reno, where she desperately needs to post some new stories and recipes. Trust me, she knows, it is on the list.

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