Date Night in Hell’s Kitchen…


Like a deer in the headlights…or short grain rice in a paella pan (:

versus the alternative: Hell Date in our Kitchen…which generally includes tired, hungry hysterical kids, spilled whatever and a counter full of disaster…aka a typical Wednesday night at home.   Recently, with my saintly sister-in-law visiting, the husband and I jumped at the opportunity to have her watch the kids so we could spend a little long needed time away from the cuckoo’s nest.   After a couple work-swamped and kid-frayed months, a night where we could reconnect…an evening to escape a bit.

Some strained couples might very well find their way back to each other over a dim-lit restaurant table or sitting together peacefully in a dark theater (the only thing I’d find is him snoring annoyingly next to me)…but our road” home” has always led to and from Spain.  My longing for and his love of the place is the very first thing we discussed on our fateful first introduction to one another.  10 years and 2 kids in, we still (delusionally) plan kid-free distant holidays on the Iberian coast and Andalusian countryside.  Spain is our place.  Our panacea.  Well, if you can’t go to your panacea, you can sure as Barcelona rebuild date night over a kick-ass paella and mouthwatering tapas!  Turns out the fastest way back to both of our hearts is through our Spanish food-loving stomachs.   And so it’s a date.  And we agree to meet a Summer Tapas and Paella class at Sur La Table on W. 57th. …


wrestling my apron…not the most auspicious start…

An expansive and impressive cooking class space greets us…along with another 6 couples and the charming and energetic Chef Robert Ro.  Our menu for the evening: Sauteed Shrimp with Pimenton and Sherry, Majorcan Flatbread with Caramelized Onion, Pine Nuts and Raisin, Vegetarian Paella with Piquillo Peppers and Artichokes and Chicken Paella with Chorizo and Asparagus.

"This sure beats me snoring through a chick-flick!"

“This sure beats me snoring through a chick-flick!”

Interactive, fun and delicious food: an absolutely great environment to reconnect, learn some new skills (mainly, the firefighting wonders of kosher salt after one of our eager classmates set the paella pan on fire…shout-out “Pyro” Ron!) while preparing a fantastic meal that you get to rewardingly devour.  Honestly, one of the best dates I’ve had in years with this old guy.

A little affection...

A little affection…

Classes generally run about $59-$79 per person which includes all food and use of cooking materials and tools.   August classes include:

Coastal Italian Cuisine, Summer In Provence and Taste of Tuscany, etc…Check Sur La Table’s monthly calendar for many more class options.


Veggie Paella fixins’


The start of chicken/chorizo paella…


The cooking passionate Chef Robert Ro.


He answered the call of Group Leader…lead, playa’, lead (:


Veg goodness…


Working the dough…


Majorcan flatbread with caramelized onions, pine nuts and raisins.


Veggie Paella Yum.

Te amo, mi Viejo.  Gracias por una noche romantica (:







About the Author

Mommy despot, marital dictator and dinner demagogue who--in reality--perpetually finds herself a tousled hair away from the inmates storming the Asylum. Territory? New York City, where she precariously navigates urban parenting as the aspirational wonder mom to 2 beautiful girls and mediocre wife to 1 patient husband.

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