New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.
Hunkering down home-side is the rule of the day. And while chez living room is getting a little repetitive, jazzing up a stay-at-home rendez vous is definitely possible; it just takes a little creativity and a little help from the resources at hand. Luckily, many New Jersey restaurants and shops are offering curbside pickup and delivery options — something great for us and REALLY great for their businesses.
Combining your delicious dinner to go with a movie transforms your living room into the perfect venue for your date night. Between streaming and DVD services, so many choices are available. To make it even more fun, we matched our movies with our meals.
Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night where you and your date aren’t the only perfect pair!
What a Show!
A little comedic relief is always good in trying times, and who better to rely on than Mel Brooks. “History of the World, Part 1” (1981) is a comedic masterpiece featuring cameos from so many actors, including Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn and the film debut of dancer Gregory Hines. From The Stone Age to the French Revolution, you will be entertained and happily distracted.
To go with the film’s musical number “The Inquisition,” we settled on Spanish food, and you can’t go wrong with pick-up or delivery from Chateau of Spain. Since 1975 this Spanish and Portuguese restaurant has been serving up Iberian favorites in Newark. You’ll love their Paella Valenciana with simmered clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, lobster, chicken and pork with saffron rice. Vegetable paella with mushrooms, spinach, eggplant, zucchini, squash, peppers and onions with saffron rice is also available.
And as Mel Brooks says, try the wine!
For more information about and ordering from Chateau of Spain, visit www.chateauofspain.com.
Have What She’s Having
You don’t have to wait 12 years and three months to find love on a date night when you watch “When Harry Met Sally” (1989). This rom com takes you into the lives of Harry Burns and Sally Albright (played by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) as they ponder whether men and women can really be friends.
After the classic scene in Katz’s Deli in Manhattan, you’re sure to get hungry for Harry’s pastrami sandwich or maybe even Sally’s simple turkey on white bread. Harold’s New York Deli has what you’re craving, in plentiful portions.
For more information about Harold’s, visit www.haroldsfamousdeli.com.
The Lady and the Steak
Nothing says escape like a good Western and “The Quick and the Dead” (1995), directed by Sam Raimi, is an action-packed good time. Set in 1881 in the small town of Redemption, “The Lady” (Sharon Stone) arrives just in time for a quick draw competition where you’re either quick, or you’re … well, you get it. Add in a young Leonardo DiCaprio, villainous Gene Hackman and an up-and-coming Russell Crowe (in his first American movie) and you’ve got a classic.
Nothing goes better with a Western than a great steak and John's Meat Market in Scotch Plains has prime beef, cut in-house and aged to perfection. Pick up at their family-owned store in Scotch Plains or have it delivered.
For more information about John's Meat Market, visit JohnsMarket.com.
A Royal Date… with Cheese
Crime never pays, but a movie about it that leaves viewers wanting more is “Pulp Fiction” (1994). One the most acclaimed movies of the 90s and what’s considered to be director Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, “Pulp Fiction” uses seven out-of-order narrative sequences to tell stories of Los Angeles gangsters, a mysterious case and $5 milkshakes. The breakout film is loaded with stars including John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, and features quite a number of burger references.
Smashburger is on the ready to quench the craving with 20 locations in New Jersey offering both take-out and delivery options. From their Classic Smash (with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American cheese, Smash Sauce and ketchup) to their Spicy Jalapeño Baja (with guacamole, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayonnaise on a chipotle bun), that is a tasty burger.
For more information about Smashburger, visit www.smashburger.com.
Watching the Credits Roll
All good movies must come to an end, and as the credits roll we might wish we had an extra 10 minutes of storyline. Great dates, on the other hand, may come to a conclusion but the love story continues for way more than 10 minutes. Somewhere between the two will be “watching” the credits roll on our “stay-at-home” order. We definitely don’t wish for an extra 10 minutes of that storyline, but we can look back at the drama we experienced as being not so bad because, if we were lucky, we shared dinner and a movie with someone we love.
Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit www.CraigRogers.nyc.
What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at email@example.com.
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