Don’t get me wrong…I love going on dates with my husband. I eat and drink and go on walks with Nate more than any other human in this world, and I love our time together. He’s my person.
But there’s something so fun and carefree about grabbing a meal with one of your best girlfriends, you know? I’m constantly texting my lady friends to see who’s free to join me for various restaurant tastings around Austin. (Monique, Rachel, Kiera, Caitlin….lookin’ at you!)
This particular girlfriend date was at North Italia’s new downtown Austin location. Oooh, this place is pretty! I adore their bright, airy space and expertly prepared cocktails. If you’re looking for a modern Italian restaurant with scratch-made food in a gorgeous downtown Austin setting, North is your place!
1. First things first……girlfriend dates are the giggliest time of my week. Haha, you know what I mean? I just giggle more about random stuff when I’m hanging out with a friend! Laughing is good for your spirit, and it’s actually scientifically good for your health, too. Sign me up!
2. But the “girlfriend date” is also the perfect time for more serious talk, too… I’m bringing this up because it’s totally my personality. I love one-on-one meals rather than a meal with a huge group of people, and I love talking about the deep, heart-to-heart type stuff. I don’t do small talk very well.
3. Ok, and this has to be mentioned: cute, pink colorful cocktails that are sometimes (always) ordered because they’re just pretty. *Covers hands with eyes.* When I’m dining with a girlfriend, we can unapologetically order a cocktail just because it’s going to be pretty. Is that so bad? Food should taste good, but bonus points if it looks good, too! When I’m out at a restaurant with Nate, the color of the cocktails is like, third or fourth on the priority list when ordering drinks. When I’m on a girlfriend date, it’s one of the first questions we ask the server.
(PS: maybe this is just a food blogger thing?)
4. We can sometimes plan an entire trip together over lunch. Has this happened to anyone else? One moment you’re talking about how yummy this tuscan kale salad tastes, and the next you’re googling “flights to Portland” and you’re ready to plan the whole thing. It just escalates really quickly sometimes…
5. Really intense analyzations about The Bachelor. These are not casual, gossipy discussions about the reality tv show. I’m talking full-blown Dr. Phill sessions about the characters, their upbringings and pasts, their motives and interpersonal relationships, as well as cross-references between prior seasons and predictions about future seasons. These talks are intense. They can go on for hours, and they’re strictly reserved for the girlfriend dinner date (hopefully with a full bottle of rosé on the table.)
Pictured below: the Chef’s Board (available during happy hour, M-Th 3-6 pm) with prosciutto di parma, artisan cheese, marinated eggplant, roasted pepper, castelvetrano olive, marcona almond.
6. The more drinks your order, the sillier things become. Y’all, I just love the silliness that happens on a girlfriend date!
Pictured below: Short Rib Radiatori, parmesan cream, fresh horseradish, wilted arugula, herbed breadcrumb.
7. Happiness breeds more happiness. There’s no room in my life to share a meal with someone who only wants to discuss jealousy, lack, and envy. Happiness and gratitude and joy produce more of the same, and I feel fortunate that I have girlfriends in my life who love talking about all the good things in life. I almost always leave a girlfriend date feeling happier, light as air, and excited about life.
(Quick note: crap happens in life, and I’m not at all saying we should cover up our real feelings and just talk about fluff; I’m simply saying that, for me, dwelling on bad things makes me feel bad, so once I process and talk about my feelings I try to move on to feelings of joy and gratitude asap!)
I also grew up with three sisters, and those relationships are still my best examples of pure, raw, real friendships. We can talk and laugh for hours about something completely dumb or totally serious. I just love enjoying a good meal with a good girlfriend!
500 W 2nd St, northitaliarestaurant.com