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Date Night in Nashville: Enjoying Perennials and Pasta {Series}

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We hope this series inspires you to spend a little quality time with your partner in our fair city. There are so many fantastic different places and wonderful different ways to make your night a special one. We’re going to explore a few over the next few weeks and share our experiences with you! (For more date night ideas, check out more of our series!)


Every once in a blue moon, the stars align. The babysitter is available, you just bought a new pair of shoes, and it’s payday. The perfect date is born. We recently had just such a night for the hubs and myself. I know you are dying for me to fill you in on the details, so I will jump right in.

We started the evening at our favorite place. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. We love this place so much. Is there anything more romantic than strolling hand-in-hand through sweet-smelling, glorious gardens? I don’t think there is. I like to secretly pretend I am living in a bygone era, walking through my perfectly manicured grounds on the way to tea in the mansion. Maybe I’ve seen too much Downton Abbey but I challenge you to visit and see if you don’t end up doing the exact same thing yourself. There is a beautiful pond complete with waterfall and bridge, a zen garden, fountains, pools, sculptures, and pathways covered in dangling flowers. Inside the mansion, there is an art gallery where Andy Warhol’s Flowers are currently on display. Before our date night, I had no idea he ever painted flowers, but now I highly recommend that you check it out!

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There is zero chance you won’t feel the romance. Even if you need to bring your children with you (as we usually do). There is a terrific treehouse, an outdoor model train, and more green space to run in than your kids can handle.

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Once we had our fill of flowers and frolic, we headed over to Finezza Italian Bistro to fill our bellies. This place is my all-time fave. I grew up eating there and still love the macaroni and cheese as much as ever. The vibe here is fantastic. It is not overly formal or pretentious, and I love that. It is just great food served by super-friendly staff (ask for Brian!) in a low-lit, cozy spot. It is also very family-friendly should you feel that romance is best enjoyed with a spaghetti-covered kid passed out on the table. (That is usually how we dine at Finezza).

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I started the meal off with a Finezza Martini (Aperol Italian liqueur, Ketel One vodka, and fresh lemon juice) while my husband enjoyed an IPA from Mayday Brewery (a brewery located in nearby Murfreesboro).

Dinner came, and I was so excited that I ate half my Eggplant Parmesan before realizing I had forgotten to photograph the entrée. Forgive me. You will just have to trust me that it was gorgeous and so AMAZINGLY good. My husband had the Butternut Squash Ravioli—locally made butternut squash ravioli in brown butter and fresh sage and garnished with crispy pancetta and goat cheese. You can check out the full dinner menu here.

For dessert, we (of course) had the cannoli. The chef changes the flavors each week. This week it was toasted almond, and can I just say: holy cannoli, Batman! These things were insanely delicious and beautiful to boot!

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We had one last glass of champagne before heading back to parenthood. It was sure a sweet retreat!

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