This makes us sound 1,000 years old, but here goes…

A couple weekends ago, Alex and I wanted to go to a buzzy Mediterranean restaurant in Nolita. The catch? The only available reservation was 6:15 p.m. Although we usually head to dinner much later (usually around 8:30, and in my twenties, I’d often go after 10, crazily enough), we decided to go for it.

And that is how we discovered the genius of early dinner reservations.

Our typical date night:

6 p.m. Feed the boys dinner
6:30 Bath
7:00 Pajamas/teeth
7:15 Books
7:30 Song
7:32 Another song
7:34 Put Anton back into his crib
7:36 Another song
7:38 Put Anton back into his crib
7:40 Another song
7:42 Anton, get back in your crib for the love of all things holy!
8:00 Sitter arrives
8:15 Head to restaurant
8:30 Drink wine, eat food, have a chat
10:30 Cab home
11:00 Pass out, exhausted

Our new-and-improved date night:

6:00 Kiss the boys goodbye, as they eat dinner with a beloved babysitter; head to restaurant
6:15 Drink wine, eat food, enjoy sparkling conversation
8:15 Cab home
8:30 Home
Make out?
Play games?
Watch a movie?
Night cap?
10:30 Cuddle up and fall asleep

In sum, you get two date nights for the price of one.

Bonus: Early reservations make it much easier to book tables at cool restaurants that otherwise feel impossible to get into. Plus, I actually like the 6 p.m. vibe: You settle into the quiet room, have a serene conversation and soak up the amazing atmosphere. And, by the time 8 o’clock rolls around, the restaurant has woken up, with crowds filling the space. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds: first, you enjoy the restaurant as your own little hideaway; then you see the full performance of the restaurant, without having to elbow your way through the crowd.


Thoughts? Is this a no-brainer thing you already do? We are converted! Or do you prefer your kids to be asleep before you head out?

P.S. Jerry Seinfeld on kids’ bedtime routines and a fun time to have sex.