My husband and I don’t get out much alone – running around with 4 kids, their activities, committees, family events etc, doesn’t leave much time for quality time alone. So, when my friend invited us to celebrate her hubby’s birthday downtown – I ecstatically replied, “We’re in!”. Commence Operation “Prepare for Date Night”! We were finally able to nail down a date a month later that worked for all of us…but that didn’t slow down the excitement! Next step, deciding what to do?
Well, my husband and I had recently been to see a show at the Pittsburgh Cabaret Theater – which is run by the Pittsburgh CLO. We checked their website and they had some amazing shows coming up – and I’m always up for a good comedy. We bought our tickets, booked a restaurant and the countdown began.
My husband is more of a country mouse than a city mouse, so I always try to prepare driving routes and parking locations before we go to avoid #1. dying in a fiery car crash on the way to date night or #2. murdering each other on the way to date night (I kid, I kid). A great resource I have found is Parking Panda. You can purchase advance reserved parking and valet before your big event (which is always wise when venturing downtown). However, for the Cabaret show – you can conveniently park right next door at Theater Square. This puts you right in the center of all the action and its a nicely lit and taken care of parking garage. Another great alternative is Uber (so you can avoid both 1 &2).
We meet our friends and a short amount of time later we arrive downtown safely (minus me having to slam on my air brakes in the car due to him looking over at the other lane saying “wow look at that traffic completely stopped” and not paying attention to the lane in front of him…). This is why I pray people. Like I said, we arrive safely, park and head to dinner at Nine on Nine. Its a very pretty little restaurant right there in the epicenter of the theater district in downtown Pittsburgh. We were able to book on OpenTable which is always a huge plus for me as well. You can see I’m a big fan of reservations in general. I am not a wait-er – when you’re paying a babysitter and have 4 kids at home, I don’t have the luxury of waiting around anymore like I did in my 20’s. I like to make the most of every second when I’m free (haha).
At Nine on Nine, they seated us right away. We sat and chatted for a few minutes before a waiter appeared and took our drink orders. We discussed the menu and waited for our drinks. The waiter appeared a few minutes later with no drinks to answer our menu questions. At this point, I’m very very thirsty. I’m trying to send him telepathic messages hoping he can understand that talking about food makes me thirsty, and I made it to date night alive so I would really like to have my drink now, please and thank you. However, my messages fail to reach him. He leaves and does not return for another 5 or so minutes with our drinks – but only 2 of the drinks, mind you, because the other 2 were held up at the bar for some vague reason. Finally about 15 minutes after our arrival, we all have drinks. Once I have drinks to quench my thirst, I can be a very patient person when it comes to waiting for food.
As someone who has worked in the service industry, I have little to no tolerance for this kind of service. The restaurant was not that busy, so there’s no reason why a person should have to wait so long for drinks. Yet, I was still determined to not let this ruin my good mood on date night [insert smile here].
Our food also took a very long time to come out. However, when it did it was delicious albeit a little too lukewarm for my liking (and I’m not one who likes my food scalding hot either). The ladies ordered the scallops, and the men ordered the filet. Both were equally delicious and we ordered some shared sides consisting of sweet potatoes, and the Brussels sprouts. I would say that the portions are small so you definitely need to make sure you add the shared sides – which are a la carte to make it a filling meal.
Overall, would I go back to Nine on Nine? I’d prob try somewhere different next time due to the extremely slow service and small portions. However, in a pinch I think it would be ok. However, there are a lot of other great options down in that area worth trying.
After dinner, we made it to our show with perfect timing. It was a short block walk over to the Cabaret Theater. Our show of choice “Men are From Mars…”. If you are looking to laugh yourself silly to possible tears, then this is the show for you. Its the epitome of a perfect date night, a good reminder of how different men and women are. As we sat there laughing with our spouses, It actually made me feel grateful for what a wonderful husband I have. It was also a show that was relate-able to anyone whether single, married, divorced, because at some point in our lives we have all been in relationships. We definitely enjoyed this show and would highly recommend it!!
On the way back to our car, we were invited to check out an interactive light installation experience. This was set up as part of the PGHFirsts festival sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. If you are new to the area or don’t get out much, there is a thriving art community in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been bringing a ton of amazing shows and festivals to our area including the Art Gallery Crawls and now the Pittsburgh Firsts Festival. The Pittsburgh Firsts Festival runs from September 21 to November 11th. The festival features artists from all over including Pittsburgh and 20 different countries. These are never-before-seen theater, dance, music, visual arts and immersive experiences. You must put this on your fall bucket list – and PLEASE promise me to make plans to do a gallery crawl!
The interactive light show was a great way to end the night. We left Pittsburgh smiling and laughing having been exposed to many different art forms – from food, to a cabaret show, to a luminating experience (no pun intended)…all I can say is Pittsburgh, you never cease to amaze and thrill us. So, if you’re looking for a fun date night/night out with the girls – you should definitely look into the Pittsburgh shows that are available right in our sweet little downtown area. Oh, and note to self – next time take an UBER!