Time for Us: We found the secret to a great date night

The zatar chips at The Pita Spot in Mystic are baked, seasoned and oh-so-yummy.
The zatar chips at The Pita Spot in Mystic are baked, seasoned and oh-so-yummy.

I have learned a new lesson that should be applied to every date night from now until forever: Pregame it. Remember back in college when we had no money so we would drink a little cheap stuff before we even went out? Well, that tradition has brought on a new meaning for me. Preparation is key.

I was so excited for our date night, but also worried that my mind would keep drifting back to things I hadn't done, told the babysitter, etc. I made up my mind early on to crack open the wine before we left. At 5 p.m., I was feeding my daughter dinner, enjoying a glass of my favorite Malbec, and all was well in the world. By the time the sitter arrived I was showered, dressed, and looking pretty nice while my daughter was also bathed, fed, and in her jammies. I was on top of the world — and into my second glass. I am a "lightweight." One glass of wine and I'm good, two glasses and I'm giddy; anymore and well, let's just say the husband won't let me go that far because he is not a fan of having to carry me up to bed.

I had already written down a checklist for my sitter, had already gotten her money ready for upon our return, and I already snuggled with my little girl for many kisses and hugs good night since I wouldn't be with her. Pregaming it left me free to go without a worry in the world.

I said good bye to my daughter and the sitter. I knew she was in good hands, and we left. This was most likely the easiest departure of all time. There were no reminders of what to do/not to do. No last minute things I forgot. Just bye-bye and in the car.

Our date night consisted of dinner a new place we'd not yet tried. Jared, my husband, heard about this place through work and wanted to check it out. I was ecstatic! I love trying new places and new food. Our destination was The Pita Spot in Mystic. We pulled up to this quaint little joint and nabbed ourselves a little table outdoors to watch the cars go by.

It was a beautiful night with a fresh breeze and clear sky. I was totally and completely overdressed in this new black and white frock I had recently bought, but the wine was what got me dressed that evening, so I just dealt with it. (I did look cute though. Despite that by the end of the night I was freezing, I still did look cute. That was all that mattered.)

My mouth was chomping at the bit with all the amazing selections. We realized we needed a while to decide. In the meantime, the staff uncorked our bottle of wine. The second best part of this place, with food being the best part, was that it's BYOB.

We clinked glasses and got down to the issue at hand – food. While we perused the menu, we were served a bowl of homemade zatar chips — pita bits baked with olive oil and spices. They were incredible! I had to ask for another bowl because I devoured them so fast.

There was so much to chose from and the lovely waitress told us we could get a sampling of any three starters for $12. The portions were small but just right for one person. I ordered the Mediterranean lamb sausages, the spinach pie, and the Best of Thyme Mediterranean Flatbread. All three were amazingly delish. The spinach pie melted in my mouth and I only let Jared have one bite because I didn't want to share. He in turn got the meat lover's hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and the meat pies. I enjoyed a few bites of his as well but despite the raves on Yelp, the grape leaves were not my cup of tea. Jared thoroughly enjoyed them though. Overall I was so happy with the starters I wanted to just keep ordering more. I knew that if they were this good, the main meals would be outstanding.

After much debate and some recommendations from the wait staff, I decided to go with the lamb schawarma pita: yummy lamb, sautéed onions, and creamy tahini sauce and wrapped it into this amazing pita bread. One bite and I was hooked. I savored every single bite of that wrap and the salad it came with as if it was my last meal on earth. My mouth is still watering at the thought of it.

Jared went with the Lala chicken. If you like garlic, this is your dish. It was half of a chicken (marinated and charbroiled) with incredible moisture and flavor served with garlic spread and wild cucumber pickles. It also was served with pita to make wraps.

All in all, we really enjoyed our meal and took our sweet time with dinner. We were there just over two hours sipping wine and tasting some delicious food. Toward the end of our meal the owner, Vivian Torregrosso, stopped by to welcome us and say hello. We had a nice chat with her and gave her many compliments.

The weather got a little chilly so we decided on cappuccino, tea, and desserts. After a wonderful meal, some good wine, and conversation we made our way back home to relieve our sitter. It was a very nice night together and didn't cost us a fortune – which was a plus. The Pita Spot was affordable, comfortable, and uber tasty. We will definitely go back!

Working mom and blogger Jessie Ford lives in East Lyme with her husband and daughter.

With onions and creamy tahini, the lamb schawarma is worth a return visit to The Pita Spot.
With onions and creamy tahini, the lamb schawarma is worth a return visit to The Pita Spot.
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