Tony and I aren't ones to make a huge fuss over Valentine's Day, but now that we have children, we will always take up my parents' offers to babysit so we can enjoy a romantic dinner, even if the occasion is an arbitrary day in February!
We chose The Dojo, since we're kind of obsessed with Japanese food at the moment (as is most of Austin, it would seem, given the number of new Japanese restaurants that have opened in the past year). I was excited to discover that they offer a separate vegan menu and have a dedicated vegan fryer.
We started with a few small plates to share. The fried Brussels sprouts were amazing. I love Brussels, so that's not too weird for me to say, but I seriously wanted to lick the bowl clean.
The blistered shishito peppers tasted kind like a cross between grilled green peppers and poblano peppers.
We also shared a plate of assorted pickles veggies. Lots of eggplant, to my enjoyment and Tony's disdain.
Our server brought us complimentary glasses of strawberry champagne.
I also had a nice, strong cucumber mojito.
Next up, while Tony dug into his meat dishes, I enjoyed tofu caprese with avocado mousse and balsamic pearls. The tomatoes weren't at their ripest, but I was impressed with the culinary fanciness of the balsamic pearls.
For my main dish I had the Dojo's version of okonomiyaki, potato pancakes. In this case, homemade waffle fries piled high with avocado mayo, scallions, carrots, ginger, and balsamic drizzle. I loved this dressed-up comfort food.
Afterwards, we popped in at a friend's party. She had a nice little spread with champagne and finger foods, including cookies that looked like candy hearts and were printed with filthy Valentine's messages that cracked me up. Let's just say the one below was the most PG-rated of the bunch.
Hope you enjoyed celebrating or not celebrating Valentine's, as to your preference.