Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

Lucky Number Seven

Share this post:

In general, Craig and I are pretty rotten at celebrating holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays. It’s not that we don’t see the value in those days (we do!). But we both really try to celebrate the everyday awesomeness of life, instead of pumping all of our effort into those certain dates on the calendar. Honestly, it’s a nice way to go through life and a marriage.

That being said, it can be nice to get out of our comfort zone every now and again and actually do something special for a special event. Like when we went on a nice beach vacation for our fifth anniversary. And, like I mentioned on Monday, our seventh anniversary was this week—and we took the opportunity to hit up a new-to-us local tapas restaurant.

me and babyface anniversary

I know that going out to dinner isn’t really a special thing for a lot of folks, but it’s something we very, very rarely do (like, uh, I literally can’t remember the last time we went out to eat before Monday night), so it’s a super special treat for us! Because we rarely go out to eat, we’re super picky about the places we do chose to spend our time and money. And after lots of research, we landed on spending our anniversary dinner at Habana Blues.

restuarant

If you think it’s strange that a Cuban tapas restaurant is located in Southern Indiana, you should come hang out here—we’re more than just cornfields! We have such a great selection of awesome cultural restaurants. And in particular, this area (Downtown New Albany) is super hip and amazing. It’s an old downtown, right next to the Ohio River, that has had a renaissance over the past decade or so. It’s now full of incredible little shops, a wide variety of restaurants, a few wineries, a brewery, and one of the better open-air farmers’ markets in the area.

Anyway, Habana Blues came highly recommended, and we figured since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we probably would have our pick of the place since most folks would be hitting up the Irish bars and restaurants in the area, and we were right! We started off with drinks. I ended up with a virgin cucumber mojito, which was insanely delicious. I have to recreate this one at home!

me drink

We started perusing the menu and were crazy overwhelmed by all the choices. I love tapas-style dining (and tend to order tapas-style from the appetizer menu even when a restaurant isn’t a tapas restaurant) because I hate having to make the decision to stick with one thing. That’s one of the issues of never going out to eat! When I do, I want to try it all.

menu

We ended up landing on five dishes. And man, it was so tough to narrow it down to that. We started off with a caprese salad and some fresh guacamole with plantain chips. The caprese salad seems random at a Cuban place, but the dressing wasn’t your typical balsamic drizzle, it was a balsamic reduction that had a bit of spice and some Latin flavor to it. Delicious! I just wish tomatoes were in season, as I’m sure it would have been a million times better in July with some Indiana heirlooms.

guacamole and caprese

Next up, we had Ropa Vieja de PolloIt was slow-cooked shredded seasoned chicken on top of beans, rice and skillet sweet potatoes. This reminded me a little bit of cajun food, and it was insanely good! And it was served with two grilled plantains, which added a really incredible sweetness to the dish.

Ropa Vieja de pollo

We also got two veggie empanadas. The empanadas were awesome, but the dipping sauce was absolutely killer. It was some sort of spicy, strawberry sour cream-y concoction that I ended up dipping pretty much everything in.

empanadas

The last of our tapas were two pulled pork tacos. Craig said these were the absolute best tacos he’d ever had. The pork was slow-cooked and absolutely fell apart. And there was a sweet avocado-lime salsa on top, which was a really nice balance to the heaviness of the pork. They were darn good.

tacos

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a proper celebration without some dessert! Craig and I both have a “thing” for key lime pie, and the second we heard they make theirs in house, we knew we were gonna be all over that. I’ve rarely met a key lime pie I didn’t like, but this one was particularly spectacular—it was like a combination of key lime pie and key lime cheesecake. YUM.

key lime pie

We also got a chocolate tres leches, which was good, but we should have known that compared to our shared love of key lime pie, it didn’t have a chance.

chocolate tres leches cake

We left dinner absolutely stuffed full. And totally happy. It was a great way to celebrate seven years!

Do you go all out for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries? Or are you a bit more reserved with your celebrations?

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

9 Responses
  1. Beverly Ann

    Happy, happy anniversary! My hubby and I go out almost weekly for a date night. We’ve been married 15 years and I have to say that date night has seen us through some tough times. As a weekly touchstone with just the two of us. Over the years we’ve laughed(till we peed our pants), cried and sometimes just sat togehter in sweet silent compatico, but it’s all been good and good for us. Glad to hear you were able to have such a great get away. I live in the INDY area and would love to try the restuarant you mentioned. I might have to look it up and maybe turn and date night into an all day date explore Indiana thing 🙂 Congrats again!

  2. Happy Anniversary! I don’t buy a gift unless I think it is perfect for someone. So you may get a a gift a month early, or three months late. But I do think its important to have a special meal together. Sometimes that means going out, sometimes it means staying in.

  3. Samantha

    Happy Anniversary!

    We usually go out to eat to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It’s a family tradition in my side of the family, especially for birthdays — it just doesn’t feel like a birthday to me until we go out to a great restaurant that we don’t go to very often!

  4. Happy Anniversary!! This restaurant sounds perfect for what I like to do. I love trying multiple dishes at a location. Every dish looked out of this world. When we celebrate anything we try to do something different. It is our time to look into new things to try. For My Guy’s birthday, I found a really cute dinner cruise which we probably wouldn’t have done if I didn’t really look into it. Trying new things together is great because we create those memories just better us which makes our bond better. Again, happy anniversary!

  5. Yay! Happy Anniversary! 🙂

    My husband and I have a weekly Date Night every Thursday where we go out to eat, just the 2 of us with no other distractions. With how busy we both can be, it’s one night a week we know is devoted to just us so we can reconnect if it’s been a hectic week. That said, when it comes to celebrations, I am somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. We like to do something a little out of the ordinary but don’t need to break the bank, either.

  6. Wow! – all that food looks absolutely delish. I love dining out at restaurants like that…local spots are ALWAYS the best.

    For celebrations, it really depends….holidays such as Christmas, thanksgiving, Easter, etc tend to involve a huge family get together (which I love) but birthdays and anniversaries with my husband, we tend to keep more low key. I love cooking special meals for those days, I think it makes it much more intimate and special 🙂

  7. Happy Anniversary!
    May I just say that you look fabulous!

    Oh man, Key Lime Pie… I wish it were a thing here in the Old World. I’ve only had it once on a trip through the States and I’ve been in love ever since. Great choice!

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

Learn More About Me →

Close-up of a woman holding a divided glass container filled with a prepped meal.

No-Stress Meals!
Meal Prep Made Easy

Tips, recipes and time-saving secrets to magical meals

FREE EMAIL GUIDE