Sometimes, when it’s a special occasion, that out of the way place is tops on the list. You know, a nice quaint eatery away from the hub bub of the city. I’m referring to a spot where the food alone is enough to draw diners from neighboring towns and cities. Its set in what, I believe, was once an old time general store, with decor that doesn’t mask its origins, yet doesn’t give it the ambiance of a living museum. Its kind of homey with a classy elegance that sooths the nerves and begs for conversation and intimacy. The restaurant is called Chives and it resides in the small village of Suamico, Wisconsin.
For as small as Suamico is, I visit it quite often-not for food. The Reforestation Camp resides near the village. Its probably the best outdoor recreation park in the Green Bay vicinity. And I love to get outdoors and stay active, it helps the mind, the body and even the soul.
Yet, outdoor activity alone cannot cure everything that ails. Sometimes, you need to pay attention to your better half, that person that, by incidence or circumstance, you have decided to proceed through this life with. What better time to do it than Valentine’s Day. I know, it’s a commercial holiday. But really, is there any other day set apart to shower that one that is your copilot, or maybe you’re their copilot, take your pick, with gifts and attention.
I found an eatery that, by description alone, had me excited to dine. It lied a small jaunt from the highway, yet resided on a quiet town road. The photos of the exterior caused me to wonder, “How many tables could they fit in there, like four?” However, a small little place standing proudly in a quiet setting, seemed a great place for Valentine’s Day.
I mean, that’s romantic, right?
So on with my Valentine’s Day date at Chives in Suamico….
So far it has been a day. Heidi, with her daughter’s help, is applying make up and getting ready for our date. I haven’t told her where we’re going, it’s a surprise. In the two years we’ve dated, I know what she likes and dislikes, well kind of, maybe, well not always, but I’m absolutely positive she’ll love this spot.
After the makeup is applied and she thanks me for the chocolates, roses and bottle of wine we’re ready to go. Suamico, especially this destination, is seventeen miles away, being that I live on the east side of Green Bay. We take off an hour before our reservation time, driving the buzzing highway on a Friday night. Even if I’m on a typical highway, I’m reminded that it’s Valentine’s Day. A roadside marquis begs me to tell people I love them in person, and not in a text while I’m driving. Great touch Wisconsin DOT!
We find the county road B exit and make our descent down the ramp, towards the Village center. A couple of turns and we’re on a quiet road, where, as it’s shining like a beacon accompanied by a small fleet of cars, I can’t mistake the architecture of a homestead general store. I actually feel a charge as I set eyes on this place, this is exactly what I’ve pictured.
We walk in from the frigid cold, seriously Valentines day happened to be the coldest day of the year in Green Bay. However, this place is warm and cozy with a vibrant buzz that makes waiting for our table a welcome circumstance. We make the half our wait at the very small bar, as we take in the almost casual ambiance of this fine dining restaurant. To our left, Valentines day specials are listed on a chalk board. I haven’t even sat down, but am sure what I’ll have tonight.
As I scan the eatery, although it is fairly small, It’s actually a lot bigger than I had anticipated. Truly! There’s even a smaller back dining room with windows that allow a view of the village, making for an even more intimate dining experience.
When we sit down, we strike up a conversation with another couple sitting next to us. They have been here before and like this place for the same reasons. Heidi sits on a long booth seat as I sit on a wood chair across from her, with a table for two between us. Behind hiedi, an authentic wood wall, painted in what I think is a shade of blue, is graced with a large, white antique wood sign, accompanied by black and white photos that are encased in black frames.
Our server quickly brings our menus, which have their specials printed on them, and gives us some time to think about it. As Heidi decides, homemade bread baked with nuts and a hint of garlic is brought to our table. Heidi decides on a dish and we order.
The conversation, ambiance and quiet buzz make the wait for the food almost too short. I’m actually surprised to see it arrive as soon as it does. When we bite in, Heidi is not disappointed. I’ve had better duck breast, but it’s not bad. I was worried that the portions wouldn’t be substantial. My worries were for not. The dishes were quite adequate.
When I receive the check, I’m actually happy. It was under eighty bucks, which really, considering the type of place this is, is not bad. There is quite a price range on the menu however, their steaks do get pricey. We also had two glasses of wine, they hovered in price from $8-$12. Had we gone all out , our bill could have come to well over $100 dollars.
When I leave the only regret I have is that, now, I have to step back into the frigid air, leaving the warm atmosphere behind me. Heidi and I tend to dine at least once a week, however this was set apart from most. We won’t do it every week, hell I can’t afford it. But if the occasion beckons, I will definitely return. Seriously, it was everything I expected.