Couple-Ville: One newly married man's search to balance feeling cool while being romantic in Louisville [Louisville newbie]

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A recent transplant to Louisville, I soon realized that all roads led to a place that ends with ‘-ville’, ‘-town’, or ‘-berg’. Likewise, as a new husband I soon realized that all roads lead to a place that ends simply with “Yes, dear.” The constant voice in my head wants to take my new bride out to somewhere special, where memories of a new marriage are created, somewhere cool that we could tell our friends about, and somewhere I wouldn’t feel like I ate more of my wallet than dinner.

I reached for the (other) local publications and searched the sites but beyond New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day there wasn’t much off the-beaten-track that made me feel cool about suggesting it, not cheesy for doing what every other guy who didn’t have time to look found, and feel manly for enjoying time with my new spouse while enjoying myself. Face it, after the Super Bowl, the majority of holidays are not primarily focused on being a guy (Mardi Gras walks a fine line but even there it's tough to get beads for flashing man-breasts—I've tried.)

This is where my odyssey begins: Where to find a balance between enjoying time with your significant other without losing dignity, nor identity? Written by someone else this may have a different tilt, but I’m a guy who has always loved bar food and is not from this area—from New Orleans as a matter of fact. My wife has lived in Louisville her entire life and although we both know what we like, she has an upperhand as she knows how to get around and, more to the point, knows the route to the places she prefers. I’m also a self-proclaimed pseudo-chef who loves really spicy food and experimenting, and my wife loves the places she’s comfortable and grew up with locally. My taste buds have been deadened enough to convince me that everything she loves is bland.  We’re creatures of habit who were just lucky enough to find each other and scare each one another with our pasts enough to enjoy looking to the next adventure.

What I’ve discovered in the past couple years is that I love Louisville. It’s trite to say from a Mason-Dixon, "I recently married a Yankee perspective," but we live in an area with influences from Amish to Cajun (A-to-C, as it were), and there’s so many out-of-the-way places that you never hear about—not the bars where to pick up, or “what happened last week while you were sleeping, but places where you can not only enjoy each other, but also enjoy yourself.  A full belly, good service, great company, perhaps romance, and a price that doesn’t make you weight the price of a tip against the price of gas for the ride home.

So how to impress your significant other with places to go, retain the feeling that you’re still as cool you think you once were (or as your wife lets you believe), feel romantic, and avoid a letter from a collection agency or hospital at the same time? I've decided to become a man on a mission, help out my fellow man by writing about my adventures in Couple-ville, going to places that make my wife happy and make me feel good about being a guy. So the next time you're significant other wants a 'date night', you've got an ace up your sleeve—me.  

My journey begins with any suggestions you may have dear reader – just e-mail me and if I write about where you suggest the following day you can trust that I wasn’t poisoned, could still afford bail, and I like you. By the way, my name's Kit.

Photo:  Dominican Republic/Kit Helton

About Kit Helton
Average single guy who has been able to lead an above average life. Originally from New Orleans and arrived in Louisville after 10 years via Chicago in 2005. Currently residing near Churchill Downs with my dog, Dixie. Owner of a catering company for over a decade and published cookbook author, I am lucky to return to the Food & Dining as well as Arts beats for Louisville.com.
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