The Nutcracker was always a father/daughter end of year holiday tradition in our home.  From the time she was five, we would celebrate the holidays at brunch and then go to the matinee showing.  Until one day when she said that she was too old for the Nutcracker, and my heart shrank three sizes that day. 

The ballet is a big deal in our house because both my brother and I were classically trained dancers from around the same age I started taking my daughter to the Nutcracker.  She was not interested in becoming a dancer and that was okay because her passion is musical theater.  This year she starred in her high school production of Chicago as Roxy, but that is another story. I guess what goes around does comes around.  My mother was heartbroken when I gave up on her Baryshnikov dreams for me.  So I cried a few tears when my little girl told me she was too old for the Nutcracker.  But I learned from my mom’s mistakes.  Instead of beating my daughter, I  took her out for a steak and Swan Lake.  She was absolutely delighted.

We got all dressed-up and went out for a night on the town.  And actually, if she was not going to be a kid anymore, maybe that was not so bad.  We could maybe go somewhere other than Red Robin to eat and I could get a proper cocktail with dinner.

We went to Toscanova (Tuscan restaurant), a fine dining establishment in Calabasas that uses a modern approach to classic dishes.  It’s run by the Sciandri family that has quite a few fine dining establishments.  I had the Filetto which is also a small town in Tuscany.  It was all starting to add up.  The Nutcracker thing might have been a blessing is disguise.  As everyone knows, the kids don’t stick around for long.  Taking them out to dinner at 11 might get you 7 years of nights out on a town like this:

At Toscanova they have just about whatever Italian salad or pasta you are in the mood for that night.  But they also have steak.  Two of them even.  And the one I had, as the kids say was “sick.”

If my little girl had moved on from wanting to be saved by the Nutcracker Prince from the evil Mouse King, and instead wanted to save herself from both a rich prince and evil sorcerer, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.