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If dinner and a movie seems like an extravagant luxury these days, we suggest rethinking the movie part and instead participating in something no less

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Date Night: Green Lake Style

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If dinner and a movie seems like an extravagant luxury these days, we suggest rethinking the movie part and instead participating in something no less romantic but much more budget-friendly. First, head to Nell's Restaurant in Green Lake for a delicious meal from Phil Mihalski, whom our Jonathan Kauffman calls "one of the city's most underappreciated chefs." See what Kauffman is going on about by sampling some of Mihalski's dishes, like local oysters with lime and ginger vinaigrette or pork tenderloin with potato gnocchi, Lacinato kale, goat cheese, and port jus. Go ahead and indulge in one of their tasty desserts--like strawberry-rhubarb crisp with cardamom ice cream--because after dinner you'll probably be working it off with a stroll around Green Lake, conveniently located right across the street. The gorgeous locale never fails for people-watching and conversation starters, plus there are plenty of benches along the way if you want to stop and cozy up a bit. It's a date that's good for your heart, lungs, and pocketbook.

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