Barrister Winery, Manito Gardens, Jack and Dan’s….Mystery Date planned by John

A few weeks ago I mentioned that John and I have a new date challenge. Each month each of us has to plan a mystery date. The only rules is the date has to be to a restuarant/location that we have not been to together. Our goal is to try new things/places in Spokane and surprise each other with our dates. This past week John planned his date. I have to tell you all my husband rocked this date! Some days he still amazes me and he really did a great job with this date. I had no idea what he had planned or were we were going.

John started the date at Dolly’s Cafe. We have driven by this restaurant hundreds of times and each time I always mention that we need to try it out. Even as we were pulling into the parking lot I was turning to him and mentioning that we needed to try it out. John laughed and told me I can’t say he doesn’t listen to me.
I am so glad we finally ate at Dolly’s Cafe! The food was fantastic. We both loved our meals and were amazed at how much food there was. Our waitress was so sweet and friendly. We will definitely be going back to Dolly’s Cafe soon.

I got a little nervous as we headed to the next stop on our mystery date. John drove downtown and started driving up and down alleyways. I mentioned to him that I was a little nervous about driving in back alleyways. He smiled and said don’t worry I am lost. Hmmmm just what a girl wants to hear as they are pulling down back alleys. 

John turned down an alley and said, “found it!” as we pulled into a parking spot. We pulled up to Barrister Winery located right in downtown Spokane. The winery is gorgeous! There is an amazing outdoor seating area filled with plants and wine barrels. We had a great time sampling the different wines. For $5 each you can do a wine sampling.

The staff at Barrister Winery was amazing! We ended up staying there talking with the staff for quite a while. They were so enthusiastic about their wines and we learned so much about the process of making the wines. They are starting harvest this weekend. They will pick up grapes from vineyards south of us in Tri-Cities and bring them back to Spokane. It was really interesting learning about the process of harvesting the grapes and what goes into making the wines.


Each time we visit a winery I learn more about wine and the different types that are available.

I almost ruined the surprise of the next part of our date day. I mentioned to John the night before that I really wanted to go to Manito Gardens and play with my new camera. John just shook his head and said that he was sure we could make that happen. Little did I know that John already had this planned as part of his date day. oops I guess great minds really do think alike.

I love visiting Manito Gardens! I would be happy going to the gardens monthly to take pictures of the flowers and wander in the park. I had so much fun taking pictures of the Dhalia garden this time. I will share more pictures soon in another post about the gardens. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the gardens taking pictures. The Japanese gardens were really relaxing and so much fun. John and I could not believe how big the Koi are in the ponds. They reminded me of fat little football fish.

We finished our date day with a beer and dinner at Jack and Dan’s. I am not sure how neither of us had been here before. It is such a Spokane icon that we had missed out on. We had a great time at Jack and Dan’s.

My lovely husband rocked this date! Wow! He exceeded any expectations I had and then some. I had no idea that he had been researching places to visit in Spokane the past few weeks. Now the ball is in my court. It is my turn to plan our next mystery date. I would love to hear everyone’s favorite places in Spokane. I can’t wait to see what I can find for our next date.



  1. […] For our first mystery date I took John putt-putt golfing here in Spokane. It was so much fun. We were like little kids giggling and having a great time. We played putt-putt outside in the sun and then played black light put-put. John planned an amazing afternoon in Spokane for his date. He took me to a restaurant we had always talked about wanting to visit,  a local winery and Manito Park. […]

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