I am a firm believer that everyone should have at least one swanky dining experience, whether you have the cash or have to use plastic to pay for it. Last week, I did just that for my mom, who I took to Blue in Bethlehem for her birthday.

As we settled at our table, I took in the sights: candles everywhere, dim lighting, rich dark wood, a wine menu bigger than the actual menu.

Our server, Robert, explained how the Blue menu worked (entrees are served a la carte, while sides are meant to be shared), without the slightest hint of impatience for having to do so. And although he had other tables, I felt like his number one priority the entire evening.

I didn't see the martini I had originally planned to have on the martini list, so I started with Kiss martini. My mom tried it and called it "coffee with a kick." I also had a French martini, which was delicious.

As an appetizer, I ordered the Cheese Plate with five types of cheese, crackers and fresh fruit. My mom likes to eat healthy, so she ate the fruit while I took care of the cheeses. The Saint Andre, with its cream-cheese like consistency and mild flavor, was the best.

For my entree, I had the 14 oz. in-bone filet mignon covered in bordelaise sauce. I love red-wine sauces on steak, don't ask me why. I was extra glad that I had it this time, because my medium-well filet wasn't "well" enough for me (knowing how picky I am, I should've just ordered it well done, but I know filet mignon takes quite a while to cook well done and we had theater tickets).

In the end, the manager approached me as I was leaving to check how everything was. That in itself was impressive.

Total bill for two martinis, an iced tea, appetizer, two entrees, a side and tip: $150. But it was worth every penny.

Have you ever indulged in a swanky dining experience?