Springtime is always full of sweet memories, beautiful weather and fresh foods. Smiles are plentiful and 'love' can be found in every cafe, sidewalk, and subway. Dating is probably the most exciting time of spring, and so is taking your date to all your favorite restaurants around town. What better way to get to know someone than over a good meal? Need to brush up on good date night spots, etiquette and good food to share? We've asked two food bloggers and writers to weight in:
Julie Pointer lives and works in the lush, rainy climes of Portland, Oregon, but daily pines for the sun and sea of Santa Barbara, her hometown. She spends her days dreaming up and orchestrating all the community gatherings for Kinfolk Magazine, which she also writes for on occasion. When not adventuring with friends, cooking, or reading, she can be found on Sauvie Island, her favorite escape from city life.
Best meal on a date?
The best meal I’ve ever had on a date was at a small restaurant in a little town in Southern France, with cobblestone streets and nothing to boast but the rugged mountains around it. The only item I actually remember from the menu was some kind of mushroom soufflé, but the five-course feast was truly something from another world, extending late into the night with dessert and wine and cheese, as all good French meals do.
Favorite date night restaurant?
A place I’d love to be taken on a date would be Marlow & Sons, in Williamsburg. I’ve only been there for brunch a number of times, but the woodsy, tavern feel with low lighting and small tables seems like an ideal setting for digging in and really getting to know someone over a good meal.
Just in case, what's a good getaway plan?
In most cases I could probably wrap up a date quickly by merely telling the truth—that I’m exhausted from the prior week! I live quite devotedly to the “early to bed, early to rise” mantra, and have done so all my life. No one enjoys spending time with a girl that’s yawning through the entire conversation, so it’s usually a foolproof plan to just cite the need for some extra hours of rest.
Romance or spice?
I’m a complete romantic; I prefer a simple, thoughtful date that reflects someone knowing my character, rather than a fancy, expensive charade just for the sake of being impressive. One of my favorite things to do is take a drive to the river or the ocean with a picnic, and I can’t imagine a better date—car rides always make for candid conversation, and the quiet of the water seems to transform people into their best selves, myself included.
I don’t take picnicking lightly, so the perfect accompanying meal would be an appetizer of cheese, salami, and fig jam (I could eat this forever!), with either a savory tart of sorts or the corn pizza from Dove Vivi—a favorite here in Portland. Toss in some salad, a bottle of chardonnay, sautéed dates and dark chocolate for dessert, and you’ve got a superb waterside meal.
Worst food to eat on a date?
I tend to have a hard time eating sandwiches or burgers regardless of whether or not I’m on a date, so I try to avoid those when I’m concerned with who’s sitting across the table from me. It’s difficult to maintain confidence when I am certain there’s mustard strewn about my face.
Ice cream or pie for dessert?
To be honest, my choice would be pie and ice cream, served at Chez Moi. Some of the best dates I’ve experienced have been spent eating home-baked goods, sitting on the rug in front of my fireplace.
Overall best advice for a first date?
A simple word of advice is to go in with an open, curious mind—both about the fellow across the table from you, and about the meal being served to you. If you begin a date with a picky, critical attitude about either your date or your food, it’s likely that your outlook won’t lead to an optimistic view of much of anything. Best to keep your eyes open for things that delight, rather than disappoint.
Favorite Loop de Luxe piece for a date?
I’d likely throw any essentials into the leather tote by Manimal, and wear the sunshine necklace by Popomomo. I usually go for simple, well-made classics I can wear for ages.
Photos provided by Julie Pointer
Luisa Weiss founded The Wednesday Chef in 2005 and last year published her first book, a food memoir (with recipes!) called My Berlin Kitchen. She lives in Berlin with her husband Max and her 10-month old son Hugo.
Best meal on a date?
The omakase at Sushi Yasuda in New York City. It was a mind-blowing meal – I’d never had sushi like that before (and never have since!). I’ll never forget it.
Favorite date night restaurant?
Any place with good food and a nice atmosphere! I’m not picky… It’s all about the person across the table from you. My husband and I are new parents so getting out of the house by ourselves is still a strange and difficult thing. Our favorite date night restaurant is a romantic French restaurant that’s just two blocks away. Cold oysters, dry Champagne, a good meal and we’re home 3 minutes later.
What’s the worst food to eat on a date?
I think barbecue would be the worst – the constant finger-cleaning, mouth-wiping, and tooth-picking could be such a drag. Also, salad. All those leaves going every which way!Overall best piece of advice for a dinner date?
Relax and just be yourself.
Ice cream or pie for dessert? Favorite place to get them?
Ice cream, always! I love Grom for gelato, especially the pistachio.
Just in case, what’s a good get away plan?
An important presentation at work the next morning always requires an early bedtime. Finish up that drink, be polite, then scram.