You only have one chance to make a first impression as my Old Man always used to say. So why, why, why do guys STILL insist on mediocre dinner & a movie dates to take ladies out for the first go-around? Or even worse, the dreaded, “Let’s grab a cup of coffee” dates. Sure, sitting there antsy with a case of the runs & the shakes is EXACTLY how I want my date to go back to her friends and describe me as. No. Here in Dallas, we have more restaurants per person than New York friggin City, so I’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the best Date Restaurants in the DFW that’ll leave her wondering what’s for dessert, instead of where’s the check. Check it out.
I’ve had a few first dates here that have always ended well. Great staff that is attentive without being over-bearing so that you can still enjoy your privacy. Tapa style-dining to show her just how much you share & a specialty cocktail menu that does its’ job of being delicious while simultaneously sending you off on your merry way…
One date at Javier’s and she’ll be calling you Papi by the end of the night. This intimate old-world setting is great for disarming any preconceived notions that you’re just another cookie-cutter nice guy without any imagination. This place looks like the trophy room of the Most Interesting Man in the World, insuring several topics for small-talk from the zebra pelt on the wall to the seductive Cigar Room in the back for after-dinner cocktails and banter. You’re welcome.
Call ahead so that when you walk-in you already look smarter than you are. Giving you and your date an opportunity to cozy up to each other, look over the menu and ask each other 5 times, “No, what do YOU like on your pizza?” By the time you get your pizza pie & cocktail order figured out, you’ll know for sure if she’s a meat-eater or not. And the food is delicious, which is always a good thing.
This place seems to always have a drink special, a DJ and a good-looking crowd every time we go. If she likes sushi and you like to drink, this is almost always a sure win, (or as my old friends on Anchorman would say, it works 60% of the time, every time.) There’s a love couch at the sushi bar so you and your date can get to know each other better while you and the chef both get your roll on.
Ok, so this is one of my favorite date scenarios: start driving towards Oak Cliff to Bolsa and if she hasn’t jumped out of the car by the time you get there, it’s a sign that she trusts you, which is already a good start. Once you’re there, you will both be surprised by this award-winning locale. (D Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year 2009, Dallas Observers ‘Best Place to Take a Date’ & ‘Best Patio’. Yes, my friends, I’m trying to help you out.) This place allows you to pull the whole, “I look at the pearl, not the oyster” card. Take her to this hidden gem in the middle of one of Dallas’ most notorious neighborhoods and she’ll feel safe in your arms.
Here’s a perfect place to take Miss Right, (or Miss Right Now) to show her that you enjoy some of the finer things in life without coming across as a pretentious jerk. Hibiscus feels classically elegant, yet comfortable at the same time. Order whatever you’re in the mood for, but let one of the wait staff help you choose your wine pairing, because, that’s what they’re there for, right?
7. Ocean Prime
Alright, I realize this may be one of the lesser imaginative selections on this list, but it’s always been a sure Ace-in-the-Hole. Nice, upscale, well-known; everything you need to say, “Hey, I’m normal.” Great food & great atmosphere never hurt anyone’s chances either.
Do it. Trust me. This ultimate date destination was recently awarded ‘Summers Best Cocktails’ by local D Magazine which automatically put it on my radar. This electric yet cozy spot makes for an amazing first date to let her know you can eat somewhere that doesn’t care if “you want fries with that,” and their tapas & wine selection will help you keep the conversation going well into the night.
9. The Grape
As a general rule, I try to steer away from eating with my hands on the first date. I’m weird, I know. But if that doesn’t seem to faze you, this restaurant has repeatedly been awarded best Burger in Texas, (which if you think about it, is kind of hard to do here) as well as a slew of other awards. The Grape has been around for 35 years and I’m sure if you ask some of the older couples in the Grapevine area, there’s a reason for that. Intimate, different & delicious: exactly what you want her thinking about you.
Nothing says “I understand you,” more than taking her to a French soufflé restaurant. This joint isn’t just for pansies though, President Bush & his dame often spotted here. Well… Nevermind. The Art of Seduction teaches that you must paint an other-worldly experience when she’s with you. Rise does just that by transplanting you to the foreign French country-side while you’re there. A couple courses here, and she’ll be saying, “I surrender” faster than a Fre… forget it. Trust me, Rise is first-date worthy.
Well there you have it folks, my Top 10 Date Spots in Dallas. Now, please don’t feel put-out if your favorite restaurant didn’t make the cut. There are several other lists that I’m putting together, including, Top 10 Patios, Top 10 Sunday Brunches, Top 10 Happy Hour Spots and a few others, so look for your picks in some of my upcoming lists. And as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated, so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other morsels of information you think I might enjoy. Cheers & Happy Eating!