Let’s face it. After a year and a half blogging about online dating, I’ve gone from considering myself a legitimate dating virgin to a semi-pro dater. Extrovert that I am, I love to shout about my self proclaimed expert dating status wherever I go: office party, family dinner, friend of a friend’s party, etc.
So, a question people ask me (and my cobloggers) pretty frequently is: “Where is the best place in DC/Philly/Boston to go on a first date?” So, today, I bring you this post (first in an LSD series) about my favorite DC date spots. A few disclaimers before I get to it…
- No one paid us to say anything. If there is one thing consistent about the ladies of Stucu, it’s that we know our own minds. As S put it this weekend when I asked if we had to follow any “rules” during a Painting with a Twist excursion (which was surprisingly fun by the way): “We’ll do what we want. Because that’s how we do.”
- This is more of an art than a science. And by art, I mean that in the most Jackson Pollock kind of way. (God! Painting with a Twist just made me so in touch with the artistic community!) Our picks are based on our own personal preferences and experiences.
- We’re working on our brevity over here, especially because we realize our readers come from all over the place (not just our three cities), so we’re limiting our top picks to three per city. If you’re interested in hearing even more opinions (because GOD KNOWS you don’t get enough of that on this blog already), shoot us an email and we’d be happy to discuss in more detail.
- We have a not so secret agenda here (honestly, what could be less secret than a public blog??) to get some great reader suggestions out of this. Please don’t pass up this opportunity to help us sound cool when we suggest potential spots, ever so casually, to our future dates.
So here goes…
DC TOP THREE FIRST DATE SPOTS
1. Beers and banter– Board room (1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009)
Remember that place I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? Where I’ve literally been on dates with five different men? Well, that place is called Board room and, it totally deserves my business (and my date’s business).
First of all, it’s conveniently located near bus and metro (not to mention near my office and across the street from one of my BFF’s apartments). I can get there in 5 minutes from work and 15 minutes from home. And if my date lives in a remotely cool location (aka not the suburbs like SOME PEOPLE), he can get there quickly too.
But way more importantly, combining games and beer is a surefire way to make a
possibly probably awkward conversation with a total stranger less awkward. Instead of starting with the usual getting to know you questions (So you’re from Ohio…how long have you lived in Logan Circle…did you watch the USA vs. Ghana game…), you can pretend to be concentrating on sinking your opponent’s Battleship.
Plus, there is the added banter aspect. I’ll admit that my preferred style of flirting is what my colleague calls, “playground flirting,” which means that I spend a lot of time teasing guys and challenging them to strange competitions. So, nothing helps me get my groove on more than making eyes over a Connect Four board. Unless it’s kicking some serious butt (I always do), in Scrabble, all while chiding my date for not researching two-letter words before challenging me to a match. (See, I like trash-talking so much I’m literally about to start flirting with myself on this blog right now).
2. Neighborhood classic–Meridian Pint (11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010)
This place is even closer to my apartment than Board room. Score! But proximity is not the reason this bar gets the #2 spot on this list. (I’m lazy, but not that lazy). It’s not a dive at all, but it’s still just one tiny step below what I’d actually call a restaurant. I’d call it a friendly neighborhood pub, but I don’t associate pubs with very good food, and Meridian Pint’s nachos will knock your socks off. Plus, they have a killer beer list that not only results in drinking some delicious and hard to find things (Victory Dirtwolf, anyone?) but also is an instant conversation starter about beer preferences, a subject I could go on and on about at length. (Though, my expertise is really in
shitty low cost beers. One of the many things on my bucket list is to write my own version of this amazing list. And, btw, HOW DARE YOU INSULT YUENGLING, WILL GORDON OF DEADSPIN. I’M COMING FOR YOU).
Plus, Meridian Pint has all the seating options you could possibly desire: outside seating for perfect DC days (of which there about 15 per year, and we will not see again until the end of this already humid summer), upstairs tables or bar for intimate conversation, and downstairs bar for some TV-watching and rowdiness.
3. Cheese and Chocolate–Coco Sala (929 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004)
I know, I know. I’ve gone on record previously and said I don’t believe in eating anything on first dates. But this place is an exception. Coco Sala’s menu has a heavy focus on chocolate, complimented by lots of delicious dishes involving cheese and, more often than not, bacon.
I know S, D, and I have all waxed poetic about cheese on the blog before. But don’t think I’ve introduced you to my personal holy trinity: cheese, bacon, and bourbon. And chocolate. And beer. And Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. (OK, so not really a trinity at all, but give me a break. I mix up religious references all the time.)The point is, Coco Sala has a delicious menu of small plates that could only be improved by adding a slider that resembled Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Plus, the portions are small and delicate enough that you can try a lot of things without getting full, and without resembling this:
(I want to retitle that image: L at Shake Shack after a long day).
Coco Sala also has some mad-flattering lighting which I desperately need after a long work day. And, it’s always crowded, but not too crowded, so you can feel like you’re somewhere cool and hip, but still hear your date speak.
That’s it y’all. I decided to wrap this up rather abruptly because even thinking about this place is making me want to defrost some brownies I may or MAY NOT have in my freezer and eat them while watching Orange is the New Black.
So that’s my DC Top Three! Readers, I’d love to hear yours, so don’t be shy; leave it in the comments! And stay tuned for the top three favorites of my Yankee sisters up in Philly and Boston.