So guys, the pressure is on, she wants to go someplace “romantic” for Valentines Day. In the words of the noted philosopher, Scoobey Doo, “RUh Roh!” The pressure is on, we need to demonstrate that we can, once a year, perform. We have to, gasp, be thoughtful and gentlemanly. (I know, right?)
Cue deer, cue headlights.
How do we decide if one room full of tables and foi gras is more romantic than another? Our instincts are probably not going to get it done. She is on to us and having none of the club over the head and hair dragging tonight. Romance is subjective and you are going to need to channel your inner sensitive side. No, a steak house with peanuts on the floor won’t do; you are going to have to go deeper. Buying her something from the nightie rack at the Bass Pro is best saved for that night she agrees to spend in the duck blind with you… Nope, tonight you have to be George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and that French candlestick guy from Beauty and The Beast all at once.
“Madame, Be My Guest!”
Let me see if I can help you out. Here’s our wine infused list of things that do (and don’t) make a restaurant romantic:
Fire! Besides the waiter, some things should be flaming for a truly romantic dinner. Candles, flaming cheese, Bananas Foster are all good. Flaming shots are not.
Fragrance: Specifically, in the rest room. It should be clean and, while not mandatory, an attendant is a nice addition. However, in the name of all that is holy, vending machines that dispense cologne with a plunger are not romantic. And, even if they are “for her pleasure,” don’t buy anything else in the restroom.
Strings: Piano: yes. Harp: better. Banjo: not so much. And, while we are on the subject:
Entertainment: Ballroom dancing: yes. Pole Dancing: no. Guest portrait artist: Yes. Guest Tattoo artist: No. Wandering Violinist: Yes. Wandering Balloon Clown: Hell No.
Wine: A nice wine list is a must for a romantic restaurant, may I suggest a Moscato, a sweet Italian wine with just enough bubbles. Let the waiter choose if you aren’t sure, and do not, under any circumstances, utter this phrase, “This wine is warm, put some ice in it.”
View: A place with a nice view is very romantic. Near water or on a hill over looking the city are two good ideas. A table with a great view of the rest of the food court is not.
Table: You want one. Especially one with a little privacy, a booth with some walls around it, a table cloth that allows for a little flirtatious touching out of view of the staff. Yes, your Ford F150 may offer privacy, but, I’m going to suggest that a drive through won’t be your best choice tonight.
The Menu: Something unique, something you don’t usually do is great. Try Moroccan, or French, for example. Avoid restaurants that features fish sticks or corn dogs. Or fried gator tail.
Desert: One way to judge the romantic potential of a restaurant is by the desert menu. A nice cheesecake, a chocolate soufflé, you want some evidence that the place actually employs a pastry chef. McFlurries, at least for this evening, are out.
Here’s my foolproof method for giving your woman the PERFECT evening: make a list of EVERYTHING you think would make a romantic date. Step by step, precisely list each component of a night that would be perfect for you. Leave out nothing, imagine every detail. When you are sure you have left no stone unturned, carefully cross out each item on your list and make a second list of the opposite of each of those things. Now, you are almost ready. Next, run this second list by any woman besides the one you want to take to dinner. She’ll straighten you out.
Good luck guys. I’m pulling for you.