How to Pick a Romantic Restaurant: Our 5-Part Checklist

Get the first or the hundredth date right with this date night check list

Wondering whether your favorite restaurant will make a good date spot? Read our checklist below to see if your dinner spot is romance-worthy.

1. Dim Lighting
A romantic restaurant is never too bright. When a dining room is dim, it sort of cancels out everyone else around you, and allows you to really zero in on your date, instead of the table behind her and to the left. Not to mention the fact that soft, flickering light is always the most flattering.

2. Casually Elegant
A restaurant that’s overly pretentious is never romantic: it makes you feel too self-conscious, and too hyper-aware of your surroundings. The perfect romantic restaurant feels special, but never stuffy. Look for an environment that makes you feel comfortable and cozy, one that invites you to lean in, rather than force you to sit up straight. (Note: Elegance doesn’t have to mean expensive! It’s much more about the atmosphere of the place than the prices on the menu.)

3. Unobtrusive Music
The music should set the mood and underscore your conversation, but you don’t want to be shouting at each other in order to talk. That mariachi band that wanders from table to table, or the waitstaff that bursts out in their signature rendition of "Happy Birthday" every 15 minutes? Fun, but not romantic.

4.Comfortable Seats
If this date goes well, you’re going to want to linger over coffee and dessert for hours. Neither you nor your date are going to want to do that if your back is aching and your butt’s constantly falling asleep.

5. Something Shareable
Either an affordable wine list, so that you can suggest splitting a bottle without breaking the bank, or a must-try dessert that’s too much for just one person. Either one is perfect for a first date.


Chiara Atik, How About We 

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