“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are” is the motto blogger Kim Vu lives by on DC-Wrapped Dates, a local blog that serves as a food journal, a database to find restaurants to sample, and a date blog that captures just how frustratingly simple and plainly difficult it is to find that perfect spot for the special romantic dinner.
This week, Kim shares his favorite date spots in DC — places so good, you can skip the $12 Rom-Com. As a food blogger who “spends all of his disposable income on meals he can’t afford,” Kim is confident that in these restaurants, dinner is the movie:
#1: Jose Is Your Friend
Why It’s Great: Small plates means sharing food, never being bored with one flavor, and an automatic conversation starter. With apologies to Cork, Estadio, et. al., start with the three places from the man who brought tapas to the United States, where the fun is ratcheted up by the amazing food. Heck, do all three in one night (they’re all within a few blocks of one another).
#2: Eat at Eola
The Date: How about we… have dinner at Eola.
Why It’s Great: A place so beautifully charming it’s like you’re eating in a Home and Garden dining room, with impeccable service that makes you feel taken care of. And most importantly, some of the most amazing, thought-provoking, absolutely delicious food in the city.
#3: Get Hooked
The Date: How about we… track down the Red Hook Lobster Pound.
Why It’s Great: Tracking them down on Twitter is half the adventure. The other half is the buttery goodness that you won’t believe just came from a truck, and will help you understand the phrase “seven minutes in heaven.”
#4: See It All
The Date: How about we… snag a table at minibar.
Why It’s Great: Yes, it’s the hardest “table” to get in town. But nothing compares to the intimate experience of seeing your food cooked right in front of you in eclectic, Mr. Wizard ways AND being encouraged to ask questions of the chefs while it’s happening. Besides, nothing brings people together like frantically calling every day at 10am for a reservation.
#5: Baked & Wired
The Date: How about we…grab baked goods and chill at Baked and Wired.
Why It’s Great: An independent, old-school coffeeshop/bakery in a town increasingly full of Starbucks; the kind of place where they display their baked goods on glass cake trays. Best of all, it’s full of nooks and crannies perfect for those days you just want to sit next to someone, sink into a leather sofa, and read.
#6: Jekyll & Hyde
Why It’s Great: A Jekyll and Hyde restaurant, but one with no ugly side. Beyond the relaxed atmosphere and the brilliant food on both sides, the beauty of this split is the instant seamlessness that you can transition drinks into a classy sit-down dinner: just walk next door.
#7: Mix It Up
Why It’s Great: Let one of DC’s master mixologists take over and fashion you a one-of-a-kind cocktail. Whether it’s Gina Chersevani, Derek Brown, or Todd Thrasher, all three will blow your mind with playful, creative, and eminently sippable drinks.
#8: Mr Yogato
The Date: How about we… share dessert at Mr.Yogato.
Why It’s Great: Where else in DC can you go in and see someone reciting the Braveheart speech in a Scottish accent, or walking around with a stamp on their forehead, or racking their brains for the 5th country that ends in the letter L? These are some of the ways you can earn a discount at the quirkiest yogurt shop in the city, a place you can sit at a kindergarten table and play SNES. And, shameless plug: get the White Chocokeem when you go.
With these eight great date ideas to choose from, all you have to do is select a venue…and a lucky companion! Check out more dining hotspots and dating tips from Kim and the DC-Wrapped Dates team here.