When you bring a date to a restaurant, you have an audience the whole time: the ever-watching staff. It’s time we learned something from them.
I reached out to a range of restauranteurs, servers and hosts, all of whom have seen the best and worst of our wining and dining behavior, to get their tips and etiquette insights on dining out with a date. We’ll be releasing the results over the course of the next two weeks.
Smartest place to sit on a first date? (bar or table?)
Erica Schwartzberg (Host, Isa, Brooklyn): Bar seating is nice because the bartender can sometimes be a buffer and after a few drinks the bar stools become vehicles for sloppier seating and flirting.
Michael Terlecki (Manager, L’Orignal, Montreal): Always the bar. It’s a failsafe. If your date sucks you have the bartender to help you out, or on the other hand, your interactions with the bartender will help your date see the kind of guy you are.
Chloe Harrison (Server, La Superior, Brooklyn): Sit at the bar.
Alexandria LaPorte (Manager, Cafe Mogador, Brooklyn): For a blind date, table is best. You can sit across from each other and make eye contact. Bar is more intimate. You’re sitting next to the person and can flirt and touch all night.
Traylor Phelps (Server, Sombre Mexican Kitchen, Ridgeland, MS): Booths by the bar are great for a date. For a blind date, a regular table. I’m there to pay attention to this new person and learn about her.
Eileen Curran (Server, Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen, Manhattan): Bar. Nice and casual for a first blind date.
Daniel Notkin (restauranteur and oysterman, Old Port Oyster Co., Montreal): Bar is great. Make it somewhere interactive so that you can play and have fun. Make it causual, that way you can always talk to the bartender. If it’s an oyster bar, there’s always something awesome to talk about.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of Table for Two! Previously:
Read more from Ben at BK + MTL Kitchens.