Where to take a first date in the Boston area.
Does anyone have any suggestions on where to take a first date for lunch in the Boston - 128 area?
That's really really general. Do you have an area or food you'd like to concentrate on? For some reason, Flora in Arlington came to mind cuz it's nice without costing an arm and a leg. But why go to Arlington if you're in the South End or Brighton (where I'd recommend Dish or Atara, respectively).
... except that Tea-Tray in the Sky is pricey, and might intimidate the date...
It depends on what sort of impression you want to make on your date. Do you want to sweep him off his feet? Or have a nice, comfortable chat at a place where you won't feel guilty if she decides to pick up the check? Do you want a romantic atmosphere, or a place where your date won't feel pressured? And what will your date eat, anyway?
My husband took me to the Village Fish in Brookline for our first date, 'cause the cafe we were supposed to go to wasn't open that night. Little did he know I was a vegetarian.
I've never been to Flora but, if you don't end up there I'd immediately write Arlington off the list of possible towns. We're lightly dotted with purveyors of decent food but no one would mistake us for an oasis.
It's a great time of year for dinner followed by a stroll to a particularly savory ice cream place and perhaps a walk through a historic, quaint little park commemorating some 18th century travesty or triumph.
But perhaps you guys wouldn't be into that at all... either way I'd avoid Arlington. :)
If you're first date doesn't like your meal in Arlington, that's good reason not to go for the second date.
Gala Ristorante is a great place for a diverse menu and interesting food (Portugese-Italian-Mediteranian). More casual, more of a neighborhood spot, is Ole Mexican on Broadway, great food, friendly and conversational - 25 seats and a beer and wine license has just been approved. The two Indian restaurants in the center are great, and I wouldn't be in much of a hurry to date anyone who doesn't like Indian food. Also, Meg's first date... Village Fish... now has a pretty little place in Arlington Center.
Arlington's restaurants tend to be small, personable, and great places for quiet conversation.
Never go to a restaurant on a first date that you wouldn't be comfortable going to for a good meal with a significant other. A comfortable neighborhood restaurant with great food is the key to success, which is what makes Arlington a great choice for a first date.
All that may be true but the initial poster didn't mention a preference for Arlington, merely the Boston -128 area. With the exception of Gala, to which I've never been and therefore have no idea, I agree the places you mention serve good food but to my mind in every instance there is better to be had outside of Arlington.
If I were in or near Arlington and on a "local" first date you can bet I'd be somewhere you just noted but if "Boston - 128 area" means an origin >= 20 minutes away from Arlington, with the potential exception of our Indian fare, it's probably not worth the trip.
That being said, however, I agree with you. Arlington has some excellent, small places for quiet conversation with good food. If you're in the area it's fine 1st date/Nth date material. I was erring on the side of caution simply because there's little in Arlington I'd go far out of my way for and didn't know how far from Arlington the poster was.