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Trying to impress a very attractive Woman

I recently met a woman who is way out of my league, but for some reason she likes me ... maybe she was drunk. Anyways, I am taking her out to dinner and would appreciate some suggestions on a very romantic restaurant. I do not mind spending money, but I am also not looking for something in The Fountain, Vetri, Le Bec Fin price range.

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  1. You should go to Matyson since the food is incredible and it does not break the bank. Bring a great bottle of champagne and red wine. But, it can get super crowded on the weekends.

    1. Matyson may have incredible food but I don't think it is very romantic. Does it have to be center city Philadelphia? I was thinking of Gilmore's in West Chester (not that hard to get into during the week). Also byob. Ask for one of the two-tops by the fireplace. The table for two in the window of Pif would have been my first choice but that is no longer is an option. :-(

      1. I can't be certain if she was out of his league, but my son recently impressed a woman by taking her to Brasserie Perrier.

        1. It depends on the person. The wife and I have been enjoying Osteria on Sunday evenings between 8:30 and 9:00 lately. It isn't too crowded then and all of the servers are friendly (and fun) and know the food. Yes the food! As you probably know Osteria is Italian (but not "red sauce" Italian). I really like the funky wine list (e.g. Sardegna is represented) as well. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. We really like it. It should be impressive enough without going over the top and obvious (which would be a bad move in my opinion). Most importantly: act like you've been there before.

          1. Find out what type of wine she likes and then go to Chloe between 2nd and 3rd on Arch.
            Nice romantic place, varied food selection, BYO and won't break the bank.


            2 Replies
            1. re: tom246

              Chloe is a great suggestion. Don't know if you're going on a weekend but they don't take reservations and it's difficult to get in after around 5:30pm on a Saturday night. Or it used to be. Haven't checked lately. What about Le Bar Lyonnais, downstairs from Le Bec Fin?

              1. re: tom246

                Chloe is perfect. Simple. Not too expensive. Incredibly romantic but accesible.

              2. My husband took me to Lolitas and I thought it was very romantic!

                1 Reply
                1. re: mygigson

                  I like Lolita too and while I won't tell you that it ISN'T romantic (that's too subjective) I'd definitely say that it IS hip and cool and young and intimate. The food ain't bad either. Nice choice.

                2. What about Gayle? The little courtyard is very cute.

                  1. I think Positano Coast would be a nice romantic spot. Especially if you could call ahead for something along the balcony.
                    XIX comes to mind, too, although that might be a bit out of price range.

                    1. If your date likes Italian, then Osteria is an excellent choice, as Chinon00 has recommended. If she likes Chinese food, then Susanna Foo is a nice option. In fact, you could go to the Rotunda Bar first at the Ritz-Carlton for cocktails (makes a great first impression on a date) and then walk over to Susanna Foo for dinner. I’d also strongly encourage you to avoid any of Stephen Starr’s places. They’re long on hype and short on substance. And they’re all very noisy.

                      However, I would personally go with JanR’s suggestion of Le Bar Lyonnais. It’s worked well for me in the past when I’ve wanted to impress a woman. In some ways, Le Bar is much more intimate and romantic than Le Bec-Fin. And you still get the best food outside Lyon, but at reasonable prices. The service is very friendly and personable, and the staff will go out of their way to help you “look good” (just let them know in advance when making the reservation that you have a very special date planned – ask specifically to speak to Thomas, the bar manager). In addition, they still do the things in Le Bar Lyonnais that they do upstairs in Le Bec-Fin, such as covering each dish with a silver cloche before serving and changing your cutlery in between courses. And they use the same hand polished silverware in Le Bar Lyonnais that they use in Le Bec-Fin. If you make a reservation, be sure you ask for one of the secluded tables (to the left of the bar and service station) for more privacy.

                      By the way, unless you’re bringing something like Shafer Hillside Select or Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, I sort of think going to a BYOB when you’re trying to impress someone sends the wrong message. The only possible exception that comes to mind is Gilmore’s, but that’s quite far from Center City. BYOBs are good once you’re dating regularly and want some more variety.

                      1. Caffe Casta Diva has a very cute table for two in the back of the restaurant. It's a lovely place with wonderul food.

                        1. If it were me, I would flip if you took me to Bliss, right next door to the Bellevue.
                          It is romantic and has delicious food without being a Le Bec Fin.

                          I had dinner at Casta Diva Thursday night and thought the meal was delicioius but the tables are all quite close, the noise level maddening (and this was Thursday night, not Friday or Saturday!), and I surely do not think of the word romantic when I think of Casta Diva.
                          I highly recommend it though for good Italian fare on a more casual evening.

                          PS. Don't sell yourself short my friend. If she dug you, you're worthy!! [g]

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: idia

                            Thank you very much for all of your suggestions and words of encouragement. I am not sure which way I am leaning, but my one girlfriend suggested The Rose Tattoo and I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts on this restaurant. She said it is decorated in a New Orleans motif and since I went to college there, she thought it would give me something to talk about.

                            1. re: Adamlick

                              I ate lunch at Rose Tatoo once a few years ago and remember the food being very good. I didn't even think of the place before, but it's quite romantic and I would agree that it is reminicent of NOLA. I remember Best of Philly naming it the "Best place to cheat on someone", probably for the privacy of the tables.

                              1. re: Adamlick

                                Rose Tatoo is very good, though a bit tired (imho) in appearance. But if she wants to go there, then I'd do that. I would ask for a seat downstairs, as the stairs on the way upstairs are a bit steep. You can ask the hostess when you make a reservation for which table they would consider the most romantic; I have always found the people there very friendly and helpful. I would say it does remind me a bit of NO, having spent a great deal of time there myself.
                                Be sure you make a reservation and do leave room for dessert. If you like filet mignon, they serve usually 2 different varieties of it and it is always excellent. GREAT wild mushroom bisque, if you like that, and really good appetizers.
                                I think Le Bar would be my first choice, but I would probably honor her request if I were you.

                                1. re: mschow

                                  If you really want to impress her without looking like you are trying to hard, please go to Chloe instead of Rose Tatoo. If you want to look like you are impressing her go to Le Bar Lyonnais.

                                2. re: Adamlick

                                  Rose Tattoo is lovely and definitely romantic. But Chloe is great as well and gives you the opportunity to hit some of the Old City bars after dinner- not much you'd want to see around Rose Tattoo! Lolita is yummy but not so romantic. Moshulu sounds like a good idea as well, but haven't been. Good luck!

                              2. Tangerine is really romantic and the food is fabulous. I haven't been, but I hear Washington Square is where the beautiful people go (since she's beautiful, she might like that). The cafe at XIX is beautiful, with beautiful views at a fraction of the price of the restaurant. Susanna Foo is lovely. The Moshulu is a nice option especially if you have a window seat. The tables, chairs and silver are very luxurious and you can feel like you're on a cruise. Good luck -- let us know what you decide and how it goes.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: hungry100

                                  Moshulu is a great suggestion. I think The Rose Tatoo is a little bit tired. Friday Saturday Sunday is very tucked away and notoriously romantic, but I think they recently had a fire. How about Water Works? The views make you feel like you're in Europe and I will say the food is much improved since its early, rocky reviews.

                                  1. re: disher

                                    Rae's in the Cira Bldg. near 30th Street Station is a New York sophisticated place with very good food.

                                    1. re: idia

                                      Aside from being very expensive, Rae is a huge (cold) space. Not romantic. In reply to a previous poster, I think you misunderstood. It's not his prospective date that suggested Rose Tattoo but rather a female friend. If you go to Alba, I would request the back room. Much more private, plus it gets loud (music) in the main dining room.

                                      1. re: JanR

                                        I must agree with you, Jan. Rae's is not a romantic spot. It's more upscale New Yorkish.
                                        For some odd reason I got the impression from his post that he was looking for a center city venue. Alba is lovely but way out in Malvern.
                                        If he doesn't mind driving to the burbs, I would highly recommend Gilmore's in West Chester.
                                        Otherwise, I will still stick by my Bliss choice!

                                      2. re: idia

                                        Meant to add that Stern's other restaurant, Gayle, would be a much better choice for a romantic dinner.

                                        1. re: JanR

                                          2nd. Although your date needs to be an open minded foodie. The menu at Gayle is not for those that know little about food. Friday Saturday Sunday is terrible.

                                        2. re: idia

                                          The name of the restaurant is Rae, not Rae's.

                                    2. Take her to Alba in Malvern and spring for the chef's tasting menu. If that will not work nothing will. I'd fall for you and I'm a guy. Best of luck

                                      1. My boyfriend took me to the chocolate buffet at the ritz-carlton for our second date. Technically not dinner, but I was very impressed (and am still with him, 2 years later)!
                                        Would also recommend the dark, hidden table at Snackbar (if you can snag it- or else not romantic at all), the corner tables at Jake's in Manayunk, Branzino is also nice but the romance can be ruined depending on how loud the table is next to you.
                                        And I haven't been myself, but as Jessicheese wrote, those white sofas on the balcony of positano coast are intriguing...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jerseytomato

                                          ooh, positano coast is beautiful when it's nice out and they have all the windows open! food not great and service a little slow - maybe good for that 2nd or 3rd date?

                                        2. There are plenty of great ideas here, but I didn't see anyone mention Beau Monde, which I think is very romantic as well as delicious. Pif and LBL are great ideas too. But really if a guy wanted to impress me, he'd either bring me somewhere special to him, or he'd pick up on something I'd mentioned and make a decision based on that. Did she give you anything to go on at all?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Adrienne

                                            while i love beau monde, i think it might be a tiny bit too contrived for a first date. some people do like that though, so i am just putting my two cents in. :) note to everyone - if they have their nicoise salad as a special, ORDER IT! so good. and then you can have a dessert crepe. mmmm.

                                            1. re: mazza3

                                              By contrived do you mean you find it too datey to be a good date spot?

                                              1. re: disher

                                                Yes, unfortunately. Idia had noted it a couple of posts down.

                                            2. looks do not make a woman out of your league! i never understand why men say that. i am sure that she likes you because you are a good person, attractive people can pick up on that too you know!

                                              anyway, little fish, 4th and catherine. small, quirky, personal and honest.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Obviously, you've got our attention with this post. When is this date? Please tell us where you went and how it went!

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: JanR

                                                  Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I did not get a chance to check CH until I got home from work and was astonished/very grateful for all of your support. I was leaning towards Chloe, but I am taking her out on Saturday and the no reservations policy could present a problem. My next thought was Le Bar Lyonnais since I live in Rittenhouse Square and it sounds like it would be wonderful, but Saturinus's and chinon00 comments about trying too hard to impress actually working in reverse and a comfortable atmosphere being of utmost importance resonnated through mind, so I decided to utilize my strengths and cook for her myself. By the level of excitement I heard in her voice, I think I made the right choice. Plus, I am that much closer to my bedroom ... Just kidding. Thanks again for all of your help, I truly appreciate it. I never thought I would receive this much relationship advice from CH.

                                                  1. re: Adamlick

                                                    Great choice! Rae's would have been a slick noisy disaster.

                                                    Utlizing your strengths has always got to be the best strategy. And, whoever commented about not making too much of this woman's classy good looks was right on target. It'[s a bit like being fabulously wealthy--someone who is is always on guard that the big draw is the money, and that she isn't liked for herself.

                                                    1. re: Adamlick

                                                      Excellent choice. My fiancé cooked a nice dinner at his place for our first 'food' date...and many more since, going on nine years now. :)

                                                      Even though Chloe comes highly and often recommended around here, I have to say I'm a little relieved you decided to pass, for the first date, anyway. I've only been once, but it must have been an off-night for them. The soup was delicious, but everything else ranged from a little overcooked, to not seasoned enough, to more salt than necessary. And I think the service and atmosphere were too casual to be really impressive; perhaps better for a more relaxed 5th or 6th date.

                                                      1. re: Adamlick

                                                        Make sure you stock wine or her favorite alcoholic beverage ;)

                                                        Guys that can cook = major, major points. Moreso than any fine dining experience. Good luck!

                                                    2. I'm not from Pennsylvania but I was highly amused by this post. Let us all know how the date goes! Good luck :)

                                                      1. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I ask, what are you going to make?

                                                        1. I would go to the Happy Rooster. (take her for dinner before karaoke) hang out for drinks after and sing a very romantic song to her... not too mushy... but something about her beauty. Even if your voice sucks she will love it.
                                                          The food is great... warm her up with delicious food, good wine and and some after dinner drinks. Perhaps she will even sing back to you if all goes well.
                                                          Really it worked for me!!! Besides I love the old world feel of this place

                                                          1. a walk through Longwood Gardens and dinner for 2 at the restaurant onsite. (make reservations) Stop trying to impress her with your pseudo knowledge of eateries and do something you will both remember as an actual good time.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: micoohs

                                                              I would suggest a place with a good happy hour........a couple or three Cosmo's........ then a trip to Tony Luke's. You can share a nice pork Italian sandwich, like the dogs from Lady and the Tramp..........!!!
                                                              Dude, she likes you......not where you take her!!!
                                                              Even better.....learn to cook something just for her and have her over. If she can't cook and the meal is good she'll be on your doorstep every day. On second thought........that's how I ended up married for the last 19 years.......just take her to Amada for tapas instead.

                                                              1. re: JNUNZMAN

                                                                Ummm, hounds.... his post is over a year old. I'd like to know where he finally took her and what heppened. She might be ancient history or they are engaged.

                                                                Nice suggestions, though.

                                                                1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                  Damnit. I was hoping for details.

                                                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                    We are all bummed there was no report back. Maybe he is still to busy?

                                                              2. If a guy would want to impress me, he'd have to take me to Morimoto. LOL Oh snap, I went there didn't I? ;)