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Nov 9, 2007 08:17 AM

What not to order on a date

So, I always get nervous when I'm on a dinner date. I love good food, I love eating with my hands and I love having a bit too much wine. I always feel a bit self conscious unless I am eating with an equally passionate foodie (not always easy to find these days). So, I try and stay away from salads (hard and messy to eat), soups (slurping sounds anyone? but gooddd I love French onion soup) and often spaghetti pasta (red sauce on a white shirt too many times).

Anyone else have any ideas of what NOT to order when on a date?

What about what NOT to drink? I often go straight for a strong cocktail at the beginning before ordering wine, which some people might find aggressive...

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  1. I'm with you on french onion soup and spaghetti. Red wine is another one. It can stain your teeth and tongue as well as give you a mustache if you sip to big!
    Lobster or anything where you're given a bib.
    But you know, I think cuisnes such as Morrocan or Ethiopian etc.. where you eat with your hands would be terrific fun and an ice breaker.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      I agree that you have to be careful with the red wine. It can lead to very unappetizing stained mouth, lips and teeth. I also think that one should be prudent on how much to drink. A girlfriend of mine never has a problem getting first dates but has issues getting second ones because of the booze factor.

    2. If my date objects to my eating habits, it's our last date.
      Eat whatever you like - if the date does the same you may find you've both been acting all polite and genteel needlessly.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Peg

        ... except raw onions of course. Don't eat raw onions unless the date does, in which case you MUST eat raw onions.

        1. re: Peg

          And garlic, raw or otherwise.

          Durian too, unless you are dating someone from Southeast Asia.

        2. re: Peg

          "If my date objects to my eating habits, it's our last date."

          That doesn't sound like a harbinger of lots of second dates.

          If one is always polite and genteel, one is never polite and genteel needlessly.

          1. re: FrankJBN

            Table manners are a good indicator of manners of another type. As far as what to eat with a date, I would go for a gratin. I would be careful to avoid smelly spices, escargots (too much garlic) and raw oysters (splurping). Frog legs might also put off a date.

          2. re: Peg

            Amen. I firmly believe in being myself on a date. I mean, if you eat like a total animal, maybe you need to check yourself. But any guy or girl worth keeping isn't going to be put off by a healthy appetite, or a bit of messiness.

            The question reminds me so much of my college roommate. When going on a date, she'd eat only salad, wear only her best clothes, do perfect hair and makeup, never smoke (she was a smoker), etc. And this would continue through numerous dates with the same guy. And she'd always come home ravenous and eat a pint of ice cream and/or a cheeseburger. I'd always ask how she could stand not being herself with these guys--I mean, they'd have to find out eventually who she was! I realized that it must be women like her that men complain about after years of marriage: "she was so thin/pretty/...when we got married!"

            And just re the OP's alcohol question: as others have said, go with the flow. But common sense should apply. It may not only be unattractive to get blotto on a first date, it can actually be dangerous. Better to keep your senses about you with someone you don't know well.

          3. I agree on eat what you like - be yourself!!!!! While I will avoid bbq or red sauce stuff if I'm wearing a white shirt that I treasure it has to do with the shirt, not the company. As far as cocktail then wine - I usually go with the flow so if he wants one, I'll have one, if not, I'm just as happy to move right into wine but thats out of being sociable, not a desire to do as he does.

            1. Spinach. You never find out until you get home that there's a big hunk of it stuck to your teeth.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alanbarnes

                you run the same risk with pesto. steer clear!

                garlic and/or onions, however, can be absolutely long as your date is eating it/them as well.

              2. First and foremost, you ought to get past getting a buzz before dinner and then drinking too much wine. You may be trying to settle your nerves, but you are only enabling foolish or embarassing behavior which is apparently your concern.

                Learn to eat soup without slurping. It is not hard. If you slurp when eating clams or oysters half-shell, don't worry about it.

                Again, if you have to, cut back on your drinking. I mean, you post about how difficult it is to eat salads, soups and spaghetti. It really is not that difficult to eat these things with a measure of style and decorum.

                I try to avoid food with a lot of garlic or a lot of hot pepper - any foods which might ... intrude on later intimacy, shall we say? For me that also precludes raw broccoli, anything that may play hell with my guts later in the evening. In fact, I avoid eating such foods during the day if I am going on a dinner date later.