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Help! Help! Help!

Help me Chowhounders! I am going on a date Wednesday night. The destination is going to be somewhere on Route 1. Ugh. It seems to be the half way point from where we both live. Where is a good place to meet up for some decent grub, wine/beer? Heck, I will even go off the beaten path.. Please don't mention Hooters. That's the last place I need to bring a guy for the first time... Birdy is very nervous, so I need to feel a little bit comfortable too. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Isn't Donatello's on Rt. 1 North supposed to be pretty good?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Hi Joanie - I just spoke with my friend about that place. She said that back in the day, all the servers from Prezza came from there which MEANT is was good. But I don't know about now. Someone told me that it's better to sit upstairs, yes?

      1. re: birdy30

        Actually Donatello's is still quite a nice restaurant. The food is delicious and the servers all know what they're doing... and are helpful. It's our go-to resturant when we want a pleasant and satisfying dinner without breaking the bank or going too far afield.
        http://www.donatello-restaurant.com/

        Since we don't know what the "half way point where [they] both live"...I was going to suggest the Hardcover in Danvers on Rte. 1 north....
        http://www.barnsiderrestaurants.com/1...

    2. How about Uncle Pete's on Route 60 in Revere for some good BBQ and beer? It's just off the Route 1 exit, about 1/4 mile east of the intersection.

      1. Casual dining chain wasteland! I can only think of two places I ever stop: Karl's Sausage Kitchen (a retail outlet, no help there) and Brothers Kouzina, which is a pretty okay Greek-American diner type of place with some actual Greek dishes on the menu, but all the ambience of Denny's.

        The Hilltop could have some kitsch appeal, though I think it's pretty weak by mid-range steakhouse standards; I think I'd actually rather eat at Jimmy's Steer House.

        You could do worse than Bertucci's or Naked Fish.

        Is your date adventurous enough for Vietnamese? I haven't tried it, but there's a place call Pho Triple 888 (that's nine 8s for extra luck, I presume). Neither have I tried a nearby Thai place, Sri Thai Blossom.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Bertucci's or Naked Fish might be good. He's coming from Burlington and I will be coming from Reveeyah if that makes it more helpful. I laugh out loud suggesting Karl's Sausage Kitchen - I don't want to scare him away! And I don't know how adventurous he is because I haven't met him yet... Gulp.

          1. re: birdy30

            If it's Burlington and Revere, how about Sushi Island in Wakefield?

            1. re: beetlebug

              And, if the date goes well, you can go to Methlebarb's (sp) ice cream for dessert.

            2. re: birdy30

              Naked fish is much too noisy... just sayin'.

          2. Out of Asia - Route 1, is pretty good casual Chinese.

            Or take the right onto the Lynn Fells Parkway for 1/2 mile. La Vita Mia, is really good Italian.

            1. The Hardcover is a little up RT.1. They are decent for what you're looking for. Shouldn't be super busy on Wednesday either. Afforadable American type cuisine.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mervyn Cruddy

                Sake
                Out of Asia
                Hardcover
                Angela's Coal Fired Pizza

                1. re: lulu806

                  Yup, I was gonnah suggest Angela's....Donatello's isn't casual enough for a first date. Angela's; lighter, casual food, beverages, casual, yet not chain (even tho it is one ) atmosphere...
                  And not too expensive for an exploratory date....Lower price points, but slightly cool atmosphere go far in lightening the ambiance....(This from a woman who did her share of those!!!!)

              2. For sushi, I like Saki, there's Uncle pete's on rte 60 in Revere for BBQ, Hardcover for some beef or fish, a stretch for casual the 99 or Bertucci's for a so..so.. pizza, Donatello's for Italian/American. Hope this helps.

                1 Reply
                1. re: treb

                  I second Sake...this is the only place on that stretch of Route 1 that comes to my mind as a non-cornball restaurant.

                  Not that the cornball factor is entirely a bad thing--in fact the decor alone at the Kowloon is enough to make me laugh, without even setting foot in their in-house comedy club.

                2. Midwest Grill is pretty good if you eat meat- it's also good for a date because you can get away from the table to go to the buffet for sides, and the procession of meats to your table can be entertaining.

                  1. I'd be impressed if someone took my to Billy's Roast Beef in Wakefield for a first date, especially given your geographic parameters. No beer, unfortunately, unless things have changed.

                    2nd choice would be the Border Cafe.

                    3rd choice I'd say there's a restraining order in effect telling me to keep at least two miles away from Rt 1 at all times.

                    1. I took a look at a map. Fuloon in Malden would be an easy shot from Revere and would save him going north on 128 from Burlington, which can be unpleasant around rush hour.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: junior coyote

                        junior, excellent suggestion. the atmosphere is actually somewhat romantic- darker lighting, decent decor, comfie intimate banquettes; not at all your typical formica diner feeling chinese place. and such wonderful food.

                        1. re: junior coyote

                          You guys are great! Angela's Coal Fired Pizza may be a good suggestion . Border's as well. I agree with MC. Culinary Wasteland. But I will keep you posted as to where we went. Right now I have Angela's, Borders, Naked Fish, and Bertucci's. I could even stoop to the Hilltop. JuniorCoyote - 6:30, is that unpleasant? Who wants to be my wingman????

                          1. re: birdy30

                            Rush hour is starting to wind down at 6:30. I would rather go south on 93 than north on 128 though. My other thoughts would be Angelo's in Stoneham or Catch in Winchester, but that would be more driving for you. Or maybe Pastalina in Medford. I've never been but I think it is BYOB.

                        2. Thank you for all your help. As I past all the restaurants, I thought of you. Oh there's Donatello's! And there's Angela's Coal Fired Pizza! Brothers Kouzina, NOW I see you! You can't hide from me you little Midwest Grill. We went to The Hardcover. And the place couldn't have been more perfect. Abuzz with Christmas festivities. All your traditional classic fare. My Mom and Dad would have a field day with the menu. We ordered the Chicken tenders for some nibbles. But it was the mini Beef Wellingtons that wowed me. Moist tender meat inside puff pastry. I didn't see any mushroom duxelle though. Overall it was a safe well lit place to meet. The Celtics won. I actually think I would go back here again. (but without THAT date)

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: birdy30

                            Glad the Hardcover worked out for you.... but sorry "THAT date" didn't. At least you had the Celtics to distract you.

                            1. re: birdy30

                              I think the Hardcover was a great choice. Nothing special, but also not a place you have to have a sense of humor to enjoy. That's too much pressure for an already pressured situation.

                              Never mind about THAT date. Next!

                              1. re: birdy30

                                I love how Chowish this report is. "It was perfect! Everything was great. Well, the date sucked, but that's not important!" The important thing is that you enjoyed yourself. That and the Celtics kept their streak going.

                                1. re: TPistrix

                                  Heh, I was thinking the same thing. I'm beginning to think that perhaps CH folks should only be dating within the CH family, as, in general, very few others would understand the rather different type of mindset typically found here. :-D

                                2. re: birdy30

                                  Glad you took my advice Birdy30 and that you enjoyed your time there...