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best (east)Bay Area joint for a first date

So we've all got the usual dress and impress, wine, dine, sip and shine routine. What's yours? Where do you take that guy or gal to, or where have you been swept off to before?
And we're talking first dates, not your anniversary dinner. East Bay or otherwise.

(i.e. I have a first date tonight and have no idea where to take her, shit.)

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  1. You have to be more specific: how much do you want to spend? How fancy? How dark? How quiet?

    I would take a first date to Cha-Ya, but more normal people might go to Corso or A Cote or something like that. :)

    1. Good luck on your date! It's a first date, so you don't want to overdo the quiet/dark/romantic, right? I'm thinking Bocanova might be a good choice. The food has gotten good reports; it's new, so she might be impressed that you know about it; the setting in Jack London Square is nice and I believe it has a view; and it seems to have a glossiness that makes it date-worthy.

      1 Reply
      1. So where did you end up? And more important, is there going to be a second date? ;-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Yes, it would be nice if you reported back for your own benefit. I see you have a few queries on the board but no feedback. If we get to know your tastes, then when you ask a question we can give you better answers.

          Anyway, for future first dates ... unless she turned out to be THE ONE ... the new EVE on University might be a good option.

          The lighting is low, but not too low. There are lots of little corner nooks. The menu is such that you could share dishes. The cooking in inventive so you have something to talk about. ... and since this is a small restaurant where the owners do the cooking, after one or two meals there they will get to know you ... always nice to have the staff welcome you back and make you seem like and insider. I was easily impressed by that in my dating days.

        2. For a first (or maybe second) date, I would go to Le Bateau Ivre in Berkeley.

          1. I've done more than one first date at pizzaiolo. Good people watching if it is not a good date.

            1 Reply
            1. re: absc

              If someone took me to Pizzaiolo on a first date I think I'd propose.

            2. Not having been on a first date in about 14 years, I do seem to recall that for the woman, it's important to be able to eat something that isn't messy or requires hands (i.e. spaghetti, fried chicken, etc.) and a menu that allows the woman to eat "light" if she chooses (i.e. salad).

              I'm not saying the menu/food is the best, but I think Lake Chalet would work really well, in that there's enough of a menu choice, the view is pretty, and if you dress up, you wouldn't feel out of place.

              1. I went to Zachary's in Rockridge four years ago this month for my first date with the man who is now my husband. At least we learned we both like pesto, and artichokes, and beer...

                1. I would suggest Gather in Berkeley. I food is very good, the space modern and comfortable and there are great choices for both meat eaters and vegetarians. Share the vege charcouterie plate to start. If you dont have a reservation there are lots of spots at the bar.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: slipson

                    What would be great would be if bathtubninja told us where they went 6 months ago and how it worked, dinner only.

                    1. re: wolfe

                      Yeah, this thread got bumped up by a spammer, whom I reported. His posts were removed, but the thread still got activated.