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|Sex & Dating: Date night dinners|
|by Rob Andrews|
|February 04, 2011 00:00|
The restaurant can make or break the mood for a perfect memorable encounter. We’re lucky in Atlanta to have thousands of choices for date-night dining. Here are some of my favorites.
A noteworthy first date, second date or anniversary restaurant is One Midtown Kitchen. It’s more gay during the week and very busy with straight suburbanites on weekends. The décor is stunning with lots of ambient cylinder lights and a big-budget corporate architectural scheme. I’ll admit like most gays, I’m a sucker glamorous décor. It’s a good conversation piece on dates.
One Midtown Kitchen isn’t cheap so it’s a perfect special occasion place. The handsome chef Drew VanLeuvan’s open stainless steel kitchen turns out artisanal American comforts like crispy braised pork shoulder with collards, as well as elegant dishes like curried pan-seared Nantucket sea scallops. I love sword fish and had it grilled with foraged mushrooms and root vegetable confit. It was succulent, white and meaty and, no, I won’t make the gratuitous gay joke.
My partner tried the wild-caught wood grilled salmon with creamed swiss chard and fennel. The salmon had a deep ruby hue and tasted as if caught only hours ago. We started with the libidinal iced oysters and luxurious gorgonzola tart made with parmesan pie dough, topped with a tart red wine pear butter which served as an excellent contrast to the rich gorgonzola.
The orgasmic ending was in the form of a pool of chilled milk chocolate with scoops of creamy scratch-made salted caramel ice cream, all topped with “carnival popcorn” pecan praline balls. Fierce.
I’ve been on that bad internet date and was stuck for the whole two-hour meal — you know, the one with the date who sent you a photo that was 10 years old. The solution is the dimly lit Café Intermezzo on Peachtree.
Eat early and meet your date for coffee or tea at 8 p.m. Share a decadent chocolate dessert like nutella cheesecake, chocolate chip banana cake, or classic tiramisu. You’ll listen to classical music in the European ambient café. If the date sucks, eat quickly and leave. If there’s chemistry the staff won’t rush you out and they close late.
In Decatur try the very dimly lit Iberian Pig. It’s a tapas friendly Italian-esque restaurant/pub. This place feels expensive but you and your friend can eat well for about $20.
We had two glasses of Malbec and Pork Cheek Tacos — slow-roasted pork cheeks, corn salsa, avocado crema, arugula, and fresh lime — for $7 and the vegetarian crispy eggplant “fries” with a spicy red pepper aioli for $5. Their tapas are huge portions for not a lot of money. The staff is very unpretentious. Iberian is a romantic Decatur gem.
I’ve written about Roxx before and it’s a perfect budget date place for the LGBT community because there are usually no straight people and you can sit on the same side of the booth and no one bats an eye, which is nice. Or you and your friends can have a bitter divorce dinner fueled by strong cheap margaritas and scathing conversation.
Top photo: With luxurious décor and a menu to match, One Midtown Kitchen is an excellent choice to impress a first date or celebrate an anniversary. (via Facebook)
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