Whenever you decide that you and your date are ready to go for something more then just couple of drinks, there’s always a dilemma as to which restaurant to choose. Pick something too simple – and she won’t be impressed. Pick something too fancy – and she’ll literally eat all your money out. Pick something too loud and you won’t be able to chit-chat. Pick something too quiet – and you won’t be able to make her laugh as hard as she can.
Although people don’t really put much thought to where to have that important second or third date, it is indeed makes sense to plan ahead. If your lunch budget just couple of lines below budget of some third-world country then you can skip next couple of paragraphs. The rest of you – read on.
First of all – make sure you can afford a full dinner at the restaurant of your choice. You don’t know that girl yet, so if she turns out to be a gold-digger or just a bitch who always orders the most expensive item on the menu – you have to have your bases covered. After all, there will be some other girl who you would want to bring here, so no reason of making a wrong impression on the staff. Second – make sure you have a backup, especially if your first choice is either an ethnic or theme restaurant; make sure the backup falls in the same pricing niche as your first choice. If your date can’t eat curry that puts away a lot of Indian and Thai places, so have some Italian or Greek spot handy. Third – make sure the restaurant of your choice takes the credit cards that you have (or you carry enough cash). It could be embarassing if they only take AmEx and all you have is Visa or MC.
It usually helps if you’ve been to the place before (unless both you and your date are food adventurers). Not so much to avoid surprises, but to have situation under control. Maybe recommend something, or ask the waiter for something that is tasty but hidden from the menu. I pull this trick on one dessert at some Japanese place – ladies almost scream in extasy after tasting that dessert, although it’s next to impossible to find it in the menu and it’s almost always sold out by the regular “dating time”.
Most importantly – know the attire for the restaurant. You want to “fall in” with the crowd around you, not so much for yourself, but for your date. Remember, women are much more conscious about how they look, so if she’s uncomfortable – it will be your fault that you brought her here. Your date may be jeopardized right from the start. So mention the place (unless it’s a surprise) and if she’s not familiar – tell her what you are wearing (or plan to wear), so she would get a clue as to what to put on herself. You’ll score more brownie points by being considerate which you (hopefully) will be able to redeem later.