I’ve been contemplating this list for a while because it has taken me a while to go on enough dates to actually develop a perspective on this – five years or so. After my long sojourn, I think I’m finally ready to present my picks for the best places to take a date in DC:
Café MoZU – From the drive in to seating, the whole experience is pretty nice. The Mandarin has first-class service from the valet through the host and wait staff at the restaurant. You are seated with a wonderful view of the tidal basin. I sort of wish the food was a little bit better but it is a pretty unbeatable ambiance. Afterwards you have a drink at the Empress Lounge.
Proof – Proof has a sexy, dimly lit interior. You go and have a couple glasses of wine at the wine bar and talk for a bit before you are seated. Once seated, you enjoy one of the top meals in DC and choose from a broad array of wines. Afterwards you are right in Chinatown so there are numerous options for where to go.
Ritz Carlton in Georgetown – I’m not referring to Degrees, rather the lounge in the main Ritz Carlton foyer. Later in the evening it clears out and there is ample, quiet seating – perfect for having an intimate conversation or whatever you’re into. A waitress will come by and offer you drinks and a menu with little treats to munch on. If you feel inclined, the Georgetown waterfront is just a stone’s throw away.
Tryst – Not every name on this list needs to be posh. For a pressure-free first date or if you are trying to convince the girl that you are an intellectual and don’t drink heavily, invite her for coffee at Tryst on a weekday evening (on a weekend the place is slammed and you’ll spend all your time looking for seating). You can just sit, lounge out, and get to know the other person. What’s more if the date isn’t going so well there will inevitably be someone to make fun of here.
Rock Creet Restaurant in Bethesda – The food here has an organic slant to it and is impeccably prepared. The interior isn’t quite as sexy as some of the other places on this list but it would be a great date destination for someone you have been dating for a while and you guys want a pleasant experience in Bethesda with excellent food.
L2 Lounge – L2 Lounge is the perfect after-dinner venue to take a date if you are in the Georgetown area and are craving a night cap or two. The environment in L2 is always laid back and you can ensure a smooth, zen-like experience. Additionally, there are all sorts of places to hole up with your date and the entire venue is candlelit.