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 AUTHOR
Restaurants for dinner on datesPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
My questions can apply to first dates, dates in committed relationships, dates for married couples, and everything in between.

Let's say your date suggests a restaurant and uses the phrase "upscale casual" to describe it. What comes to mind? What do you expect for interior decor, tables, etc? What would you wear to such an establishment? Basically, how do you perceive a restaurant described as "casual fine dining"?

How would you answer if "casual fine dining" is used to describe it?

What if "fancy but not formal" is used?

I've used the incorrect terminology in the past and caught dates off guard, so I am hoping to learn what most people would perceive different descriptions. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 2
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 5:33:54 AM
find the name of the restaurant, and go look up its website. hopefully you'll get an idea.
 Ladyinred0407
Joined: 2/6/2016
Msg: 3
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 5:52:07 AM
Take a date to MickyD's. They take your money regardless of what your wearing! "Casual fine dining!"

(If I was in doubt, I would do as GTO has suggested.)
 cindi_rella
Joined: 7/25/2016
Msg: 4
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 7:23:41 AM
You posted a question similar to this already. Dont be surprised if this thread gets deleted.
 Canandaigua_Momma
Joined: 12/16/2015
Msg: 5
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 7:34:39 AM
The description "upscale casual" means "no faded denim allowed" to me.
 ohenryx
Joined: 3/12/2010
Msg: 6
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 9:25:28 AM
It varies. A lot. I remember about 3 years ago, I took a woman to an upscale restaurant. The tab for two ran about $220, including $80 for the wine and a 15% tip. She wanted to go somewhere that she could dress up, women like having an excuse to dress up. So here I was in coat and tie, and she was in a very nice dress, and the young couple seated next to us were in shorts. And they spent the entire evening texting or posting on Facebook, playing with their phones.

I remember thinking that Olive Garden was at least "slightly upscale", until it came up in a thread here in the forums. Women lambasted it, absolutely tore that idea to shreds. The women who posted in that thread seemed to think that Olive Garden was equal in all respects to McDonalds. Who knew?
 Ladyinred0407
Joined: 2/6/2016
Msg: 7
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 9:35:26 AM

Olive Garden was equal in all respects to McDonalds

LOL^ ^ ^ ^ I'm not fond of Olive Garden. I may have been one of those women. I have 3 gift cards in my wallet for Olive Garden. Bf doesn't wanna go there either.


And they spent the entire evening texting or posting on Facebook, playing with their phones.


Now, that is annoying!. I have been in this spot also. I make comments loud enough they can hear me, LOL They leave!
I know, shame on me!
 south_city
Joined: 10/12/2013
Msg: 8
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 9:51:13 AM

Take a date to MickyD's. They take your money regardless of what your wearing! "Casual fine dining!"


I know this was a joke. But I would actually prefer McDonald's over Starbucks which seems to be a common suggestion on the forums for a first date / meeting.

To answer the question, "upscale casual" can be subjective. I would go to their website or call them to see if they have a dress code. Or ask someone ( friends, relatives, co-workers etc ) if they have been to this restaurant. If so, they can give an idea of what to wear.
 FullMoonGuy
Joined: 3/7/2014
Msg: 9
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 10:21:41 AM

a restaurant described as "casual fine dining"?


Denny's.

$2-4-6-8 menu.

'Nuff said.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 10
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 10:32:00 AM

I would go to their website or call them to see if they have a dress code. Or ask someone...


If I'm asking someone out, I would at least suggest some place I'm familiar with, unless I'm going out of town to meet someone and the place suggested is not part of a chain of restaurants. I would hold off on the fine dining until I'm dating someone and we're going to celebrate some special occasion (birthday, V. Day, etc.). The purpose of the first get together is to find out if there's a match, instant chemistry and all of that jazz. Why go all out if someone decides in the first three seconds that the fairy tale magic isn't there and it will be the last time you two see each other? Use the KISS method.
 south_city
Joined: 10/12/2013
Msg: 11
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 10:51:59 AM

The purpose of the first get together is to find out if there's a match, instant chemistry and all of that jazz. Why go all out if someone decides in the first three seconds that the fairy tale magic isn't there and it will be the last time you two see each other? Use the KISS method.


To be fair, the OP mentioned this wasn't just about first dates / meetings in the initial post.
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 11:41:10 AM

women like having an excuse to dress up.


They do??? I'd give them LOTS of excuses. All of the women I date want only very casual. Could I ask if there was a certain personality trait about her that caused her to have that preference? Maybe I need to look for the same trait.


I remember thinking that Olive Garden was at least "slightly upscale"


Yes, I do remember that, very well. It used to be in a niche, somewhere not quite as upscale as a Ruth Chris', but more upscale than Fridays. The tables had tablecloths, the interiors were decorated a little more than now, and there was Italian music playing low in the background. It was casual, but definitely more romantic than it is today. Now, it's more of a bistro atmosphere, competing head-to-head with Friday's or Outback, in terms of atmosphere, instead of having their own niche.

Maybe once they acquired or started the Capital Grille they were trying to differentiate the experience, but I think they went a little bit too far.


The women who posted in that thread seemed to think that Olive Garden was equal in all respects to McDonalds.


That is someone who either does not like Italian food, or like THEIR menu, or maybe remember the Olive Garden the way it was and were put out by the changes they made to the experience. It's obviously an exaggeration. There's nothing wrong with not liking the Olive Garden or never going there.
 Butterchickenchuck
Joined: 9/18/2015
Msg: 13
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 11:50:46 AM
I used to go to the O.Garden back in the mid 90s and always got the all you can eat soup, salad and breadsticks.

Then, a few years ago , I tried one of the pastas .

I couldn't believe how bland the sauce was ! I thought I was being punked ! I almost took it personally !
I kept adding pepper to give it some flavour.

I will NEVER go back
 tbellissima
Joined: 1/30/2017
Msg: 14
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/4/2017 12:49:55 PM
For me, "casual fine dining" is oxymoronic. It's either "casual" or "fine dining". Casual means I can wear most anything except short-shorts, or bib overalls or some-such. Fine dining means I can get as dressed up as I wish, usually, but not always, a "special occasion" restaurant (birthday, anniversary, job promotion celebration, etc). You've had several threads on this topic...I wish you good luck in finding a woman who knows how to dress appropriately for the occasion.
 aintnodeal
Joined: 4/10/2016
Msg: 15
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/5/2017 12:12:41 AM
...so you're saying a walk-up order window is right out? No drive-thru take-outs to the park? What joy-kills you must be dating.

Whatever definition you have - IT IS WRONG - because every region uses different slang, and people come from all-over-the-place, so you don't know WHERE they picked up their slang.
Asking your lady date to actually NAME a restaurant is also WRONG - the restaurant TEST is only one of many ways a woman will score you. If you pick "nice enough", you don't get a debit. NO...you don't get CREDIT for being right, you only get DEBITS when you are wrong! So...wrong car +1, wrong clothes +1, wrong restaurant +1, wrong joke +1, wrong phone +2, wrong food or beer +2.....well, any sum over 3 and you're not likely to get another date, so it's really a crapshoot.

This is EXACTLY WHY everyone in the FORUMS tell you not to go out to dinner on a first meet. Take all the hits on the first meet, when it's CHEAP. If you get a second chance, you can spend a few more $$$. Going all-out for a trendy or fancy restaurant is just asking to be robbed.
 Sweet_Danimal
Joined: 10/31/2015
Msg: 16
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/6/2017 12:43:52 PM
Restaurant tests aren't too valid when it's a moron giving it. Some people aren't too bright about the atmosphere and go for name recognition and privilege/price alone. Prime dining hours on Friday and Saturday evenings in trendy places or popular venues are the absolute worst places to met someone new and try to hold an intimate conversation. Crowd noise is at it's peak. Often it's worse than places with live bands or music. Happy Hour brings drunks that crowd the bar, and early evenings bring large families with screaming kids and long waits to get several tables cleared for them.

Suggesting out-of-the-way places aren't always done for criminal reasons - sometimes its done to save our sanity. Even commercial chain places can be excellent meet spots if you try for a Sunday evening or a weekday afternoon when traffic is lower. What people tend to forget is the date is supposed to be valued for time spent together, not for where or how it happens. People mess this stuff up when they transfer the value of the meet to their OWN self worth. Someone who truly wants time with someone would be just as happy in a public library or park as they would be on a rooftop with Steak Tartare.
 PlutoLover68
Joined: 7/28/2016
Msg: 17
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/6/2017 3:36:42 PM
I see many of you suggesting he go online to see what the places look like and go from there. I read the post as, he wants to know what terms to use when telling his date what type place he chose. He feels the terms he uses are not in line with what others expect. I suggest you tell her where you are going. Then its up to her to research and choose something.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 18
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/6/2017 4:19:36 PM
Another thing with the person being asked out suggesting which eatery to go to is it might be a regular hangout for her and her crew. So her friends might all be there incognito without the guy knowing, or the date will act surprised when seeing her friends there and say: "I wasn't expecting to see you here", even though it was planned for them to be there to check out the new guy. Then they will get together afterwards and compare score cards, and make a group decision to see if more dates are warranted.
 Seki1949
Joined: 9/4/2013
Msg: 19
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/6/2017 8:01:47 PM

Take all the hits on the first meet, when it's CHEAP.


I don't mind the money. I don't mind the time. I do mind the awkwardness if it's a really bad fit. But at my age most everyone seems to be able to do 90 minutes to 2 hours of dinner conversation. It's one of the few advantages of my age.

I'm trending about 50-50 on the coffee meet and greet or mid-range dinner on first meets.
 sun___flower
Joined: 5/8/2015
Msg: 20
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/6/2017 8:31:53 PM

But at my age most everyone seems to be able to do 90 minutes to 2 hours of dinner conversation. It's one of the few advantages of my age.

I'd give myself credit for this, Seki. I've read enough of your posts to think it's a *you* thing - you are able to make conversation, not necessarily 'people your age.'
 ohenryx
Joined: 3/12/2010
Msg: 21
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/7/2017 1:52:01 PM
I was at Olive Garden last night. I had an initial meeting for a "casual dinner after work", the lady lived across town, the traffic was terrible, but her picture was really nice, and I went for it. This was her side of town, I asked for a suggestion for a "casual dinner" close by, and she chose Olive Garden, so away we went. The 3 of us.

Yep, she asked if she could bring along her aunt. The first time someone has asked me that in several years. I went along with it (hey, I did mention she was pretty, right?) She explained that I was her first online meeting ever, and her first date overall in more than 4 years, and she was rather nervous, so I said, "Sure, bring your aunt, it's cool."

I think the food is definitely better than fast food places, not up to "fine dining", but not bad. The service is good, not great but good. And the prices don't leave you bankrupt. Overall, it fits my idea of a "casual dinner after work for a first meeting". Not a Saturday night, dress up and impress your date kind of place, but okay.

After the horrible comments here in these forums a few years ago, I never suggest it myself. But if someone else brings up the idea, I'm okay with it.

If I'm meeting someone on my side of town, I know some very nice places, not chains, with real atmosphere and great food.
 ohenryx
Joined: 3/12/2010
Msg: 22
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/7/2017 1:57:11 PM

Seki1949
I don't mind the money. I don't mind the time. I do mind the awkwardness if it's a really bad fit. But at my age most everyone seems to be able to do 90 minutes to 2 hours of dinner conversation. It's one of the few advantages of my age.

I'm trending about 50-50 on the coffee meet and greet or mid-range dinner on first meets.


I wish everyone I met could do 60 minutes of decent dinner conversation, never mind 90 to 120 minutes.

Certainly some can, and that's always nice. But I'm not finding that to be "most".

I very seldom do a "coffee meet". I do run about 50-50 on "drink after work" versus "casual dinner" or even "brunch on Sunday morning". I just really don't care that much for Starbucks.
 gtomustang
Joined: 6/16/2007
Msg: 23
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/7/2017 2:40:49 PM
I think a helper in conversation, is not knowing everything they did that day, via FB or text, before having dinner with them. The younger generation may "overshare" during the day and if so, by nighttime maybe run out of things to say with an old friend who already knows all the old stories. Still, I have a female friend of twenty years who calls me every day and tells me what's going on (and to make sure neither of us is dead, we both live alone:) ), and yet when we get together to do stuff around her house we still can keep a convo going. The fact she's old enough to forget some of my older stories also helps. I have another friend, pretty enough for our age to look at, who I haven't seen for a while and now i'm kinda caught up on her background after these months and she and I can sometimes run out of conversation in an hour...but she works finance, so I can ask her about gold prices or whatever and she goes all idiot savant on me.

There has to be things in common, someone can be a great conversationalist with one person and be a bore to another. But, when you find a good talker, boy is that a great thing. If we can't have sex, at least be a good talker. i'll handle finding a fun location and other parts.

the OP had mentioned if a date suggests the place, then its up to me to research it. or ask her more questions, if I feel comfortable with her already to ask for directions (and we know how much stereotypical men ask for directions), but if the tables are turned (pun intended), I guess I might consider how she dresses in her profile pics or what I think her job requires from her, and scale from there. Hopefully, her photo choices aren't designed to impress, so much as tell me honestly what level of comfort she's at. I am trying to get to know her, after all.
 forumslady
Joined: 12/7/2016
Msg: 24
Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/7/2017 7:37:16 PM
friendlyguy- If someone suggests a restaurant I haven't been to and I'm not sure how to dress, I'm going to look it up or better yet, GO there before the date so I don't show up under or over dressed.
Really, a LOT of this type of angst can be avoided with open communication and consideration of the OTHER person.
A conversation somewhere along the lines of........."I Love X restaurant and thought we might go there. Do YOU like this restaurant?" If they say no, or they say they have never been there, then ask THEM to suggest a place and do this back and forth until you find a place you BOTH like and are familiar with.
It's amazing how often people over look something as simple as talking and actually caring that the other person enjoys themselves too.
 Sweet_Danimal
Joined: 10/31/2015
Msg: 25
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Restaurants for dinner on dates
Posted: 3/7/2017 8:59:35 PM

I'm going to look it up or better yet, GO there before the date so I don't show up under or over dressed.
Really, a LOT of this type of angst can be avoided with open communication and consideration of the OTHER person.


I've made it abundantly clear that I'm perfectly fine with casual/informal dress and don't even care if the person I'm meeting is wearing makeup. It's because I want the genuine article, not the facade they wish to stage for that particular meet. If they can be pleasant and attractive in Jeans and a T-shirt, then I'm not going to worry about them looking worse in something more formal.

This 'angst' over how to look for a particular venue is brought about because women are MORE worried about embarrassing themselves in public - or how they want to look for themselves - than they are about considering how this new guy wants to see them. I realize a woman's public image is considered a very powerful and vital part of their social structure, but in all honesty - it's created from way too much effort, way too much peer pressure, and way too much fakery. Guys do appreciate the effort, but all too often we can see that this show they've put on was done for someone else - maybe EVERYONE else - but NOT for us.

Guys get accused of not listening, of being ignorant or stupid, or even arrogant a lot of the time - but some of that happens because women stage their own fantasy, their own idea of what the date should be and then get mad because guys refuse to lead them down the path THEY want. That's why guys complain incessantly about being forced to become performers - being obliged to do a song and dance for attention - because women have become their own version of arrogant and ignorant. We don't need to be pulled up to the same level of high-maintenance and peer pressure that women maintain just to fit in -- and neither do they! This isn't about being a caveman or eating with our fingers - it's about this stupid notion that men have to spend AT LEAST the same amount of time, money and effort to appear attractive enough to even be considered for a conversation, much less a date, much less a relationship. I don't need sixty pairs of shoes or a few hundred dollars of makeup and hair products to be a civil human being - but God help me if I tell a lady the same thing.
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