Now that you’ve worked up the nerve to ask the cute new guy at work for a dinner date Chez You, you suddenly realize that you could use a few dinner ideas for a first date. Something tasty and relatively fool-proof, even if the only thing you usually make is reservations. Use some of these dinner ideas for a first date, and you’ll have him eating out of your hand.
1. Finger Food
Yes, it may seem a bit forward, but I’m not saying you should feed each other…Yet. A beautiful buffet of blue-cheese-stuffed cherry tomatoes, bruschetta (just dab some bottled spaghetti sauce, little bit of fresh mozzarella, and a basil leaf on basically a small piece of toast), strawberries drizzled lightly with sweetly aged balsamic vinegar, and perhaps prosciutto-wrapped melon slices, will send him drooling before you know it. This is one of my favorite dinner ideas for a first date, or any date, really.
2. Mother Knows Best
I’m fairly certain at some point, your mom had a first date. She may even know her way around the kitchen like Jeff Gordon knows his way around a racetrack. Why not ask her, or your favorite fill-in mom, for some advice? Her favorite recipe may be the key to his heart!
3. There’s No Place like Home
There’s nothing like comfort food to open a man’s heart and stomach for more. How about a steaming pan of lasagna? Swiss steak that’s so tender it could make a bodybuilder weep? A crispy roasted chicken with baby carrots and fingerling potatoes? When a man feels like he’s coming over for home cooking, eventually if Cupid’s arrows line up correctly, the cooking isn’t the only thing for which he’ll be coming home.
4. What’s Good for the Goose
Yes, first dates can be nerve-wracking experiences. So make it as comfy as possible for you, and he’ll groove on the relaxed and confident vibe of his chef for the night. What do you usually make for yourself? Stir fry with store-bought sliced and diced veggies? Excellent! Add something special to it - perhaps scallops, steak slices, or both - and he’ll flip his lid like you flip your wok.
5. WWMD (What Would Martha do)?
The cookbook sections of local bookstores are so large they have their own zip codes. There’s more than one…or five…channels devoted to cooking. So why not tap into this culinary brain trust for some inspiration? Choose your mood for the evening: Rachael is approachable, Martha is…not, Nigella is sultry, The Pioneer Woman is robust, and Giada is vivacious. By soaking in some of their suggestions, you will exude the Power of their Ladle.
6. The Most Sincere Form of Flattery is…
Think of some of the best meals you’ve ever had. Perhaps some of them were even prepared for you. How did they make you feel? Is this something you want to exude to your new niblet?
7. When All else Fails
Here’s a thought. Instead of surprising him, compliment him by asking what he likes. He might tell you that he loves a good burrito, that he’s basically a (gasp) vegetarian, or even more importantly, that he’s allergic to garlic (scratch the shrimp scampi). By asking what he would like, you complimented him before the fork touched his rugged yet tender lips….not a bad way to start the evening before the evening even begins.
With these dinner ideas for a first date, not only will you impress him with your culinary skills that perhaps even you didn’t know you had, you will more importantly be able to concentrate on the true main course of the evening: each other! What is the best meal you ever made for a first date? Did it lead to seconds (dates, that is…)?