Tonight, I met Chicago Lawyer Guy for our first date. In honor of that, I think it's time for a Top Ten.
Here are some first date DON'Ts:
1. I don't care if it IS DC Restaurant Week- You probably shouldn't have a 12-course lunch at your favorite restaurant in DC (um...Blue Duck Tavern) a mere two hours before your dinner date. I mean, if you're also planning on actually *eating* at dinner, that is.
2. You probably shouldn't have wine at said 12-course lunch.
3. You probably *definitely* should not charm the lunch waiter into filling your wine glass extra full.
4. You probably shouldn't try shaving your legs after wine lunch.
5. You should not wear the jeans that you accidentally washed in hot water and dried in the dryer and had to, literally, shimmy into and think they will be disguised by knee high boots and a long sweater. Again, if you plan on actually *eating* at dinner, you should not wear these pants. (I mean...can you even fit into them after that 12-course lunch??)
6. You should definitely not try squeezing these jeans on over the already blood-soaked band-aids covering your legs from shaving after the wine lunch.
7. Choosing a wine bar as a meeting spot *after* your date tells they don't really drink is probably not a good idea.
8. After saying you're "open to changes" in the meeting spot, you should probably not then immediately ix-nay his suggestion of LaLomitaDos. (But, really?! Mexican food after a 12-course lunch?! No way, Jose.)
9. Arriving late when date is fastidious, confirmed the date time three times throughout the day with updated texts and is on military time is probably a bad idea. (Although, military time...sooo confusing.)
10. Drinking multiple glasses of water right before the date to try and cover up wine lunch and then rushing in (late) to the restaurant, saying a perfunctory "hello" and running straight to the restroom is also frowned upon as it screams "diarrhea" or "coke addict". Not a good first impression.
Bonus Tip: Ordering sardines and then showing your date that it IS, indeed, ok to eat the heads is NOT sexy.
Now, I'm just guessing on all of these. I mean, certainly, after two decades of dating, I would know better than to commit *any* of these blunders. I'm just sayin'- you should be careful.
Chicago Lawyer guy was a little shy about ordering and trying food on our date. I did convince him to at least choose our dessert. He picked a chocolate-covered olive oil cake. (Which tasted suspiciously like one of those chocolate-covered Entenmann's Doughnuts.) I do love a good olive oil cake though. Here is my recipe.
OLIVE OIL CAKE
Adapted from a Food&Wine recipe
When blackberries are in season, I make a compote with them to drizzle over this cake. However, it tastes great just on its own.
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups 2% or whole milk (NOT skim)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice (fresh, if possible)
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (with olive oil is fine) the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper (and grease).
2. In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking powder/soda.
3. In another bowl, mix olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour. Top should be golden and toothpick should come out clean.
5. Cool 30 minutes in a pan then run a knife around the edge of pan and invert. Cool completely.
Yummy...Moist, rich and doughnutty-delicious.