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Some of you (hopefully all) recently read Will’s rankings of the best first date meals. I say meals because it’s far too cocky a move to actually be doing meals as a first date on the reg. I’m not saying I won’t do it, but I have to be damn sure about that girl. Damn sure. If I’m on the fence about someone, as in the banter so far hasn’t been incredible, or, shallowly, if I’m not sure I’m all that attracted to her, I’m taking dinner off the table. Too much of a financial and time investment for someone who’s not guaranteed a date #2.
So for me, I’m taking a first date to a quiet cocktail or wine bar. Mostly it’s this wine bar near where I live and it’s fantastic. Classy enough to make a great impression, but if the date heads south quickly you can hit the eject button after only one glass of wine. It’s perfect.
But I’m not completely taking dinner off the table as a first date. If I’m absolutely blown away by someone, be it from the incendiary banter on a dating app, or if we met through mutual friends, and I can already start fantasizing about what we’ll name our kids (Harry if it’s a boy, Stamper if it’s a girl, because Armageddon, duh), I’m game for a dinner first date. And 11/10 times, as Will so shrewdly pointed out, it’s sushi. And it’s not even close. I honestly don’t know what would come in second place for me if sushi were off the table.
Why is sushi the GOAT first dinner date? Glad you asked. Let’s dive in.
The first thing I always tout about a sushi date? It’s interactive. You’re eating with your hands, you’re using chopsticks, you – generally – can (and should) share. It’s a really solid way to break the ice. For me, sharing is huge. You can learn so much about someone just by eating sushi with them, it’s insane. If you’re with someone who is so adamant against sharing rolls, don’t start penciling in the summer vacation to Mykonos. What’s their go-to roll? Are they fucking with apps? They down to split the seaweed salad? These are all critical aspects of a potential relationship and no stone should be left un-turned.
It should also be noted that the fact that you’re using unconventional consumption methods (read: chopsticks) is bound to lead to some kind of food accident. A soy sauce spill. A dropped roll. You get the picture. And that’s great. You need something to cut through any first date tension you or your date may have, and just like a spilled glass of water or wine, a little sushi mishap may play in your favor. I’m not saying to purposely spill some sake, but if it happens, it’s so easy to spin it into a positive situation. Because it humanizes you. It gives you both something to laugh at.
Another absolutely crucial part of the sushi meal? It’s a phenomenal environment for hilarious conversation. You’ve got rolls coming that you have no idea what’s in them. It looks weird, there’s some crazy sushi chef who cooks you up something extra special and you’re not sure if it’s going to kill you or not. One time I went on this riff on sake and how they make booze out of rice, but I was going to start making booze out of quinoa; anyway, it was dumb but I’ll go to the grave saying that a sushi restaurant has the most shit you can turn into a joke.
And check it, I haven’t even mentioned the money aspect once. But I’ll do it now. Sushi is on the more expensive side. That’s a fact. There’s no way that this doesn’t factor in, even subconsciously. You look like the cock of the walk when you max the plastic on unagi, rather than taking her some place where they give you rolls before the waiter takes your drink order. It’s a classier meal for a classier man, and the chicks dig it. I once saw a first date at a burrito place. A burrito place! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought I was dreaming so I took the Cholula I was using and squirted a shit ton on my corneas, because I literally thought they were playing tricks on me. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, go get burritos for your first dinner date. Don’t get dollar slices. Don’t go to Shake Shack. Take that beautiful lady to a sushi spot with at least three dollar signs on Yelp and at a minimum, four star reviews.
And if you don’t believe me? Match.com did a survey and found that if you do sushi as a first date, you’re 170% more likely to secure a second date. Woah. .