Date #1: Buddha Bar
Date #1: Buddha Bar
Each week our dating diva Dorothy will share her personal experiences from living the single life on her 50 First Dates blog. From restaurants to bars to fun romantic activities, she'll navigate you through the treacherous terrain that is dating in D.C. Even if you're not single, you can still get the scoop on some of the District's best romantic spots (and what to order), fun date ideas, and even tips to keep your love life happy.
First up, Buddha Bar!
Thank God you can't get pregnant from atmosphere! The pure sex appeal of this Asian fusion restaurant/bar set the tone for a seductive night. It was the perfect backdrop for my date with "Handsome." We originally met at a happy hour and quickly bonded over our secret love of reality shows. We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet for dinner and cocktails later in the week.
I quickly learned “Handsome” was a master at text romance. In the days leading up to our first date, I received morning greetings and flirtations throughout the day but not a single, solitary phone call! I’m not really big on texting since I write for a living; the last thing I want to do in my downtime is try to be clever within a character count. Maybe he was just one of those people that preferred face to face conversations.
I arrived at Buddha Bar and he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and an approving gaze for my form-fitting cocktail dress. He was as attractive as I remembered and I swear we spent the first few minutes just enjoying the mutual eye candy before we began the standard getting-to-know-you background questions.
Despite the restaurant’s amorous mood, despite a strong physical attraction, our rendezvous stayed pretty PG-rated as we discussed favorite movies and music, before a slow roll to......crickets.
I quickly learned that Handsome had a spoken word count more limited than his text messages! I kept trying to bring up different topics and questions only to be road blocked with one word and vague answers. To my dismay, none of the easy banter we initially experienced seemed to be working in our favor that night.
Although the chemistry was off, I quickly found a new love interest in alcohol to help me bide my time. Buddha Bar has an extensive sake selection and a pretty talented team of mixologists to create custom concoctions, but I found myself falling in love with one of the restaurant’s signature drinks; a Strawberry Blonde. The drink is a mixture of vodka and strawberry puree and is deliciously and deceptively potent.
Since I am pretty much a one drink wonder, I switched to soda before I got too tipsy. My commitment to sobriety didn’t help, our chemistry continued to fizzle out along with the bubbles in my soft drink as the night progressed.
We ate in almost virtual silence accented by an occasional smile and inquiry on each other’s food. (Buddha's salmon sushi made me happy, but was a bit pricey for the portion size.) After catching him looking up game scores on his phone and gasp….texting, I decided it was time to bring the evening to a close. For a first date, there’s nothing worse than a stale conversation and stale drink with a virtual stranger, so I soon made my exit.
What tips this date taught me:
1. Bone up on pop culture headlines as a conversation stoker. Sometimes people are shy and take a little longer to warm up.
2. A smile goes a long way; fill the silence with a sincere grin to ease the tension.
3. An awkward pause is a great time to escape to the restroom to concoct an exit strategy.
4. Only commit to cocktails so that if the date is a dud, you don't have to suffer through dinner.
Stay tuned for next week: Ben's Next Door...
By Dorothy Tene' Redmond, Special to Metromix