Editor's note: Monica Berry is a Dallas dater who's bravely agreed to file dispatches from her dining expeditions with eligible bachelors. Berry, City of Ate's resident date place scout, will size up restaurants from a dater's perspective. Enjoy.
When I recently passed The Common Table on my way home from work, I heard live music coming from the restaurant's patio and saw a couple dancing. "Now, that looks like a great date place," I thought. A little over a week later, I arranged to meet a new fella there.
The restaurant doesn't take reservations, but the hostess put us on the list when we called to tell her we were on our way. If you want to hear your date, (which I did) then sit outside. While the interior of The Common Table is fun and lively, it's too loud to hear much and I'm not a big fan of saying "uh-huh" to things I can't understand. I also thought if we sat outside we'd get to hear live music. Unfortunately, the restaurant only has live music on Thursday nights.
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So we sat outside and really had to have a conversation--a real date. We ordered a pitcher of Uptown Ice T, a $38 combination of Grey Goose, Champagne, Bombay Sapphire, El Jimador, Bacardi, Cointreau, simple syrup and lemon juice. I could have drunk an entire pitcher on my own, but that's not good form on a first date.
Next, we ordered the scallop appetizer special. For my entrée, I chose the chicken marsala dinner special. My date had the salmon, another dinner special that night, and liked it. I didn't ask him for a taste, probably because I was too busy fighting him for the last scallop.
We didn't get dessert. I wanted to share the individual chocolate pecan pie. But I know better. The last time I shared a pie with a guy he freaked out. After his last bite, he got up, still chewing and lifted his shirt. "I think that pie ruined my six pack! Look. Look at my abs," he demanded. "See, they're not as defined as they were before we ate dessert." I didn't want to go there on this date, especially since the entire patio had filled since we started dinner.
I enjoyed the last of my Ice T and the rest of the conversation with my date. Good job, Common Table: We had a lovely night, ate good food and actually got to know each other. There may be a second date.