Busy schedules force Seattleites to schedule dates whenever time can be found: between skiing and concerts, after spin class, but not the same night as office happy hour. Sometimes that means the only time two people can find to meet up is on a Monday--the dreaded deadest of restaurant nights. Take the guesswork out of finding a dinner location that won't kill the mood or send the wrong message with this round-up of the best places to take everyone from the girl next door to the gourmand from the wine bar.
5) Whisk your date away for an evening on an island at Hitchcock's Americana night. A short ferry ride from downtown, and the workday can be left behind on the mainland, along with the car. The quick walk to Hitchcock will work up an appetite for regional American favorites fashioned with local foods and international techniques. The best part? You've got the romantic ferry ride home for making a move.
4) Enjoy the best cocktails in town together, and eat a great meal too. On Mondays, time slows down at Canon. There's no line, and there's no rush for some of the city's finest beverages. There is a delicate pace to Monday night there, and the food is surprisingly delicate too. Dishes like miso cod buck bar food conventions, while others, like the signature pork buns, just barely skirt them. Either way, your good date can be held at a table full of Canon's surprisingly good food.
3) Cozy up with some delicious nostalgia at 8oz Burger Bar. With adult (read: booze-filled) milkshakes ready to share and some mini-corndogs to start, it's easy to feel comfortable at this Capitol Hill restaurant. The dead-on perfectly-cooked burgers make this a great place to get to know a new friend.
2) Bring someone into a new family at Jebena Café. One meal at Jebena and you'll be ready to give the owner a hug for the great service and delicious food. Ethiopian food is inherently romantic, with a tradition of feeding others out of your own hands, and the light-green walls and blonde wood floors of Jebena offer a warmth that is matched by the warmth of the service. Introducing someone to the easy-to-love cuisine of Ethiopia (think lentils, greens, and lots of mild but flavorful spices) is sure to earn you bonus points.
1) Linger long over tapas at Ocho. Tables are just close enough together for the occasional eavesdrop, but far enough apart that a couple could cuddle without making their neighbor feel awkward. The seats and tables are modern wood, but from eye-level up, the décor is lifted from grandma's house, with sconces dotting pink, textured wallpaper. Like the ambiance, the food sees no reason to add unnecessary complexity. Simple, light dishes keep the atmosphere relaxed, with shareable small plates that seem to be straight from Spain: blistered peppers served with aioli, crispy-edged patatas bravas, and tomato-rubbed garlicky toast.