There’s no better way to end a romantic evening in Seattle than with a stroll in the rain (well, besides the obvious). Of course that part of the date never needs to be planned as it’s generally included whenever you go out in the Emerald city.
So you know how your date is going to end, but how does it start? Where do you take her for dinner? What do you do after dinner? Where do you go for drinks at the end of the night?
Before answering these questions, let’s assume you really like this person. Since you do, going to Safeco Field and catching a Mariners’ game is out of the question. Also, you won’t be taking her to a loud and raucous nightclub with thumping music. This is a romantic evening for two.
For dinner there’s only one rule: do not take her to Sky City, the rotating restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. While the Seattle landmark maybe a nice place to take her to enjoy the view, it is not the place to take her for dinner.
Sky City is a good but not great restaurant and taking her there is rather cliché. You might be able to get away with it if she’s new to town, but your best served saving the Space Needle for your mother.
Perhaps the most romantic restaurant in Seattle is Canlis. Located on Aurora Avenue in the Queen Anne neighborhood, this quixotic eatery has an atrium with a stunning view of Lake Union.
Canlis offers some of the finest cuisine in the Northwest—prawns, short ribs, duck and Dungeness crab legs. Your date will love the quality service and swoon over the enchanting atmosphere.
Another gastronomical option is El Gaucho, located on 205 First Avenue in downtown Seattle. With live piano music playing softly in the adjacent bar, your date will be impressed with your dining choice as soon as the wait staff prepares Bananas Foster flambé right at your tableside.
For something more modern, treat your significant other to an unforgettable culinary experience at the super stylish Crush. Chef Jason Wilson uses the finest local and organic ingredients to serve up what can only be called Modern Northwest Cuisine. Located at 2319 East Madison, the trendy Crush is a restaurant your date will be talking about for years.
You should make reservations at all three restaurants and they all prefer you wear a suit jacket. Yes, that’s a lot of work but joints that allow jeans and backwards baseball caps just don’t cut it when it comes to romance.
The good news, all the aforementioned establishments have lounges. So come early and get to know your lovely companion over a cocktail or two. Remember to ask her about herself and make sure you pretend to listen!
If this down economy has you on a budget Seattle has just the restaurant. It’s called Paseo and they have two locations, one in the Freemont neighborhood and one at 6226 Seaview Avenue.
They are basically a walk up restaurant—perfect for a city where it rains 300 days a year—but their Caribbean and Cuban food is some of the best in the city. Dollar for dollar, this is the best restaurant in Seattle.
While she won’t remember Paseo’ atmosphere, for there’s really no dining room to speak of, she will remember the food. It’s only an option if you’re willing (and able) to dazzle her off her feet with your witty banter and captivating personality. It could also be a unique place to start if your next destination is super fancy.
After dinner, the two of you need something to do besides going back to your place and watching DVD’s. Besides that involves cleaning and no girl is worth that.
Impress your sweetie by showing her that you listen to more than just hard rock and rap music by taking her to Dimitrious’ Jazz Alley at 2033 6th Avenue. Dimitrious’s stage is graced by some of the world’s finest jazz musicians, like George Duke, the Marc Seales Quintet, Dave Frishberg, and Stanley Clarke.
Besides being one of the city’s hottest locations for live music, Dimitrious also serves fabulous food. You’ll find steak, salmon, lamb, and chicken on their menu. Also, if you make dinner reservations they will seat you near the stage.
What if I told you that your romantic date could include a trip to the movie theater? Don’t get your hopes up you won’t be taking her to the multiplex to see the latest Vin Diesel or John Cena vehicle. In fact, you might have to see a movie with subtitles, but remember women love films you have to read.
The Harvard Exit Theatre was built in 1925 and shows the best independent film and foreign language cinema in the city. Located at 807 East Roy in Capitol Hill, the cozy atmosphere is sure to get you some quality up-close and personal time. And please, don’t buy popcorn because it will get stuck in your teeth.
The historic and gorgeous Paramount Theater at 911 Pine Street is your destination if you wish to take her to a Seattle Broadway style show, a dance, opera, or comedic performance, a music concert, or a specialty film. The Paramount oozes class, beauty and grace.
If the Paramount doesn’t have a production you think she would like try the 5th Avenue Theatre, that just so happens to be located on 5th Avenue. This beautiful, Asian-inspired venue brings nearly 150 top-quality musical revivals, premieres of bound-for-Broadway shows, and touring musicals to their stage.
If your date doesn’t like it when characters express their feelings in song, you can always escort her to the Intiman Theatre. Located in the Seattle Center, this Tony Award winning theater is in their 36th season of producing classical dramas and modern masterpieces.
Now if you really want to impress your gal, as in “she’s the one,” then it’s time to bring out the big guns: the ballet and the opera.
The Seattle Opera is one of America’s best and they perform five productions a year at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall situated on 321 Mercer Street. On their schedule for 2009 are the masterpieces The Marriage of Figaro, Aida and Elektra.
While you may cringe at the thought of attending the opera, you really shouldn’t. They are quite fascinating and entertaining. And even if you don’t like them, you should attend the opera at least once in your life.
However, try to avoid operas by Richard Wagner. In the summer of 2009 the Seattle Opera is producing his Ring cycle. A date can’t end well enough to make sitting through one of his works worthwhile.
Just down the street from McCaw Hall is the Phelps Center, home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet. This troupe performs works like Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and various salutes to Broadway. The ballet is very romantic and, like the Opera, something you should attend at least once.
Depending on your relationship, and the personality of your paramour, there are a few other events that may be suitable options. The Rat City Rollergirls, Seattle’s first flat track all-female roller derby league, performs during the spring and throughout the summer at Key Arena. Admission is affordable and includes two matches. While not the most romantic endeavor of all-time it is certainly fun and unique.
Circus Contraption performs their “The Show to End All Shows” on weekends through the end of May. You can catch the troupe at The Circus Factory at 3400 Phinney Avenue. Think of them as a regional Cirque De Solei.
If you don’t mind your date huddling close to you while clutching your arm for an hour, you might want to take her on the Market Ghost Tours. This one hour walking tour takes ghosts hunters through the soul of the city, Pike Place Market. The good news about this activity if the times are inconvenient you can always arrange for a private tour.
You’ve dined your lovely date and treated her to some of the city’s best entertainment, now it’s time to slow things down with a cocktail. Or maybe some wine and art at Vermillion. Located at 1508 11th Avenue, Vermillion is a charming and sophisticated place to end the evening.
The Zig Zag Café is classic cocktail bar located downtown on the Pike Hillclimb, lots of atmosphere with the city’s best bartenders.
As the name suggests, The Hideout is a hole in the wall, but finding it is worth the effort. It’s very intimate and they have a full bar for your date to choose from.
With all these great options for a romantic evening, it’s no wonder people say Seattle is for lovers. Okay, they don’t say that but your date certainly will, especially if you treat her to one of the above recommendations.
Copyright 2009 SeattleSmarts