I go on a lot of first dates, often at La Botella Republic in Downtown Berkeley because it’s a block away from my apartment. It’s a wine bar but they have some beers and eatz too.
I don’t date on weekends. Weekends are for me time and friend time and weekend dates seem too serious. Therefore, I’ve never been to La Botella Republic on a Friday or Saturday night when they serve cooked food and get more customers (I think).
On weekdays they have meat and cheese plates. I tried one and most of it made me nauseous (I’m wimpy about stinky cheese and gamy meats). They have really fancy Wüsthof like cheese knives.
On a typical Tuesday night for example, it’s very quiet. One guy I met there for a date actually wanted to leave because it was too quiet. The quieter the better is my preference for bars and restaurants most of the time. I loved the Peter Lawrence Kane review in the SF Weekly of the Oakland restaurant Parlour (across the street from one of my favorite bars Drexl). He wrote, “I’m going to go full grandpa-shakes-fist-at-cloud on this one: Parlour was so fucking loud I almost couldn’t believe it was possible. I’m that grandpa. I like the table in the back because it’s cozy sitting next to a date and they don’t have a couch.
I went on a Bumble date there recently that lasted 57 minutes. He came from San Francisco and took one look at me for 3,420 seconds and then BARTed on out of there. We seemed to have a pretty good conversation about start ups, music, travel, and monster truck rallies but I’m pretty sue he thought I was an uggo. But dude, I even wore a pencil skirt with pumps! Oh well, it was a fine date. He showed up. He showed up on time. He didn’t openly ogle any non uggos (there was nobody else there). He bought me a nice glass of Tempranillo. Nothing about him bothered me more than the fact that La Botella Republic seems to never have the wines the board says they do.