Thanks to websites like Match.com and OkCupid, blind dating is a little less nerve-wracking than it used to be, since you can learn more about the person before you meet. But having things in common does not always equate to a match made in heaven, so having an exit strategy is one consideration when searching for the right locale. These Sacramento establishments provide scenery, drinks, dining and entertainment while you get to know one another, while not locking you into a lengthy or expensive evening if you just are not clicking.
1627 16th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
If your date likes things modern, sleek and sporty, Hot Italian could be the perfect spot for your first meeting. This trendy spot is European chic with a wheel-centric décor; bicycles are all over the contemporary, artistic interior and exterior, with Italian scooters and cars occasionally inside as well. Reading and choosing from the enticing menu will keep the conversation flowing, and the cocktails, salads and pizzas – including vegan options – are fresh and tasty. To end the date on a sweet note, share a flavorful gelato or other specialty Italian desserts.
Fox & Goose Public House
1001 R St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
If your date has expressed interest in brews, cocktails, live music and cool food, F & G could be just the ticket for your first meet-up. The setting is a combination of a cozy English pub and a hip, midtown scene, and there is a convivial sense of community to the place. Beer lovers will appreciate draught options such a Chimay triple, Hoegaarden, Boddington’s and Stella Artois. Bottled favorites include Hen’s Tooth, Belhaven Twisted Thistle and other ales and pilsners. Vegan food is also available and the building, originally the Fuller Paint and Glass factory built in 1913, is funky and fun. For a quick and breezy first date, get to know one another over a fresh scone with luscious Devonshire cream, an authentic English trifle or the legendary burnt cream.
The Virgin Sturgeon
1577 Garden Highway
Sacramento, CA 95833
Virgin Sturgeon is a casual, quirky restaurant and bar atop a floating dock on the Sacramento River. The food and drinks are good and the atmosphere is always interesting. If conversation falters or things just aren’t clicking with your blind date, the beautiful scenery and people-watching opportunities will help ease the discomfort. From business people, locals and politicos to somewhat grizzled regulars and tanned, enthusiastic folks climbing up from their boats, the eclectic environment can keep things light and easy
1016 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Meeting a blind date can make anyone feel self-conscious, but Dive Bar offers plenty to look at and chat about as you get over the initial awkwardness. The decor is all about deep-sea diving and luxury, not at all as the name would suggest. Sit under a chandelier and watch the aquatic action in a mesmerizing 7,500-gallon aquarium; a live mermaid or merman swims in it on Friday and Saturday nights. Thursday evenings feature an entertaining dueling pianos show and on Mondays the bartenders lead all sorts of shenanigans. If you are looking to impress your date and don’t mind spending a bit more, prearrange a VIP deal for special treatment.
Tapa the World
2115 J St., Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95816
Tapa the World is a fun and popular midtown spot, perfect for drinks and sharing small bites of unique Spanish foods on whatever timetable you choose. The eclectic menu includes appetizer-sized treats including spicy plum and ginger filet mignon tips, grilled saffron lamb tenderloin and berenjenas, chunks of fried eggplant in a vegetable and garlic sauce. Enjoy sharing and sampling desserts like fresh sorbet or the “chocolate strawberry addiction,” or just sit back and relax with a sangria or cocktails such as the “Kasbahpolitan” made with Cointreau, pomegranate juice and vodka.
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.