Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger Shares First Dinner Date Tips for Valentine’s Day

Headed out this weekend for a first dinner (or brunch or lunch) date in honor of Valentine’s Day? Here, world-renowned Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger shares first dinner date tip for a date so delicious he or she is sure to delete Tinder. The essential ingredients for a great date? “Communication, chemistry, and compliments — with a big amount of manners thrown in!” But, there’s a lot more to it, as well.

OpenTable - Pizzaiolo

The first step toward dinner date success is selecting the right restaurant for romance. Should you look for a hip, sexy spot or something more lively? “Quiet, an intimate setting, ambience, and lighting are key,” according to Stanger. “A girl always looks beautiful under candlelight.” And don’t forget to use the notes/special requests to the maître d’ option when booking on OpenTable. “It’s always nice when the person who made the reservation requests a quite table so they can hear each other talk. If it happens to be close to the kitchen, only accept the table if the kitchen has soundproof glass windows.”

Famous for issuing a strict two-drink maximum at her Millionaire Matchmaker mixers, we wondered if the same rule applies when you’re out on an actual first date? “Yes, I recommend ordering one bottle of wine.  A bottle of my sweet red sparkling from PS Match is perfect as it has four glasses total, which is ideal for any romantic date,” she suggests.

Waiter Serving Delicious Food to Young Couple in Restaurant

Now that you’re past the drinks, should you go with shared plates or items with grand tableside preparations – or something else? Stanger recommends trying the tasting menu together. She notes, “A tasting menu with great wines is the perfect shared romantic experience because it allows you time to get to know your date and enjoy the food. Since it is small portions, it is not over the top filling, which gives you energy for what’s to come next!” For those with special dietary restrictions or picky eaters, convey the information politely and in a matter of fact manner. “Nowadays, it is not unusual for someone to say, “I’m gluten free, allergic to shellfish, and so on.’ It’s better to be safe than sorry just to go along. Just tell your date, ‘I don’t want to be a pain because I’m sure any restaurant or menu you pick will be fine, just please know I’m allergic to ___.” A good date will inform the chef and management ahead of time because that shows that they care.”

Several of my single friends have shared stories of men trying to feed them off their fork or spoon. Does Stanger think it’s icky or okay? “It is super sexy when a man tries to feed a woman, — not the reverse because you become their mother!” She recommends holding off on your Lady and the Tramp moment until the last course, however. “When a guy really likes a girl he usually waits until desert to do that.”


Despite living in an age when seemingly everyone is Instagramming their eats, phones should remain tucked away during your dinner date. “The only time it is acceptable to pull out your phone is when you are checking in on your children, especially if you are divorced and there is an emergency or someone you know is ill. Women who come off too aggressive will often take out the phone for a selfie, which might turn men off. Let him lead — let him take out the phone and offer to take your photo,” she suggests.

You can avoid awkwardness at the end of a meal by remembering that the inviter always pays. “You can always do the last ditch effort by going to the bathroom and thank your invitee for paying the bill, which in sales is called ‘assume the close.’”

Fans of the show know that one of Stanger’s first Monday morning quarterbacking Q is if a client sealed the deal with a passionate kiss. But don’t do it too soon into the date. She says, “The time for the kiss is usually at drop-off time, her front door.”

If you’re not ready to head for your door, should you suggest heading to a second location? “You can always extend the date to listen to some great music, get dessert and coffee, or take a long walk on the beach. Either way, you know your date really likes you if they ask or accept the offer.”

Now that we’ve touched on her top tips, we wondered what have been some of the biggest gaffes she’s seen that sent diners back to the dating pool? Ignoring your date by being on your phone, answering emails or simply going quiet and not engaging in conversation.” And that’s not true just for first-time dinner daters. “It’s oftentimes the married couple that has the hardest time rekindling romance because they know each other too well and they can check out until the food comes.”

Do you agree with these tips from Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger? How did you turn your date into a long-term love? Let us know here and also share the restaurant you’re headed to that is one of your #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary here or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter. And there’s still time to enter our #savorthelove Valentine’s Day giveaway for a chance to win dinner for two!