What makes a dinner romantic, according to 100 couples

It seems like a simple enough process. Pick the restaurant, drive to the restaurant, eat, pay, leave. So why does the first step seem so difficult?
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The Most Romantic Restaurant

It’s been a long week. You and your partner decide you’re missing a much needed break and go out to a nice, romantic dinner. It seems like a simple enough process. Pick the restaurant, drive there, eat, pay, leave. So why does the first step seem so difficult?

I have seen many couples laugh at the fact that picking a restaurant is always the hardest part. Heck, my wife and I have the same problem (even though she has a very particular palette, quickly diminishing the list of appropriate options). Nevertheless, we thought it would be interesting to see what you thought! What do our Craters (that’s what we call our awesome Crated with Love couples!) think makes a dinner romantic?

We asked 100 Crated with Love couples what they think constitutes as a romantic dinner. There are two main purposes of the survey and infographics. The first, is to report to you what most people see as “the most romantic dinner”. The second is to help you choose what factors you should look at when planning for that special date night dinner. So, without further ado, here are the results!

What is the most romantic cuisine?

The first question we asked our members is what the most romantic cuisine was. Now, obviously, this is going to range from person to person. We all have different tastes and different preferences. A major problem within the relationship when trying to choose the cuisine, is that often times, the two individuals have different preferences. This means that one person will have to secede their vote for the good of the other person. Having said that, relationships are stronger if they are balanced, fortified, and fair. So how do we resolve the issue? The best (and most fun) way to choose the cuisine is to turn it into a game. Why? Because it takes the guilt away from the situation and it promotes fairness. Plus, it is no longer about who “wins” but rather having fun. The next time you go to pick a restaurant, try doing this. Each of you take three strips of paper. On two of the strips, write down a cuisine that you enjoy. On the third, write down a cuisine that you think your partner likes. After you pick your types, place all the strips into a bowl and mix them up. One by one, eliminate an option by picking them out of the bowl until you only have one cuisine left. That will be your option! Make sure not to write down specific restaurants, that will be the last step, which we will discuss later in this article!

Graphic visualizing votes for which cultural food is most romantic

So, what did our subscribers say? Out of 100 participants, an overwhelming 50 stated that “Italian/Mediterranean” is the most romantic cuisine. Now, when examining popular culture, this answer makes sense. With that being said, is what we perceive as romantic due to the movies we watch, really romantic? I think it really depends on your definition of romantic. To me, romance has some very important characteristics. Firstly, a romantic atmosphere must promote the ability to get emotionally closer to the person you are with. This may include specific lighting, lower levels of volume in terms of music or external conversations, and a certain amount of safety and comfort. So, with this definition, it makes sense that an Italian restaurant would be deemed most romantic. In our opinion, however, we believe that the cuisine is less important than the overall atmosphere. Remember, a romantic date night should promote a situation where you and your significant other can grow closer together. What does that mean in regards to both of your personalities?

Where is the best location for a romantic dinner?

Where you choose to go greatly impacts the level of romance, and there really is no right answer. It is important, however, to take into consideration each of your preferences. What do you find more romantic: the bustling excitement of downtown, the relaxed atmosphere of the suburbs, or the adventure of the outskirts? Each one of us finds something more attractive in one these different scenarios.

What did our Craters have to say? Over half of the members we surveyed stated that the most romantic location for a romantic dinner is “downtown” at 52%. Following that, 24% said that the outskirts of town was the most romantic, 16% preferred the suburbs, and 8 adventurous couples said the middle of nowhere. Again, it really depends on your combined personalities and what you are looking for out of the dinner. Before choosing what area would be the best, talk with your significant other. Do you both feel the same way? Why or why not?

Graph visualizing votes for which kind of location is the most romantic for a dinner

After discussing, choose an area for your next dinner out. If each of you prefer a different scene, flip a coin to see which area you will dine at for your next date. Switch to the other person’s area on the following date. Remember, the goal is romance. If you want to go downtown because it’s exciting and loud, think about how that will affect the conversations between you. Now, if there are some wonderful restaurants and if there is an opportunity to engage in some date night activities before or after, then that’s great! Do not choose an area based on your personal preferences, but rather on how much of an impact it can have on adding romance to our date.

What is the decor like?

This question may seem trivial, but it is very important. The better question is how does the decor play into the romantic theme of the dinner? For example, say you both love steak (a common choice for us). You both agree on a fun date night dinner to a local steakhouse in the suburbs. Steps 1 and 2 are in the books. Say there is a steakhouse in your area that has a very sophisticated atmosphere and the decor represents that. There is also another sports-themed steakhouse that is a shrine to all the local sports teams in the area. Do you see how two different venues can have two totally different feels just based on the decor and the theme? Maybe you both love sports and the second option is a great way to rekindle the romance by dining at a restaurant that represents a passion you both share. On the other hand, maybe one of you can get distracted by all the sports around you leaving your partner feeling ostracized (one main reason we choose not to have our romantic dates at sports-themed restaurants). The decor (and atmosphere) of your dinner destination can play an important role in the conception of romance. 54% of the members surveyed said that they preferred a restaurant that was themed to fit the cuisine, while a more contemporary or traditional look received 19% and 17%, respectively.

Bar graph visualizing votes for which decor is the best fitting for a romantic dinner

Now that you have the cuisine and the area picked out, whittle down your search based on the theme or decor of the restaurant. Avoid anything that may be distracting or anything that may take away from the romantic experience.

What is the price?

The final piece of the puzzle is price. How much should you spend on your dinner date? We’re huge proponents of the idea that you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to create romance. With that being said, there is a sense of marketing that is in play. We expect to pay more at “fancier and more romantic” restaurants because of the candlelit tables and fancy folded napkins. You expect the food to be better which should boost the experience you both have together. With all of this in mind, we want to challenge you in picking a price point that doesn’t meet your expectations of a romantic dinner, but rather on the comfort level you have when it comes to spending. Find a price range that you and your significant other are comfortable with and the romance will follow. Working multiple jobs through college, Michelle and I have learned that every dollar earned is important. We used to go out to expensive restaurants because we perceived that it would be more romantic, when instead, we were more focused on choosing the cheapest entrée. That level of stress and discomfort can distract you from the main purpose of going out to a nice restaurant: to build romance. There is a reason why we chose this section last. I believe that you have the opportunity to make any outing romantic, regardless of price. Heck, you can turn a fast food restaurant into the most romantic place in town if you are willing to put in the effort. Instead of choosing a venue based on the perceived notion that expensive equals romantic, choose a price range that allows you both to have the best experience.

In terms of our survey, over half of our members think you need to spend “$$$”. One-third of those surveyed said that you need to spend less than that at “$$”. The dollar sign option is subjective and it could mean different things to different people, which is what we were going for. The goal was to show that you don’t need to spend as much as you can at a restaurant to enjoy it.

Final thoughts

You chose a cuisine, an area, the decor, and the price to your perfect dinner destination. That wasn’t too hard, was it? We go out to dinner to create an experience. So why not make choosing the restaurant an experience as well? Each time you choose to go out, follow the steps above. They will help you create a better experience and they will allow you to foster the romance a lot easier. Choosing where to eat shouldn’t be stressful, it should be fun! Remember that! Just keep in mind that the goal is romance and if you place that goal above everything else, your dinner will be a success no matter what you eat or where!