Here's a good question: if you could take your celebrity crush to any restaurant that you've ever been to (obviously on a date), which restaurant would you choose?
Obviously if you've traveled lots, this will be a difficult choice for you. I have traveled a decent amount (mostly the west coast of the U.S.A.), and this is difficult for me. But I'll try my best.
I guess it really depends on what sort of date it is. Is it casual? Do you want live music? Is it formal, or romantic? It's hard to decide which was the best restaurant I've ever been to unless I really know what sort of date it is. So I'll just remember all of the restaurants that really stood out to me on my travels, and make my decision that way (considering different types of dates, obviously).
Focusing on the West Coast of North America, because those travels are the most fresh and recent, we'll start in Canada to the places that I can remember.
Vancouver, BC: Now because Vancouver isn't far from where I live, I've visited friends there many times, so I can't pinpoint the pizza joints or the sushi restaurants that blew me away. I can, however, remember one tea time I had with my mother at The Urban Tea Merchant in downtown Vancouver. We went for their signature tea service, where I had a chocolate black tea (might've been herbal, it was a couple of years ago.), and we had some finger sandwiches, little canapes, and desserts. This would be amazing for a casual lunch date (pricey, but so worth it). Here's a before and after shot of our service:
Kelowna, BC: Now because Kelowna is even CLOSER than Vancouver, I know of many good restaurants to take someone to for a date. Old Vines restaurant at Quail's Gate Estate Winery is elegant, romantic and very relaxed, with incredible food and wines to pair with the atmosphere. I'd say for a romantic date, absolutely. RauDZ Regional Table is also a great place. It's sophisticated, relaxingly upbeat and has delicious food. Cocktails, made by their skilled and talented liquid Chefs, are also incredible. Pretty good I'd say for a romantically casual date.
There are too many restaurants I've been to in Kelowna to list all the good ones, so those are my top two.
Nelson, BC: One of my favorite towns that I've ever been to. Ever. Tucked away in the Selkirk mountain range, at the extreme west arm of Kootenay lake. Some hidden treasures in that town. The most amazing salmon burger I've ever had, at Rel-ish Bistro. Very casual dining; I would go there on a date or just out with friends. Very cool feel. Another Nelson treasure is Bibo. Very small, intimate and romantic restaurant with incredible Mediterranean inspired dishes. Amazing in the summer, though extremely warm, this would be great for a late night date, or after a movie dinner.
Here's some pictures of the food at these two restaurants:
San Fransisco, CA: Sadly, I have recently developed some sort of intolerance or allergy to garlic, which really sucks because one of my favorite meals ever was had at The Stinking Rose. What is in every dish at The Stinking Rose? You guessed it, piles and piles of garlic. Honestly, to eat there again, I would, without hesitation, sacrifice my gut. It's so worth it. It's located in North Beach, which is San Fransisco's Little Italy (extremely fitting), "Guests can enjoy treat-after-garlicky-treat in any of the restaurant's whimsical dining rooms decorated with colorful garlic characters, curious memorabilia and a mechanical miniature garlic factory. The world's largest garlic braid winds its way throughout the establishment, and festive murals, depicting a garlic bulb's view of San Francisco's history and culture, adorn the walls" (Quoted from thestinkingrose.com).
Ashland, OR: My family and I have traveled to Ashland for the Shakespeare festival approximately four times. This laid-back, idyllic town has lots to offer, especially during festival season. There are two restaurants from Ashland that I remember positively. Pasta Piatti, which is a new world Italian restaurant. Very casual, with amazing pizza. Some of the best I'd ever had. The second restaurant, which was the most recent one we went to, was called Loft Brasserie & Carpe Noctem Bar. A French restaurant, with the dining room located one level above the kitchen, but some amazing food and warming, romantic decor. (It helped that the server was witty as well.) Ashland is already a pretty romantic town, that both places would be good for any kind of date.
Portland, OR: I've been to Portland a couple of times, but the first time I just had some fast food. The next time, we stayed one night and had dinner at a restaurant called EastBurn. Not only did I have an incredibly smooth chocolate shake porter for a beverage, I also had their pasta special. It was the best I'd had in a long time. Extremely simple, papardelle noodles tossed with asparagus and mushrooms, in a goat cheese cream sauce, and sure I could've made it myself at home, but the execution of this dish was amazing. Unforgettable meal. Definitely a spot for a casual date.
(The Elephant is a drawing I did on the awesome brown paper table cloths, and it's saying "This chocolate shake porter is delicious!".)
Seattle, WA: The best is always saved for last. Not only is Seattle my favorite city (it's the only city I've visited where I've felt safe and not uncomfortable walking around), but this restaurant is my new favorite restaurant. I'm very much into Cajun/Creole, authentic New Orleans cuisine (trust me, it's my next city to visit), and this restaurant delivers. Toulouse Petit. Though they brought me the wrong salad to begin with (I ordered a pork belly and arugula salad, they brought a pesto caprese salad), it was on the house and both are in a tie for being a couple of the best salads I've had. My gumbo, though I got it spicier than I should've, made me fall in love with gumbos. I wouldn't just date at this restaurant, I'd live there.
So I guess my answer is that I'd take any of those men at the top to Seattle for some gumbo and beignets.
Just as a thought, if you're ever checking any of these cities/towns out, I highly recommend these hot spots, and hope that if you do,you have just as great of an experience as I had (if not a better one).
(Sidenote: though I've never been out on a date, these are really just my choices for my perfect date.)