By Ashley Close
Whether or not it is a first date, a second date or your partner of 20 years, when it is cold outside it can be hard to find the motivation to get out and have a special evening. Loosen up and try something different, whether it be a restaurant with an interesting concept, or an activity you haven’t participated in since you were a kid. Dating shouldn’t be stressful, and fun is not limited to warm weather!
The newest dining trend in Pittsburgh is locally grown, seasonally appropriate, fresh, and did I mention local? Not only does this support sustainability, but it produces ever-changing seasonal menus. Mix that with a one of a kind atmosphere, and you get Salt of the Earth. A great place for a first date (the layout is a great conversation starter), as it is rarely the same experience twice. Add to that a great cocktail and wine menu, and you have a perfect night on the town to warm you up.
Stagioni in Bloomfield picks up this sustainability trend, and takes off with a menu that changes daily! They truly take fresh and local to a whole new and delightful level. Staying true to their Bloomfield roots with an Italian flair, they offer lunch, dinner, and brunch menus. The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, without being stuffy or crowded. Call ahead to check for the day’s menu, and impress your date when you bring the perfect wine pairing along. It’s all about the details when your end of meal coffee comes served in a French press.
Break the ice and keep warm with a little friendly competition at Arsenal Bowling Lanes in Lawrenceville. And don’t think for a second that this is your little brothers’ bumper bowling party. Every night of the week they offer drink specials and theme nights (although, I would stay away from participating in the karaoke on Fridays if it’s your first date. No matter how good you think you are). Open until 2am on weekends and nidnight every other day of the week, this is a superbly fun pre- or post-dinner activity.
Maybe a little bit of fresh winter air is what you need to keep the magic going. Bundle up and head down to PPG Place for a romantic ice skating session. No matter your skill level on the ice, the rink at PPG place offers a dreamy setting for any date. Right next door is Market Square, where you can grab a cocktail or hot chocolate when your spin around the rink is through.
Ashley is a native of Pittsburgh with an English degree from Chatham College. She spends her time stalking the New Kids on the Block on Twitter, and making wish lists on e-commerce sites she cannot afford. She also does yoga. Sometimes. You can follow her on twitter and maybe someday she’ll say something interesting.