Refinery 29 - 9 Awesome First-Date Spots — Chicago's Experts Dish

9 Awesome First-Date Spots — Chicago's Experts Dish



Bela Gandhi, Smart Dating Academy

Not only does Gandhi run a full-service personal-consulting firm, she's also the head dating coach for Smart Dating. She's known for having an "uncanny sixth sense about people," which has lead to countless marriages. You may have seen her on television or in the paper, dishing advice — The Huffington Post calls her the "Fairy Godmother of Dating!"


Top Dating Spots

1. "Grab a wine flight at Webster's Wine Bar. It's dark, cozy, and has good small plates for sharing. Considered one of the first wine bars in Chicago, it's a nice, classic option."

Webster's Wine Bar, 1480 West Webster Avenue (between Clybourn and Ashland Avenues); 773-868-0608.


2. "For something more new, swank, and sexy, Maude's Liquor Bar is a great option. They have amazing cocktails (like the Smoky Violet), and it's extremely intimate — especially upstairs."

Maude's Liquor Bar, 840 West Randolph Street (at Halsted Street); 312-243-9712.


3. "For a casual option, a sweet treat at Anthony's Homemade Italian Ice on Southport is always great. If it's a warmer fall evening, take a stroll around the neighborhood afterward." Anthony's Homemade Italian Ice, 3442 North Southport Avenue (at Cornelia Avenue); 773-868-4237.


Bella's First-Date Dos And Don'ts

1. "Be a great conversationalist by staying positive, having fun stories to tell, and most importantly, by being a true and present listener."


2. "Don't talk about how much you can't stand your job, about your strange friends, and never about your exes. In short, leave all baggage at home."


3. "Don't drink too much! You get sloppy and will NOT make a good first impression."


4. "Always take it slow physically."


Texting Versus Calling

"If you are okay with it, it's fine. If you're not, you need to say, 'I'd love it if you called tonight.' If he doesn't respect your wishes, it's probably a harbinger, and he's not worth keeping around."

Original Article*