BEST RESTAURANT FOR A FIRST DATE - 2006
Duplex - CLOSED
Ingredients for a great first date: an atmosphere both relaxing and romantic, delicious food at reasonable prices, and conversation that sparkles like just-Swiffered linoleum. If that's what you want, put your best foot forward and head to duplex. It's a tiny, red jewel box of a restaurant in what used to be the Pandora's Cup coffeehouse, and it exudes good vibes like Oprah on Pontiac giveaway day. The prices are only a little bit more than what you'd pay at neighborhood cheapies like Quang, but the atmosphere looks like you're springing for La Belle Vie. The food is truly good, too. Try the panko-breaded chicken lazing in a pool of lemon beurre blanc. (Exclaimed one diner, "I could drink this stuff straight.") Try the eggplant and mozzarella appetizer, and the duck confit salad with candied orange zest. For dessert there's fresh, ripe fruit in crème Anglaise and, if the romantic lighting has done its work, all the innuendo you can handle. Even if the convo isn't all it could be, you'll look great in the romantic lighting. For instance, here's a real first-date conversation: "Can I ask you a personal question? Have you had a nose job?" If we'd been at duplex, the comfort, romantic sensibility, and energy of the restaurant would have prevented this. And if it hadn't, we could have just tossed said date off duplex's spacious balcony.