Plan the perfect first date in the ’Burgh

The Duqesne Incline is the perfect spot to bring a first date. The spot is unconventional and the views will put you both in that romantic mood. There is nothing quite like cuddling while watching the sunset. (credit: Courtesy of *www.wikitravel.org*) The Duqesne Incline is the perfect spot to bring a first date. The spot is unconventional and the views will put you both in that romantic mood. There is nothing quite like cuddling while watching the sunset. (credit: Courtesy of *www.wikitravel.org*)

As Feb. 14 approaches and you admire your crush from afar, consider the benefits and consequences of having a first date on Valentine’s Day. But gathering the courage to ask your crush out is stressful enough without having to consistently come up with unique and romantic date ideas. Look no further, for here is a quick guide on where and what to do this Valentine’s Day in Pittsburgh. Your aim is to fit your budget, ensure your date has a great time, and leave him or her wanting more!

First and foremost, all girls love flowers. If she tells you she doesn’t care about receiving them (unless she is allergic to them, of course), take it as the clue to buy her flowers. If not a bouquet, even a single rose works like a charm. Ladies, all guys love it when you dress to impress. Don’t overdo it, but smell fresh as a daisy. So go ahead; look pretty for him and yourself. If it’s just a night out with your friends, go all out. Look the best you ever have; you might just bump into someone worth meeting.

Second, plan to go out for dinner and make reservations soon, before they are all booked. Restaurants such as Typhoon in Shadyside are great places to go on a first date. Typhoon is a beautiful, trendy restaurant with stunning floral arrangements that add to the romantic atmosphere. The Thai food is divine, and it is a great place to merge perfect dining and conversation. Definitely try the sticky rice with mango: It is the most popular dessert there.

If you are going just out with friends, I would recommend a fun restaurant or bar, like Nakama in the South Side. Even restaurants such as Girasole on Walnut Street, the Melting Pot at Station Square, Silk Elephant in Squirrel Hill, or Spice Island Tea House in Oakland are great date places. They serve great food and their atmospheres are perfect for a date. Try to book corner seats to give yourself more privacy and allow you to talk without much disturbance.

If you don’t want to go out and you want to make it an intimate affair, I would recommend cooking. (Read our Valentine’s Day recipe article on B12 for fantastic ideas.) Nothing works better than delicious food, candles, and the two of you. You could stop by Dozen Cupcakes in Squirrel Hill and check out their Valentine’s Day special menu, which includes delectable red velvet cupcakes.

After eating out at a great restaurant, try stopping by a bar or a club if you’re over 21. Clubs such as Zen, Whim, and Firehouse are great, and because Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday, taking your date out on the Saturday night before might also be a good option. These clubs have a wide range of music, from R&B to house to hip-hop, so chances are they will meet the needs of almost every partygoer.

If you don’t want to go to a club and prefer something low-key ­— just both of you and a couple of drinks — try Alto Bar and Lounge in Shadyside. Also, bars such as S Bar in the South Side and the Wine Loft are great options. There are several bars down in the South Side or Station Square, so you are sure to find something that fits the bill. However, it is recommended to call the bar beforehand to inquire whether you need to make reservations or not.

Too young for bars but don’t want to end the date so soon? Go to the cinema! There are several movies releasing on Valentine’s Day weekend, including Valentine’s Day. What is better than a romantic movie with someone you really care for? Definitely purchase your tickets before since the theater might be crowded on Valentine’s Day. If you think it’s too cold outside and you would prefer to cuddle indoors, check what is playing on television that night, or head down to Blockbuster and rent a DVD. (Refer to our Valentine’s Day movie article on B7 for a good genre to pick.)

Pittsburgh is definitely a romantic city. Stuck in Hunt Library or in the cluster for most of the year, we forget to see how truly beautiful our city is. My personal top three romantic places to go in Pittsburgh are Mount Washington, the incline, and Schenley Park. Whether it’s admiring the Pittsburgh skyline from the heights of Mount Washington or traveling down the incline and witnessing a fantastic view of the city, you can’t not fall in love here. Schenley Park is a great place to take a walk through or have a Valentine’s Day picnic in.

The city has a lot of great places to bring your date on Valentine’s Day. Be sure to plan ahead so that you are not left with limited options, and try being creative and original. The secret to a perfect Valentine’s Day date is to be yourself. Don’t try too hard and enjoy the date. Valentine’s Day is magic in itself.