First dates, first meals

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Other News

While not every first date is centered around a meal, most involve some sort of dining, even if it’s not fancy fare or a sit-down meal. When Jewish News asked these couples to share their first dining experiences together, one unexpected result was that the settings ranged from shorts to black-tie.

No matter the circumstances or what was on the menu, the dates must’ve all received a five-star rating.

Lindsay and Ross Bangel

(as told by Lindsay)
“Our first dinner together was in Norfolk in December 2010. I was home for Christmas break, and Ross asked if he could take me to dinner at Luna Maya. I had never been there, but he knew what to order. I just couldn’t believe how good the food was – and as I am complimenting every bite, he’s smiling and laughing at me, because it’s no secret, I love food. We love food

This night was beyond special, because I knew this night, I had a guy that is not only going to be my forever eating partner – he is someone I can be myself around and vice versa. He has always brought out the best in me, and I feel this dinner made us realize how similar our childhoods, family, morals, and values were. It was the beginning of a future we were beyond excited to explore.

Luna Maya will forever and always dance on our stage of memories!”

Terri and Steve Budman

(as told by Steve)
“My first date with Terri was at a family wedding for Audrey Aleck and Scott Koltun on Memorial Day weekend in 1994. More than what we ate, what I remember was walking into Congregation Beth El and being scrutinized by her elegant pair of elderly aunts. They smiled and let me pass with Terri, so I guess that was approval.

Catered by Ruby Swartzchild, the spread was gracious and generous with steak and salmon, lots of vegetables, and four or five desserts. (I was hooked!)

After some spirited dancing, a cousin of Terri’s approached and asked, “How long have you been dating?” Terri and I both looked at our watches and said, “Oh, about a couple of hours.”

Carol and David Hirschler

(as told by David)
“Our first date, when we went out to eat, was in April in Lexington, Kentucky. We went to Wings Teahouse for dinner. We had egg rolls, sweet and sour chicken, and beef and broccoli. And, of course, fortune cookies.”

Ronnie and Marcus Friedman

(as told by Marcus)
“We remember the first date vividly… June 13, 1958. We went to the Ocean View Amusement Park to ride the roller coaster and everything else that moved. The meal was cotton candy!

It was warm, but not hot, which made dashing from the Ferris Wheel to the Merry-Go-Round fun. I grabbed her hand… a bold move on my part!”

Jody and David Laibstain

(as told by Jody)
“David and I had our first date on January 5, 1991. It was a blind date.
He took me to Shine Shine Palace at Waterside. I definitely remember what we ate. He suggested ordering the whole fish; it was fun taking it apart and sharing it as part of our first date. It was also delicious.

When I recently asked him why he ordered the fish, he said he had it before and wanted to share it. I think he wanted to impress me!”

Amy and Mark Metzger

(as told by Amy)
“Our first meal together is hard to quantify after all these years. We were friends for nearly a decade before we officially dated, and we shared many dinner parties with our group of friends.

Our first “date” meal together would have been around the summer of 2009 at the Polaris restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. It was especially memorable as it is a revolving rooftop restaurant and Mark had made the reservation well in advance to surprise me!”

Lisa and Howard Roesen

(as told by Lisa)
“It was the summer of 1993. I was living in the D.C. area and just got back from a singles mission to Israel. A girl named Marcy was on my trip, and we became fast friends. She grew up in Newport News, and one of her best friends was a guy named Howard. She thought Howard and I would make a great couple. He had just finished his podiatric residency program and was living in Virginia Beach.

Marcy convinced me to meet her in Dewey Beach, Delaware for the weekend to celebrate her birthday and meet Howard. Howard and I literally met on the beach in our bathing suits! Later that evening, we hung out at the bars with our friends. At the end of the night, while walking me back to the place I was staying, we stopped at Grotto’s Pizza, sat on the curb, and shared a pie.

Thirty years later, whenever we are on the Eastern Shore heading north, we always stop at Grotto’s. It’s a special place to us… and they have great pizza too!”

Shikma and Danny Rubin

(as told by Danny)
“Shikma and I met for the first time on a blind date in April 2010. We were set up by Dana Rosen, a longtime family friend.

We met at Gordon Biersch at Town Center (today that location is Three Notch’d Brewery). I did not know what Shikma looked like. Truly, it was a blind date.
I’m pretty sure we just had drinks and not a full meal. The first date led to a second… and a third… and now we’ve been married 11 years and have two kids!”