Alive staffers' best dates

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

During our 45-minute private lesson (which was only $25), we achieved a fairly successful waltz and fox-trot. And what did I see when I looked up from watching my feet? My dance-despising boyfriend, smiling. Afterward, over sushi at Blue Ginger Asian Fusion Bistro - one of our favorites - he admitted that he wanted to go back for more lessons. I owe you one, Emerald City. -Heather Gross

I'm the kind of girl who can be charmed by walking past a convenience store security gate on my way to dinner.

When my fella took me to Bono Pizza for the first time a few months ago, he arranged for an evening of inspired contradictions. Through the convenience store door and past the accordion gate was a checkered tablecloth, flowers, chilled San Pellegrino and a placard that read "Reserved." We arrived delightfully overdressed ahead of a fancy party.

All of this went from enticing to unforgettable because of Bono's undeniable magic. You get the sense everyone is friends or soon will be. If you're lucky, you'll be invited around to see your pizza breathing to crisp life.

Was our collective glow from the brick oven or the blush of romance? I think I know the answer: We've been back and experienced the very same hazy happiness. -Kristen Schmidt

Live concerts of bands we love. One song is all it takes for two people to be connected forever. My boyfriend and I anticipate shows for months, and nothing says "I love you" quite like him, unprovoked and unobtrusively, keeping track of me while a pit rages one concertgoer away. -Jackie Mantey

Picnickers usually forget the practice once the weather turns, but nothing beats an indoor version curled up next to a fireplace or turntable. An indoor picnic provides all the benefits of eating at home, without the hassle or nerves of preparing a meal from scratch.

My wife and I like head to Market District Kingsdale, 3061 Kingsdale Center in Upper Arlington, for fancy meats, cheeses, wine, bread and dessert. We usually joke about trying something exotic like rattlesnake, then default to our favorite foods. We head back home, spread a comfy blanket, pour some wine and nosh the night away. -John Ross

Six years ago, shortly after moving to Columbus from Iowa, my husband and I eloped. Not courthouse elope, but private church wedding elope. After the ceremony was over, we asked the pastor for suggestions on where to go to celebrate and, without even thinking about it, he wrote down directions to a restaurant that he assured us would give us the food and experience worthy of a wedding. And to this day, anytime we need to celebrate a very special occasion, we always do so at The Refectory and remember the night we got married. -Michaela Schuett

This date involves me being dressed as a zombie for a local play, going to Carabar to see local bands, and then off to Crest Tavern for drinks with his friends. The entirety of this date takes place with me dressed as a zombie. -Alexis Perrone