Self-described as a “very small” wine bar, Tzin is one of the most unique restaurants in the city, and a great place for a date (but you should definitely reserve ahead of time). Just a few tables along a single-benched wall line the restaurant, with the semi-open kitchen taking up the other half. It’s a small, stylish, hole-in-the-wall restaurant — the kind of place that would be common in New York and, on the night we arrive, just as busy.
But this tiny place brings big flavour on its in-house tapas menu with things like prawns, falafel and gnocchi, along with full-plate items like Paella (crumbled wild boar chorizo and saffron marinated scallops on smoked bomba rice). It all makes for some great date-night eating, because small bites leave more room for wooing, and you won’t be over-full if the date moves to another location later.
Downtown | 10115 104 St NW, Edmonton | 780.428.8946 | tzin.ca
With it’s all-black, slatted-ceiling front room and the back room’s off-the-streets-of-Japan design, Dorinku feels otherworldly. It has great food too, and all kinds of delicious drinks, both of which are often as brightly coloured as the decor, like the B.C. Special Fresh Uni with Sashimi or the Hamachci Carpaccio, all washed down with seasonal drinks. The soups are savoury and varied, and you should always get the Shaka Shaka fries (pick up a container of the seasoning for your own use, too — it goes great on omelettes).
Downtown | 10328 Jasper Ave, Edmonton | 780.761.9990 | osaka.dorinku.ca
Fu’s Repair Shop has dark lighting, but it’s not so dark you can’t see your date’s face. It’s also small, but not so small that people at other tables will overhear your wooing words. And it’s got great Dim Sum, leaving time in between bites to gaze lovingly into their eyes.
Of course, this all assumes that you’re on a date with someone who looks good and has interesting things to say — which in these days of internet-based dating, is no sure thing. Fu’s can guarantee you’ll have a delicious meal mixed with tasty cocktails in a room that gives plenty of good vibes. But, the scrolling, swiping and vetting is up to you.
Downtown | 9902 109 St NW, Edmonton | fusrepairshop.ca
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This article appears in the March/April 2023 issue of Edify