I just had the greatest date I’ve had in five years of living in Fort Worth. Maybe it was because I was leaving town the next day and missing my husband in advance. Or it could have been the perfect seared tuna salad bowl ($12) and glass of Pinot Noir (Sanford Flor de Campo, $7). I even forgave the strange 90’s music mix of Collective Soul and Smash Mouth because the rest of my experience at La Perla Negra (910 Houston St., 817-882-8108) was perfect.

It’s really a magical thing when Mr. Tipsy and I do not argue over where to go out. Usually “what do you feel like/ we just went there/ you always want that” turn into “let’s play it by beer,” and we end up hungry and buzzed on an empty stomach. Most of the time the debate ends with too many tacos, dinner margaritas, and a hangover. But a few nights ago, the bars aligned and we both ended up delighted with our (his) choice.

The place was a bit quiet, as downtown Fort Worth can be on a weeknight, but the server/ bartender had no problem handling it. Sometimes you get too much attention when there’s not much else going on, but this guy was fittingly hands-off. We sat at a booth rather than the bar, which I think signifies that we were in the mood to be left alone. The drinks and conversation flowed so well that our phones didn’t even join us. Before our order arrived, we were given some sort of crack sprinkled popcorn, which I still can’t stop thinking about. I ate an embarrassing amount of it, shamelessly shoving handfuls in my mouth like a crack popcorn whore. No one seemed to be judging me though.


The place’s other guests were all pairs as well – a chatty older couple pair at the bar, two dudes in business suits, and what appeared to be a boyfriend/ girlfriend, who unfortunately didn’t seem to be on the perfect date. Although maybe they just preferred to have phones and frowns out when they are enjoying themselves. I should have ordered them a drink and shared some of my relationship advice, which mostly consists of “Relax and have fun, life is short, the journey is the destination,” type of stuff. But I was too busy being relaxing and having fun to worry about their problems.

The fact is, there’s nothing better than a quality date night, whether it’s with a best friend, a person you are getting to know, a sibling, or even a coworker. Going out with a group can be fun, but one-on-one time is pure magic in the right environment. A small café-type restaurant is the perfect spot for drinks, deep talks, food, secret sharing, another drink, laughing, and choose your own adventure from there. If everything is right, it feels like you can do anything. Start a business? Confront your boss? Laugh at a big problem? You got this. I imagine that this is what Scientology, drugs, and dating Tony Robbins feels like. I could use another perfect date night (and some of that crack popcorn) again soon.