FOOD WHORE by Jessica Tom has all the ingredients of a tasty read: an amazing design (Jessica is a former creative director who spearheaded her own cover) and an even better story full of food, fashion, and some (very big) fibs—all set in the Big Apple. With restaurants modeled after real-life New York City hot-spots, steamy scenes in and out of the kitchen, and a generous serving of serious retail therapy, FOOD WHORE appeals to anyone who’s ever had a dream and the appetite to get there. It’s the embodiment of that quintessential New York City question: how far are you willing to go to get the life you crave?
Foodie/author Jessica shares with XOXOAD the perfect meal for your relationship. Whether you’re just meeting a new cutie or you and bae have been together forever, nothing says romance like the perfect meal 🙂
The Best Food for Every Relationship Stage
by Jessica Tom
There’s nothing better than sharing a meal with someone you love (or lust). But, like a 10-course meal, timing is everything. From flings to fiancés and everyone in between, here are some quick tips on pairing food with your date.
Date #1: Cocktails
If you’re meeting for the first time, best to keep things brief. You can always extend a great cocktail date, but you won’t be able to cut a bad dinner date short. Opt for something light—in alcohol content and color—like white wine, champagne, or a white sangria. Many a first impression has been ruined by red teeth or drunkenness.
And, even if it fits better with your schedule, don’t do coffee! Coffee is for networking and friend dishing sessions—not a first date.
Date #2: A hip restaurant—that’s not trying too hard
Okay, you’re kinda into each other! Now to show a little bit of your food and city savvy. Go to a restaurant that insiders have been buzzing about. Check out Eater.com in your area, or trusted local bloggers. Avoid any restaurants that are too sceney where everyone looks like they’re ready to go clubbing rather than eat a full meal. You want to learn more about your date—not scream over the techno.
Date #3 (or, the date where you’ll get extra intimate): A sushi bar, picnic, or anywhere with a banquette
The cool factor of this place is unimportant. The key is to sit side-by-side so there can be some advanced handholding, footsie, playful slapping, etc. Of course there are the obvious aphrodisiacs—oysters, chocolate, champagne. They’re fine, if a bit tacky. But, really, anything that appeals to the senses will do. Scooping Ethiopian stews with spongy injera. Slurping ramen with that oozing poached egg. Drizzling honey on a baguette with prosciutto and whipped ricotta. (Yes, that last one is basically pure sex.)
Date #41: Something different!
By now, you’ve probably tried every semi-decent place that delivers on Seamless. You might have a neighborhood spot where you always order the same thing. This, my friends, is called an eating rut. Get out of it! You can try a new restaurant, but better yet—get away from restaurants all together. Maybe invite a private chef into your home, or enroll in a cooking class. Find an underground supper club and meet other couples. Take the train to an ethnic neighborhood and eat in a hole-in-the-wall where no one speaks English. Your partner probably doesn’t give you butterflies anymore, but a new experience can fire the same endorphins as those early days of dating.
The last date: Somewhere nice but not memorable
First, I do not recommend breaking up with someone at a restaurant. If you respect someone, do it in a place where they can feel their emotions without worrying about strangers’ opinions. That being said, before you do the deed, you might want to cap off the relationship with a nice but otherwise un-noteworthy meal—kind of like a lollipop before a shot.
The I-wanna-get-back-together date: Repeat Date #3
Jessica Tom is a writer and food blogger living in Brooklyn. She has worked on initiatives with restaurants, hospitality startups, food trucks, and citywide culinary programs. She graduated from Yale University with a concentration in fiction writing and wrote the restaurant review for the Yale Daily News Magazine. Food Whore is her first novel and comes out October 27, 2015 from William Morrow. Connect with her at www.jessicatom.com or @jessica_tom.