Where to go for that first date or Anniversary

Where to have a first dinner date is an important question, because it might lead to another important question — where to have dinner for the anniversary.

For a first dinner date, a certain kind of place, where the mood is light, might be more important than how fancy it is. That’s how I feel about it, anyway.

A restaurant that’s buzzing might be essential, too. It gives dinner an undercurrent of energy and, if the date is a dud and the place is loud enough, cover. (“What? Sorry, can’t hear a word you’re saying!”) It helps if the restaurant has some visual interest, too; it’s something to talk about when all else fails.

Anniversaries call for settings that are more romantic, and most of the ones listed here are lower in decibels. (Any of these spots would also be ideal for a Valentine’s Day dinner.)

This list focuses on Milwaukee restaurants, in case the night also calls for live music or another event in the city, and they range from more budget-minded choices to splurges.

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