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The Third Date – An LT Field Guide Featuring Michelle Williams

Gentlemen, It’s Date Night.

You’re here because you’ve met someone, a woman is in your life and you want to show her you have more dimensions than the average bear. Well done sir, already your intentions are nobler than the great swaths of uninitiated “men” who walk the planet. With that you’re approaching a critical juncture in your emerging relationship, the Third Date, it’s an important step in learning about the person you’ve gotten coffee with the past two weeks. Properly treating a woman takes a bit more than $30 entrées and a collared shirt, this guide will show you what you need. Anyone can talk, but an authentic man will reveal himself in action.

Everyone knows the Third Date is important, but why? If you are asking a woman on a Third Date (not always the third date for the record) it means you are ready to show this woman something in her is different to you. She tugs at your heart and draws you back again and again, a crush this is not. Initial dates, hangouts, whatever-you-want-to-call-them’s are over now; talking about what you majored in, where you work, sports teams and dance recitals still have a place in conversation but are not the focus. You’re ready to move further. The Third Date is where you press deeper into one another and learn a bit more about what makes the other person tick. Enjoy this time, learning a woman’s heart is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Third Date - Lions

Our Help – Coffee + Champagne

This article was a beast to tackle and we couldn’t do it alone. Thanks to a fortunate coffee shop interaction we enlisted the help of culinary mastermind Michelle Williams. As the Owner and Curator of the online food magazine Coffee + Champagne, Michelle is an excellent chef and advice-giver, you’ll see her throughout the article behind our date-night recipes and offering her female expertise on your dress and behavior too. Get ready to knock it out of the park my friend, we’ve got your back.

Get all the Coffee and Champagne you can handle down below:

Third Date - Michelle Williams, Coffee + Champagne

The Date

Here’s your date in a nutshell: You’ll invite the special lady to your place for a Friday evening dinner for two: Rustic Peach Tarts, Tilapia Salad Tacos, Beets Burrata and Honey Crostini. Some of the food will be prepared by you beforehand and other parts you’ll make together. You’ll enjoy cooking and conversation and sparks will fly. When the meal ends you’ll plan the next thing to do together, walk her to her car/cab/subway stop and finish on top of the world.

Preparing For Your Date

Preparation is imperative for any date, this one is no exception. Pay attention to these areas: your house, yourself, your clothes and your food (Michelle will hit on that later).

Your House

House is an subjective term here, whether you have a house, apartment, a condo or a tent it should be looking its best.

Use this checklist to make sure everything is in order:

1. Vacuum and/or sweep your floors, especially where you’ll be eating.
2. Dust the tables, counters and chairs where you’ll prepare and eat the food then clean them with some type of surface cleaner.
3. Clean your bathroom top to bottom. You’d be surprised, women do care about these things. Your bathroom can make or break the date.
4. Organize things that are lying around, you don’t need to catalog your place like the Library of Congress but make sure a tornado didn’t just blow through.
5. Clean your room. Make your bed, put your clothes away, even if you never go to your room you’ll feel better knowing it’s in order.
6. Set the table before she gets there. Order some flowers and put them in a vase at the center of the table. Flowers show you put effort into the date and thought about things beforehand, plus it’s always nice to see something alive in someone’s house. We use TheBouq.com to get flowers. Their flowers are beautiful, well priced and come from the side of a volcano! Doesn’t get much cooler than that. All the flowers you see in Michelle’s pictures are direct from The Bouq.

“Open your windows so the apartment isn’t claustrophobic and make sure your bedroom door isn’t wide open. You don’t want to pressure her into moving things that direction.” – Michelle

Third Date - The Bouqs Volcano


Alright you caveman, time to clean up. Chances are if you’ve made it this far you know your way around a toothbrush and can put on deodorant, bravo. We’ll hit the highlights:

1. Take a shower. Duh.
3. Apply deodorant. Whether or not you use cologne is up to you. Some men like cologne, others don’t. If you do choose to use it don’t put on too much, a couple spritzes and you’re in business.
4. Style your hair, whatever that means for you. Get a hair cut, use product, etc. You know what looks up top.
5. Shave. Your face should either be clean shaven or sporting a well-trimmed full beard, no peach fuzz. Head to a barber shop if you aren’t sure how to trim your beard properly. Men in the Big Apple, these shops won’t lead you astray.
6. Cut your fingernails and your toenails.

Third Date - Barber Shop

Your Outfit

It’s time to stretch your sartorial muscles Man. You are going to look good, really good. An exceptional outfit requires thought, effort, and a dash of fear. We’ll offer two outfits, one warm weather and one cold weather. Draw inspiration from them but you don’t need to copy them thread for thread. Make your outfit your own.

“Wear an outfit you are entirely comfortable with; then put on one thing that scares you.” – Michelle

Cold Weather:

Up Top: Sweater

Third Date - Bonobos, Cotton Cashmere Cardigan, Heather Grey

Bonobos – Cotton Cashmere Sweater – Heather Grey, $138

Third Date - Bonobos, The Galway Sweater, Stone

Bonobos – The Galway – Stone, $128

Third Date - Bonobos, The Mariner Sweater, Navy

Bonobos – The Mariner – Navy, $128

Underneath: Tee-shirt

Third Date - Cohen and Sons - Standard Stich Crew Neck - Ash

Cohen & Sons – Standard Stitch Crew Neck – Ash, $25

Third Date - Cohen and Sons - Marked Classic Crew - Black

Cohen & Sons – Marked Classic Crew – Black, $25

Bottom: Travel Jeans

Third Date - Bonobos, Travel Jeans - Aspen Spruce

Bonobos – Travel Jeans – Aspen Spruce, $98

Third Date - Bonobos, Travel Jeans - Boston Navy

Bonobos – Travel Jeans – Boston Navy, $98

On Your Feet: Cool Socks and Desert Boots

You can find great socks at J. Crew and Nice Laundry.

Third Date - J Crew MacAlister Boots - Dark Khaki

J. Crew – MacAlister Boots – Dark Khaki, $148

Warm Weather:

Up Top: Light color button-down left open. Linen and chambray are great fabrics for this.

Third Date - Ledbury, Red Stanley Oxford

Ledbury – The Red Stanley Oxford, $135

Third Date - Ledbury, The McDaniel Chambray

Ledbury – The McDaniel Chambray, $135

Third Date - Ledbury, The White Linen

Ledbury – The White Linen, $145

Underneath: Henley or Tee-shirt

Third Date - Cohen and Sons - Boardwalk Henley - Arctic White

Cohen & Sons – Boardwalk Henley – Arctic White, $27

Third Date - Cohen and Sons - Standard Stich Crew Neck - Pacific Teal

Cohen & Sons – Standard Stitch Crew Neck – Pacific Teal, $25

Bottom: Travel Jeans cuffed as high as you like.

Third Date - Bonobos, Travel Jeans - Manhattan Midnight

Bonobos – Travel Jeans – Manhattan Midnight, $98

Third Date - Bonobos, Travel Jeans - Savannah Khaki

Bonobos – Travel Jeans – Savannah Khaki, $98

On Your Feet: No-show socks or none at all and loafers.

Third Date - Swims - Lace Loafer Black

Swims – Lace Loafer – Black/White, €125.00

Third Date - Swims - Lace Loafer Navy

Swims – Lace Loafer – Navy, €125.00

Scare Tactics: A “scary” piece of your outfit should be something that brings you slightly out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a pair of crazy socks that just show from under your pants or a colored belt that sticks out from the rest of your outfit. Whatever it is, be brave friend – King Arthur didn’t win Guinevere without a risk.

“Make sure your clothes fit, that’s so important.” – Michelle

How To Act

Hopefully this is second nature but we will give you a refresher of how to act on date night:

Be silly, show her you can loosen up a bit. You’re both comfortable around each other so lose the cropped-and-edited version of yourself everyone puts up on first dates.

Feel free to open up more than you have before but not all the way. It is not your place to be an open book yet.

“Remember your table manners: Chew with your mouth closed and never note how much she is eating (she knows).” – Michelle

Even though you can relax your guard a little bit remember to remain polite. You are still on a date and have not been married to this girl for thirty years. Your gentlemanly duties remain important as ever.

Beyond that behave like a normal human being and you’ll do just fine.

The Meal

We’ve talked a little bit about how you and your date are making food together, let me explain why.

Aside from making the memories more salient, building together will let each of you pour a bit of yourselves into the project and lean further into each other. Mixing and blending of personalities happens throughout all relationship at different degrees, for instance it will be deep in committed relationships and marriage but on the Third Date the it won’t be so strong. You won’t leave with windows into each other’s soul but you will know a bit more about the other person than most people.

Remember not to rush things. Men, motivated by many things, can move too quickly towards women and give too much of themselves too quickly. Pump the brakes a little bit and enjoy discovering your date for the woman she is, let her do the same with you. Depth and intimacy will come if they are meant to. For now enjoy the springtime of a budding romance. Shakespeare anyone?

Third Date - Full Meal

Enjoy the meal! Here are Michelle’s recipes:

Rustic Peach Tart

Third Date - Rustic Peach Tart

Your Grocery List:

  • Pastry Cream
  • 2% Milk (2 cups)
  • White Sugar (1/3 cup for mixing with milk)
  • White Suger (1/4 cup for mixing with eggs)
  • Egg Yolks (5)
  • Corn Starch (3 tbsp)
  • Salted Butter (4 tbsp)
  • Vanilla Extract (2 tsp)
  • Tart Shell
  • All Purpose Flour (1 cup)
  • Unsalted Butter (6 tbsp, melted)
  • Water (5 tbsp)
  • White Sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)
  • Topping
  • White Peach (1 large)
  • Fresh Mint (10 small leaves)
  • Pistachio (10 unshelled and roughly chopped)
  • Confectioner’s Sugar

Recommended Kitchen Items:

  • Saucepan
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Baking Sheet
  • Mixing Bowl (medium)
  • Mixing Bowl (small)
  • Whisk
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sift
  • Cling Wrap
  • Parchment Paper
  • Fork
  • Butter Knife
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Uncooked Beans (these will be used as weights for your dough)

To Do the Night Before the Big Night:

Cooking together is possibly the sweetest third date. That said, you don’t want her to feel like she’s doing all the work  so be extra thoughtful and make something special ahead of time that looks great and tastes even better!

Start with your pastry cream, it needs too cool the longest.

1. In your saucepan, bring your milk and 1/3 cup of sugar to a boil. Stirring occasionally with your rubber spatula. Once boiling, turn your heat down to medium and allow it to simmer.

2. In the meantime, whisk your egg yolks, corn starch and ¼ cup of sugar together in your medium sized mixing bowl.

3. When your milk and sugar mixture is simmering, carefully and slowly whisk half of it into your beaten egg yolks in your mixing bowl in order to temper them and keep them from cooking. Then whisk this mixture back into your remaining milk in your saucepan. Whisk vigorously till thickened–about 30 seconds.

4. Remove from heat and while still in your saucepan, place your cling wrap onto the pastry cream’s surface. Put it in your refrigerator and let cool for 3 hours.

Let’s move on to the tart shell.

1. In your small mixing bowl combine your flour, sugar, salt, melted butter and water. Use your hands to knead it all together until you have dough.

2. Form your dough into a ball. Wrap it in your cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

On to the peaches we go.

1. On your cutting board, use your chef’s knife to cut your peach in half around its pit.

2. Making sure to keep them in size order, cut your two halves into ¼ inch slices.

Let’s put it all together.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Use your rolling pin to roll out your dough till it’s about a half-an-inch thick rectangle. Put it on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use your butter knife to cut off the ragged edges. Fold these edges in about a quarter of an inch to create a framed border for your tart.

4. Use the prongs of your fork to prick holes over the bottom of your tart (don’t let them go all of the way through your dough or your pastry will break after baking).

5. Lay a second piece of parchment paper over your tart and over it and the center of your tart, pour your uncooked beans (this will keep the center of your dough from rising up as it bakes). Let bake till golden brown–about 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, discard of the beans and the top sheet of parchment paper, and let cool.

7. Use your rubber spatula to scoop and evenly spread your pastry cream onto the center of your tart shell.

8. Line your peaches in size order, in two rows, in your pastry cream, across your tart.

9. Put your tart back in the oven for 3 minutes.

10. Sprinkle your roughly chopped pistachios and mint leaves over your tart. And use your sifter to sprinkle your confectioner’s sugar over it all.

You’re done! Nailed it! Go ahead and refrigerate it for tomorrow.

A couple of other things you can prepare tonight to make tomorrow go seamlessly (don’t worry, it’s not a deal breaker if you do it on the spot):

Marinate your Tilapia (see #1 in “Tilapia Salad Tacos”).

Bake your Beets (see #1 in “Beets Burrata and Honey Crostini”).

Tilapia Salad Tacos

Third Date - Tilapia Salad Tacos

Your Grocery List:

  • Tilapia Filet (7 oz)
  • Baby Spinach (1 cup)
  • Radish (2)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp for marinating your fish)
  • Red Wine Vinegar (1.5 tbsp)
  • Jalapeño
  • White Cheddar (1 tbsp per taco)
  • Tortilla Wraps (4)
  • Cumin (1 tbsp)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Recommended Kitchen Items:

  • Non-Stick Frying Pan
  • Mixing Bowl (small)
  • WhiskZiploc Bag
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cheese Shredder

It’s almost tonight! The rest you two can make together!

1. You: Sprinkle your cumin, salt and pepper onto your tilapia filet. Put it in your Ziploc bag. Add in your olive oil. Close the bag and move your fish around so that it is fully and evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Her: Meanwhile on the cutting board, using the chef’s knife, cut your jalapeño in half lengthwise. Discard of the seeds and core. Finely chop one of the halves (store the remaining half for a future recipe).

4. Her: Remove the stems and leaves from the radishes and discard of them. Cut your radishes into thin slices–the thinner the better!

5. You: On your cutting board, finely chop your garlic.

6. You: In your mixing bowl, whisk together your olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and salt. Add in your baby spinach, her radishes and jalapeños and mix together till all of the ingredients are fully coated.

7. You: Put your tilapia on your baking sheet. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes or till when you test it with your meat thermometer and it reads 155 degrees (once you take it out of the oven the temperature will continue to raise to 165 degrees which is perfect. If you cook till that point you will dry out your fish). Cut it in half.

While your tilapia is baking, you can start your crostini.

8. Her: Heat your non-stick frying pan over medium heat. One at a time, lay your tortillas into it. Let cook for about 20 seconds–or till warmed–and then flip it and allow your second side to warm. Put one on each of your plates.

9. Together: While still warm, sprinkle your dressing coated baby spinach and radishes onto half of your tortilla. Add on your tilapia. Drizzle some of your dressing over your fish.

10. Use your cheese shredder to shred your white cheddar over it all.

11. Fold your tortilla over all of the delicious fillings.

Your main course is ready! If you haven’t already, go ahead and finish making those delicious crostini.

Beets Burrata and Honey Crostini

Third Date - Beets Burrata and Honey Crostini

Your Grocery List:

  • Burrata (4 oz)Beet (1 large)
  • Baguette (1/2. I used Stirato)
  • Honey
  • Salted Butter (1 tbap, melted)
  • Salted Butter (1 tbsp, for wrapping with your beet)

Recommended Kitchen Items:

  • Baking Sheet
  • Silicon Brush
  • Cutting Board
  • Bread Knife
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Tin Foil
  • Tablespoon
  • Pairing Knife (optional)

1. You: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. You: Use your chef’s knife on your cutting board to remove the leafy greens from your beets. Discard of them. Thoroughly wash your beets in your strainer. Tear off a piece of tin foil large enough to wrap your beet in a pouch. Coat it with your butter leaving any extra in its center. Put your beet in the center of the foil. Wrap the foil up into a pouch around the beet. Put it on your baking sheet and then put your baking sheet into the oven. Let bake for 40 minutes–or till you can stick a knife with little effort through your beet to its center. Take your beet out of the oven. Let them sit for 2 minutes and then cautiously open your pouches (they will be hot so be extra mindful). Under running water use your hands to push the skin off of your beet. (If you have trouble, use your pairing knife to remove the
remaining skin.)

3. You: On your cutting board, cut your beet into eighths and then into thin slices — roughly 1/8 inch thick.

4. Her: On your cutting board, use your bread knife to cut your baguette into inch thick slices. Lay them out on your baking sheet. Use your silicon brush to coat the top of your slices with your melted butter. Put in the oven for 7 minutes–or until toasted.

5. Her: Use your tablespoon to scoop your burrata onto the top of each of your toasted baguette slices. Drizzle honey over each of them.

6. Both: Top off each honey coated cheesy crostini with a few beet slices.

Enjoy all of your delicious food and the rest of your date! Happy eats!

Finish Strong

If things went well plan the next time you want to see each other again. Walk her to her car, subway stop, etc., and tell her you enjoyed spending time with her. Say your goodbyes, go in for the kiss if it feels right and float back home you dog.

The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

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