Jason Kosmas, the suave, mustached bartender and part owner of Employees Only, just published, with Dushan Zaric, You Didn't Hear It From Us, a woman's guide to meeting men in bars. Think of it as a companion to Dave Zinczenko's Men, Love and Sex: The Complete User Guide For Women. Curious about the phenomenon of dudes counseling ladies in matters of romance, we challenged Kosmas to find ways for women to link up with guys in restaurants. Here, in his own words, is what he came up with. (The opinions expressed belong solely to Mr. Kosmas. Grub Street cannot guarantee that you will meet a man or men in a restaurant after reading this advice.)
• Some women are afraid to be seen eating. But they shouldn't be! Women who aren't afraid of food are very enticing to men.
• Steer clear of messy, complicated foods like spaghetti. Finger foods are very sensual, obviously. Foods with a tremendous aroma, like oysters or caviar or pâté, are, too. At Employees Only, the steak tartare is the way to go. There's nothing sexier than a woman who eats raw meat.
• Food is a great thing to talk about; it's a great icebreaker. But don't ask, "What's your favorite restaurant?" It's a hard question; it stops the conversation short. You really want to avoid that uncomfortable pause while the guy thinks about it. Instead ask, "What was the last place you ate?"
• Towards the end of dinner is the best time to meet people. Their minds are off work, they've eaten, and they've had a little to drink but aren't blasted. They're just starting to get loose!
• It's a cliché, but true: You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats the waiter. If they don't show respect to strangers, they won't have respect for you.