Blind Date: When in Dome
March daters dine in an Instagram dream at Dinner With a View
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’re probably familiar with something called Dinner With a View. Described as a “most fabulous dining event,” the much-hyped pop-up dinner invites diners to indulge in a three-course menu of upscale cuisine while enclosed in a clear plastic dome filled with lush greenery, dramatic lighting and trendy décor. It’s a dinner setting that’s tailor-made for Instagram.
Dinner With a View promises “a dining experience in a highly unexpected setting.” Because PACIFIC prides itself on bringing readers the latest and greatest happenings in San Diego, we knew it would be the perfect setting for a Blind Date.
Enter Haley, a 24-year-old graphic designer who came to us via a pitch from her boss at Cohn Restaurant Group, and Kyle, a 26-year-old who works in cannabis sales.
Before we find out if Haley and Kyle engaged in any Eskimo kissing in their very own igloo, let’s get to know them better via their pre-date interviews.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
HALEY: I’m from the East Coast, a small town in New Hampshire that no one’s ever heard of. I currently live in Pacific Beach.
KYLE: I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, then went to college in Utah, lived in the Bay Area and then ended up in Pacific Beach. I’ve kinda lived all over!
How old are you?
What do you do for a living?
HALEY: I work as a graphic artist for Cohn Restaurant Group.
KYLE: Business to business cannabis sales — interesting job, I know.
What’s your Instagram handle?
How long have you been single?
HALEY: About four months, give or take.
KYLE: I’ve been single since November 2017, so let’s say two years and change.
Currently, what dating apps can be found on your phone?
HALEY: I’m not big on dating apps, but I think I have Hinge currently downloaded.
KYLE: Bumble, Hinge and I’m horrible at both — hard to showcase your personality.
Where can you be found on the weekends?
HALEY: Either the beach, camping, hiking … or PB Shore Club.
KYLE: On the weekends at night, you can probably find me either downtown in the Gaslamp (Vin de Syrah is my favorite bar) or somewhere in Pacific Beach out with my friends. I also love to go to the beach and play golf, so both of those places, too.
What are you best at?
HALEY: I’m really good at trying new things. Except for exotic foods. You couldn’t pay me enough to try fried frog legs.
KYLE: I would like to say I’m best at connecting with people, making people feel comfortable and developing strong friendships. I’m also really good at ordering wine for the table.
What do you suck at?
HALEY: Texting back.
KYLE: I’m really bad at putting, waking up super early, filling up the Brita filter in the fridge and taking tequila shots.
What are you looking for in a date, physical or otherwise?
HALEY: Someone sarcastic like me. Tall, dark and handsome would be nice, too.
KYLE: In a date, I look for someone that has a fun, easygoing personality and someone that I’m obviously attracted to. I also look for someone that I know I can enjoy being around!
Why do you think you’ll be a good date?
HALEY: Honestly, I’m a pretty fun time.
KYLE: I think I will be a good date because I’m able to make people feel comfortable, and I’m a good conversation holder.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
HALEY: Love yourself.
KYLE: (Laughs) A drunk girl the other weekend told me I looked like Peter (Weber) from The Bachelor.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for personality.
HALEY: I’ll let him decide that one.
KYLE: Personally, I think my personality is my best attribute so I’m definitely giving myself an 11 here.
What’s your cocktail of choice?
HALEY: I’m more of a beer drinker, but I’ll never say no to a gin and tonic.
KYLE: Moscow Mule or anything that has vodka in it (basic, I know).
What’s a total deal-breaker on a date?
HALEY: Bad tipper and rude to servers/strangers.
KYLE: To be completely honest, there aren’t too many that I can really think of. I’m pretty understanding, but I guess getting too drunk on the first date or just having horrible manners.
Fill in the blanks: I want my date to be “blank” and “blank.”
HALEY: Funny and tall.
KYLE: Cute and outgoing.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
HALEY: Depends on how many cocktails I have. (Laughs) Just kidding. We’ll have to see how the date goes first.
KYLE: Kiss or bust.
Things are looking good for Haley and Kyle. Both are young professionals who live (and play) in Pacific Beach. Kyle says he’s looking for a date he can enjoy being around, while Haley notes that she’s a “pretty fun time.”
Being in sales, Kyle prides himself on connecting with people and making others feel comfortable. Kyle also embraces his basic side, since he’s a Pilot Pete look-alike with a penchant for Moscow Mules. Meanwhile, Haley hopes to connect with someone sarcastic like herself.
The chances of this date ending in a kiss are high because, as Haley joked, after enough cocktails, anything can happen and, and as Kyle put it, the date will end with a kiss or it’ll be a bust.
Could these two end up being a match made in PB heaven? Let’s see …
Loud and Clear
Daters are wined and dined in trendy igloos
Kyle and Haley are whisked to Liberty Station, the site of Dinner With a View’s San Diego stop. They arrive a bit before dusk and marvel at the more than 30 glowing domes situated in Legacy Plaza, just outside the Dick Laub NTC Command Center. As the sun sets, the setting becomes even more spectacular, as the domes glow brightly against the darkness.
Acclaimed chef Claudette Zepeda has designed the three-course, rotating menu for this pop-up, which consists of an appetizer, main course and dessert. Kyle and Haley enjoy a few pre-dinner Stella Artois beers while posing for the camera and getting to know each other a little better. Kyle is friendly and outgoing, and is doing a good job of keeping Haley entertained.
Haley and Kyle are led to their dome for the evening and climb in eagerly. It’s a chilly night, but each dome is outfitted with a heater and blankets. They get started with dinner rolls and wine, followed by an appetizer and then the main course, which they chose prior to their date. From an outsiders’ perspective, they look like they’re hitting it off, with constant chatter and laughter.
Shortly before dessert, we separate the daters to get the lowdown on the date.
How’s it going so far?
HALEY: It’s going well. It’s fun. It’s been an experience.
KYLE: Good. We’re having a great date. Great environment.
At first glance, would you swipe right or left on your date?
KYLE: Right. Absolutely.
Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
HALEY: (Pauses) He’s very social, so that’s attractive. He’s not my typical type, I’d say.
KYLE: No, but I’m definitely open-minded.
How has your experience at Dinner With a View been?
HALEY: It’s been really fun. It’s an awesome location and something that I’d been wanting to do. It’s definitely really cool and he’s good company.
KYLE: The experience has been awesome. The ambience is really good, the service is good. The food was great. A-plus.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
HALEY: Well, he opened my door. That was really surprising. You don’t get that very often.
KYLE: I don’t know if I could pinpoint one thing, but I think she has this really bright, outgoing personality which is super attractive to me.
What’s the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
HALEY: He talks … a lot. Which isn’t a bad thing. He likes to talk. He’s asking questions, a lot of questions. They’re good questions, but there’s a lot.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
HALEY: Seven and a half.
And for personality?
What’s your date’s most attractive physical quality?
HALEY: His smile.
What’s your date’s least attractive physical quality?
HALEY: Probably shorter than someone I would normally be attracted to.
KYLE: I can’t pick one.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
HALEY: Oh, boy. Well, we’re eating dinner right now, so it would be a little weird.
KYLE: (Laughs) Yes.
Does your date want to kiss you?
HALEY: I haven’t gotten those vibes yet.
KYLE: I’m not sure.
Is this someone you’d take home to mom, just take home or none of the above?
HALEY: Me personally? Maybe not. But he seems like someone you could introduce to your parents. He’s very respectful and nice.
KYLE: Take home to mom.
How and when will the date end?
HALEY: I’m not sure. We get along well, so I wouldn’t be opposed to hanging out longer. We live in the same area, I’m sure I will run into him.
KYLE: I don’t know I if I have a good answer for that yet. We’ll keep them in suspense.
It seems like Kyle and Haley might be sending some mixed signals — to each other and to us, dear readers. While they both say they’d right-swipe the other, Haley seems a little overwhelmed by Kyle. He nearly won her over with his chivalrous opening of her car door, but she apparently can’t get a word in with the talkative Kyle. And even though she says his smile is his most attractive quality, she doesn’t want to kiss him, especially in a plastic dome over dinner.
Is this dome date doomed? The PACIFIC crew packed it in after dessert to leave Kyle and Haley to the rest of their evening, which means we have to wait until the following day to see how things ended up.
Dinner with a New Friend
Cold date ends with a warm hug
Haley and Kyle spent an enchanting evening having dinner for two inside a private dome in a romantic setting that would warm even the coldest heart. But was it enough for Haley to give Kyle that kiss he mentioned?
We called them the next day to see how the rest of their night went.
How did everything go?
HALEY: It went well.
KYLE: I thought it went really well. Super cool experience. Haley was really cool. I had a great time.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after Dinner With a View?
HALEY: We went to Soda & Swine in Liberty Station, grabbed a drink and talked a little more and took the car back to each other’s place — (laughs) not each other’s place — but my place and then his place.
KYLE: We went to Soda & Swine after and had a cocktail.
Did you guys exchange numbers?
HALEY: Yeah, actually when we were at the bar, he put his phone in front of me and I typed it in. He texted me later in the night just saying he had fun and had a good time and asking me, not really planning a date, but saying he’d like to see me sometime in the future.
KYLE: We did exchange phone numbers and social media.
Was there any kind of hook up or romantic exchange?
HALEY: Nope, just a hug at my door.
KYLE: No romantic exchange. Hopefully a second date, but we’ll have to see.
What was the best part of the date and why?
HALEY: Best part was being in the dome and experiencing that. It was all really fun.
KYLE: I would probably just say the dinner, because I haven’t experienced that before. It was a cool, intimate experience.
What was the worst part of the date and why?
HALEY: There really wasn’t a bad part to the date, except for how cold it was.
KYLE: I don’t know, I felt like everything went really good. There wasn’t something that was just horrible that I can think of. It was a little bit cold, that’s the only thing.
Will there be a second date? Why or why not?
HALEY: Probably not a second date. I’m sure we’ll see each other out, because we both live in PB. I think we’d be good friends, but probably not a romantic relationship.
KYLE: Yes, I would say that there will be a second date. I felt like we got along really well. I felt like we both have pretty outgoing personalities and I think we both had a good time with each other.
Do you have any dating tips for your date?
HALEY: I would say maybe just let the conversation flow a little more organically instead of asking a bunch of questions.
KYLE: No, not really. She was a pro.
Any final thoughts, parting words, shout-outs or anything else to add?
HALEY: Kyle was an awesome date, he was a good person to experience it with because he was really open-minded to the whole thing, as was I, and we both had a fun time. We didn’t have too high of expectations. And I feel like it’s really hard to actually have a blind date these days. I don’t even know how you’d set one up, so that was really cool having it all set up. So that was definitely really cool.
KYLE: Thanks to PACIFIC for getting me set up and getting everything put on. It was a great time, really happy to be a part of it.
It turns out, dining in a dome on a blind date doesn’t guarantee an end-of-the-night kiss. The chemistry just wasn’t there for these two, but they’re practically neighbors and parted the evening as friends. Kyle and Haley were both blown away by the Dinner With a View experience; they just weren’t blown away by each other.
Kyle says he’d like to go on a second date, but we think there’s a pretty good chance Haley won’t text him back (Editor’s note: see her response to “What do you suck at?”). Either way, Kyle and Haley went into the date with open minds and left with, if nothing else, some really cool Instagram photos.
Editor’s Note: Daters’ answers may have been edited for length and clarity.