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Blind Date Meetups

Choose the right environment for your blind date from these local places

Photograph: ©mariadubova/istockphoto

You’ve flirted online or agreed (finally!) to your matchmaking aunt’s insistent pleas that this is someone amazing you really must meet.

But where to go to make that could-this-be-love connection that won’t leave you feeling awkward, vulnerable and — let’s be honest — completely embarrassed if that certain someone fails to show?

With a discreet rendezvous in mind, we’ve gathered a list of inviting, low-key spots for a blind date meet-and-greet that forgo those awkwardly solo waits at the bar and provide ample opportunity for a graceful exit.

Save the designer cocktails for that second date (cheers to that idea!) and make plans to meet at one of these places:

Keep it Coffee Casual: Show you know all those little out-of-the-way java hangouts by meeting at the alternatively hip Las Vetas café in Fairfield, the cozy Harborview Market in Black Rock, or Espresso Neat in Darien.

Also Try: Whole Foods in Westport, Darien and Greenwich and Panera Bread cafes in Westport, Darien, Norwalk and Fairfield. Here you’ll find great coffee, chilled teas and free Wi-Fi. (So you can surf your favorite mobile device while you wait.)

Keep it Light: Meet for a not-so-heavy, but completely sophisticated nosh at the Melting Pot in Darien or the indoor/outdoor garden café at Terrain in Westport. Or tuck into something scrumptious at The Granola Bar in Westport or Fairfield’s Bodega Taco Bar.

Take it Outside: Yes, long walks on the beach are the ultimate singles ad cliché, but around here taking a leisurely waterfront walk can be a perfectly natural ice breaker. Try Tod’s Point in Greenwich, Stamford’s Cove Island Park or Westport’s Compo Beach for a picture perfect get acquainted stroll. Or schedule that walk for New Canaan’s Waveny Park and meet up at its historic and romantic mansion.

Make a Cultural Connection: Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center and Greenwich’s Bruce Museum offer interesting and pretty places to connect.The zoo’s greenhouse and charming carousel barn offer warm and inviting rendezvous points and plenty of conversation starters for animal lovers.

The exhibition galleries at the Bruce and SMNC are also great places to wander with or without that date in tow!

Show Them A Sweet Side: Nosh on a few treats at The Chocolate Lab at Greenwich’s posh J House hotel, the Chocopologie Café in SoNo or Cocoa Michelle in Westport. Need we mention chocolate is an anti-oxidant packed aphrodisiac?

So go ahead—make the date!

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