January 27, 2010 | 6:22am
The last time my girls and I visited Tramonti, before I had met the current Mr. Persnickety, some of us hit pay dirt. For the record, my official role that evening was Lead Instigator and Wingwoman, responsible for making the magic happen for a few of my buddies. It was the least
I could do since many of the girls schlepped all the way up from
Aventura after I whined that I was so over the South Beach scene.
many of my buddies consider themselves budding paparazzi, responsible
for populating their Facebook sites with more photos than witty status
updates, they got busy snapping photos of one another while our plates
of silky gnocchi in pesto, baked clams, and Milanese-style veal
arrived. I coyly suggested to the dude-duo at the neighboring table
that perhaps they could impress us with their photography skills
and--voila!--Cupid's arrows began to fly.
Soon one of my brunette friends, let's call her Buffy, left her penne puttanesca behind to suck baked spaghetti in a creamy cognac sauce Lady and the Tramp
-style with her new Italian boy toy and forgot all about the rest of us. Another of my crew took to his pal, who resembled Peter Scolari in the Bosom Buddy
years. At least she seemed happy with her new find.
YOLO, on the other hand, is a more in-your-face, aggressive meat market, but ripe grounds for a hunt. Sure some folks actually sit at tables to dine (though don't ask me why -- the best thing on YOLO's menu is the Szechwan calamari appetizer with that zesty garlic-chili sauce and chopped peanuts) and some will deal with the crushing crowd in the attached O-Lounge, repeatedly clamoring for a martini. But the main zone for action is outside the front door.
The most assertive guys -- you know, the ones wearing more studs, rhinestones, and shine than anything your grandma would don for a Christmas party -- perch themselves near the entrance so they can get first rights to attack as the prey approaches. I always advise my girlfriends to steer clear of those beasts and search around the property for chillaxing cuties near the outside bar. Gals can show up wearing little more than those tight jeans with angel wings just above their coin slot
and a trashy JWOWW top
because the restaurant's designers were intelligent enough to put a little fire pit and some gas heaters outside, but it never hurts to remember we'd probably hook better fish if we left some body parts to the imagination.
Especially when you know you're looking hot, YOLO is the one place where it pays to shop around. Don't get stuck with the first guy who buys drinks -- even if he went top shelf. This time of year love is in the air, my friends. Suck it all up.
Tramonti is located at 119 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-272-1944 or visit tramontidelray.com. YOLO is located at 3333 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-1000 or visit yolorestaurant.com.
Freelance writer Riki Altman eats everything that won't try and eat her first (with exceptions, of course) and dates younger men, older men, and older men who act like young men, along with locals, tourists, illegal aliens and just plain aliens. Love Bites is a compilation of what happens when her dining and dating ordeals collide. Sometimes, it just ain't pretty.