photo 1What: Ace Restaurant

Where: 501 E 17th Ave

Don’t Miss: Make a reservation for a Ping-Pong table while enjoying a Highball made with their homemade soda.

It’s no surprise that Ping-Pong bars are becoming popular these days. It’s a great way to combine food and drinks with casual competition. All of this can make for the perfect date. Girls that like to get dressed up on dates can still play Ping-Pong in heels, while the more macho guys can show off their nurturing skills as they kindly help their date set up the perfect shot or explain the rules. And then there’s my relationship. Most of our bar game experiences consist of yelling, friendly bickering and name-photo 3, ace eat servecalling. So when we decided to head to Ace Restaurant for a combo of Ping-Pong and an Asian fusion menu, I knew that we were in for an interesting date night… and someone might end up sleeping on the couch.

Ace Restaurant is set at 17th and Pennsylvania in the old Storz Garage space, which happens to make a great room for a Ping-Pong hall. They have a full service bar and seating area in the front, while the back of the restaurant houses the Ping-Pong tables.  My guy wasted no time grabbing paddles and heading over to our table. Since it was a Friday evening after a long workweek, I was more interested in the cocktail menu. Their list of Highballs, mixed with their homemade sodas, immediately caught my eye. Our server recommended the Hammer & Spike. While I’m normally not a gin drinker, the Ace Grapefruit Soda and Mint was complimentary to the Hendrick’s and made for a tasty starter. I even started to hit the ball farther across the room so that he’d have to retrieve it and I could take more sips.

Ace allows you photo 4to order food and drinks next to your reserved Ping-Pong table, so we ordered starters that we could eat while playing. No food was allowed on the tables, otherwise I think I would have played with a paddle in one hand and a chicken wing in the other. Their wings were crispy with their Tiger sauce, which was a combination of spicy and sweet. The crispy Brussels sprouts were similar to their sister restaurant Steuben’s Scooby Snacks, but with an Asian twist of Shishito peppers, Togarshi, sesame seeds and lime mayo. As I scarfed them down, my boyfriend kept yelling at me to get back in the game.

We also knew we couldn’t leave without trying the Bao Buns. Lucky for us, Ace has a special of 2 buns for $8 with a choice of Miso Soup, Celery Salad, Kimchi, or Green Salad. We got one of the Braised Short Rib buns and a Fried Chicken bun with a side of Miso Soup. The Bao Buns were authentic with a modern twist and photo 2completed the drinks and other starters. If I didn’t run around chasing my own Ping-Pong ball for the duration of the meal, because I felt bad making the Ace employees do it so many times, I probably would have ordered more.

Ace Restaurant is a great local spot if you’re looking for a date that’s pretty casual, but still more adventurous than dinner and a movie. While there were some intense moments- like after my boyfriend blasted the ball past my face and into the restaurant-only area- we also were able to laugh and not take ourselves so seriously. As for the final score? 21-5, him. And because of the scrumptious drinks and flavorful food, I wasn’t even mad.