As in the case of a classroom or therapy session, phone on or not silenced is fine as long as you note at the outset that you have a sitter or are waiting for a call about your mother’s surgery, or whatever, and “I hope that’s okay.” It’s not the phone itself, it’s the discourtesy of the unnecessary intrusion. If the intrusion is for a valid reason, I don’t think anyone cares. It’s the people who seem blithely unaware that they’ve left someone sitting there, essentially alone, that engender hatred.
I would be impacted by my date’s food order depending on how they handled it. Make choices that don’t include gluten? No problem. Talk about your GI issues or diet when we’re not talking about food choices in a more global workout/health management context? Problem. Shugart is right. It’s too fussy-seeming. But again, if you order a salad with blue cheese and a ribeye with broccoli, I have no idea of your gluten status and so am not making any negative judgments.
Really, to win the first 11 minutes, all you have to do is be courteous and resist whiny behavior. You don’t even need to make her talk about herself - I don’t think my dates have ever gone that way, I think they’ve been mutual fact-finding expeditions. Too much emphasis on you and I’m going to think there’s no room for me, too much emphasis on me and I’m going to wonder why you were so evasive, since I’m asking questions, too. I will cheerfully ramble on about my work, but eventually I’m going to come around to “and what about you? do you like what you do?”