For a 1st date, I prefer somewhere public and not too intimate. I don't want the forced intimacy. I would rather feel safe with this virtual stranger. Also, I want to be relaxed and not pressured so that I could get to know the guy. Dinner and a movie is a good first date. In case it is going badly, the movie is two hours where talking and interacting is not required. Dinner after the movie gives both parties time to settle down and the movie itself gives the opportunity for small talk in worst cases. Going dancing or to a sporting event is also good. Whatever you do, have time for quiet talk as well as time for activity. Hopefully, the night would end with both of us wanted to see each other again.
Now if I know the guy well already and we finally just decided to start dating, that would be different. I would love a picnic (that he prepared) in a nice park, followed by a visit to a museum (I love art!).