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NYC marriage proposal


lemonice1
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Hi everyone!  I'm surprising my girl on Dec 14 to 16  and flying us up to NYC from Orlando.  She's never been before and I haven't been since I was 10 so we're going to see the city and go to the Radio City Christmas show.  I want to propose while up there and thought maybe during or at the end of a dinner.  I'll be a recent college grad (age 24) and spent a lot of cash on the ring and trip so the dinner needs to be reasonably priced.. not too outrageous.  Any other romantic spots in NY would also be appreciated!  Like I said, I haven't been to NYC in ages and could use all the help I can get.  Thanks for your responses!!

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In the pre 9/11 world I probably would have suggested Windows on the World...

Fat Guy or Bux will probably think I am nuts, by my gut instinct is telling me to bring her to Firebird for the prixe fixe dinner.. they have an amazing cozy little bar/sitting room there with phenomenal sweet honey vodka that would be perfect for a proposal, and their caviar and blinis are really good too.  

Picture: Parlor Bar at Firebird

70.jpg

The other possibility is to go for a drink at the top of the Marriot Marquis overlooking Times Square, and then take her out for something nice afterwards.

Any of the top restaurants that are the favorites of our cognoscenti (Babbo/Esca, Gramercy Tavern/Craft, Lespinasse, Bouley Bakery, Jean Georges, Le Bernadin, Alain Ducasse, Balthazar,  Daniel/Cafe Bouloud) are expensive and require reservations several weeks in advance if you want to play it safe. You may want to consider taking her to one of these places for a romantic lunch instead of dinner as it is a lot less expensive and the food is the same. Thats how many of us foodies get to eat at these places.

However I've heard from several reliable sources recently Nobu is increasingly easy to get into lately since 9/11 as less people are willing to go downtown to eat, so it might be a unique opportunity. Especially if the restaurant is threatened with the possibility of closure due to reduced business.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Firebird seems an excellent suggestion. It has the look I imagine you might want for a proposal. And the food is quite good. There are some photographs and a representative menu at:

http://www.firebirdrestaurant.com/

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Jason has some great suggestions. It's maybe just me, but I don't find the top of the Marriot Marquis overlooking Times Square attractive, and I wouldn't call it romantic. I find it a bit on the tacky side, and the escalators and surrounding area near the hotel aren't very attractive either.

I have a fantasy of how a proposal would go at Balthazar.

Him: Will you marry me?

Her: Sorry, didn't catch what you said.

Him: Will you marry me?

Her: For goodness sake, speak up, there's such a din in here?

Him: WILL YOU MARRY, ME?

Her: What? Can't make out a bloody word you're saying. You're starting to bug me. Let's just eat. (Thinking to herself: Can't take this guy anywhere!)

PS Is Alain Ducasse still on the go?

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Romantic? Try March. We went there for our anniversary. It was very intimate, good food and service. I proposed to my wife in the Penn Top bar on top at the Peninsula Hotel.

Lemonice, hopefully once she sees the ring she won't care where she is.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do,

Adam

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Adam, the only thing I'd say about March is that it's rather expensive (it costs roughly as much to eat there as at Jean Georges, Daniel & Co.), and Lemonice seems to want to move a notch down from that price category. Of course, given the occasion and the sums invested so far, it may make sense simply to spend the money on a March-level meal.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I too went to March, but the problem that I found was that my girlfriend and I were both put on the same side of the table. (I may be wrong but I think this is true for all of the tables there)  This leads to 2 problems. 1. Akward conversation that comes with turning your head and talking to someone as you are also trying to eat which requires keeping your eyes forward.  2.  You are staring at a couple sitting across from you which leads to a certain level of self conciousness (i.e.- Seeing the guy across the walkway making eyes at your lady)  Or at least that is what you think.

But you can put your arm around your potential fiancee and get close which is a bonus.  As for the food I thought that it was very hit or miss. A great example was a lobster dish with rissotto, Wayne Nish's mastery of the lobster was evident it was moist and perfectly flavored among the best lobster I have had, period.  But the rissotto was too sour, the taste whatever it was supposed to be had been bogged down in too many other ingrediants to make a confusing muck.

Bottom Line, this restaurant can be great for getting close with your girlfriend but that has a price.

I would suggest 71 Clinton if you would truly want eat well, keep some money in your pocket and also have a unique environment to propose to your girlfriend.  It is tucked away on the lower east side and has a romantic charm that comes from low lighting, candles and a small cozy dining environment.  Perfect for the college aged student (which I am) or someone just getting out.  Only thing, book your reservation well in advance because it fills up fast.

Best of Luck!

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I think I spent less at March than I did at Daniel. But we don't drink. As I said, I don't think she'll care once he produces the ring and gets on bended knee. I think a proposal of marriage is romantic just about anywhere.

This points up a problem I've been noticing here and on other boards, a person asks a question and then disappears. Not the usual suspects, but people who come around and ask legitimate questions about where to eat. It would be easier to recommend a place for Lemonice if he participated in the discussion.

Of course, it might just be that these people actually have lives and don't spend all their time in online fora.

(Edited by abbeynormal at 10:54 pm on Oct. 27, 2001)

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Quote: from angelsfan on 10:43 pm on Oct. 27, 2001

I too went to March, but the problem that I found was that my girlfriend and I were both put on the same side of the table.

I'm not sure, but I think this seating is more 'continental' - IMHO it's more romantic seating, and what's wrong with staring at other parties? Isn't this the reason we leave the house in the first place?

Adam

(Edited by abbeynormal at 10:53 pm on Oct. 27, 2001)

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hmmm...interesting thought regarding "romantic seating".  But remember I agreed that the seating arangement may be more romantic, "you can put your arm around your potential fiancee and get close which is a bonus".  But staring at people although it maybe entertaining definetly detracts from the romantic conversation and promotes the "do you see what that guy is wearing!?" conversations.

I would agree with you that it would help if we had some input from the party requesting.  But from what I can gather the emphasize seemed to be on price.  I believe I spent 250 for two at March with wine.  71 Clinton was 20 bucks an entree and had comparable food.

Alright here is too continued arguments (with or without the propietor of this topic)

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angelsfan:

Maybe if would be helpful if Lemonice let us know how much is reasonable to spend and what kind of food he and his girlfriend like. It's very difficult to recommend anything without this info.

In any case, he did ask for THE romantic place.

Here's an idea, propose in a handsome cab in Central Park. That's romantic, all cuddled under a blanket. What is it, 50 bucks? clip clop, clip clop.

Adam

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It's a few years since I went there, but I would suggest the River Cafe. It's a restaurant on a barge on the river, underneath Brooklyn Bridge, on the Brooklyn side. It has a piano bar, the food was very good at about โ each including wine.

I would rate the place very high for romance :-))))))

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Lemonice, are you still with us? A number of people have made a number of suggestions, and now with some feedback from you it might be possible to narrow the field. What say you?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Thanks everyone for the replies!  I was out-of-town for the weekend and couldn't respond.  Being a poor college student, I'd like to spend roughly 贶 or so.  Could be a little more depending on how much money I have at the time.  We don't drink much so drinks aren't a problem.  I'm leaning towards proposing towards the end or possibly after dinner while still at the restaurant.  I want her to remember the nice dinner and we probably wouldn't even finish dinner if I proposed during.  I'm leaning towards going to Firebird, it seemed like a really cool setting.  I'm certainly open to some more suggestions though, since we aren't going for another 6 weeks.  Thanks everyone!

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One thing worth considering with any of these choices is the space between the tables.   I haven't been to March or Firebird so have no idea about these.  Unfortunately, nearly every restaurant in Manhattan (even several very expensive ones) packs you in so that there is very little privacy for conversations.   A place like Le Bernardin is a welcome exception, though out of the price range suggested here.  

Not to scare off lemonice, but last spring while having dinner at Montrachet my date and I couldn't help overhearing a gentleman at the next table propose to his date.  She turned him down!  Actually everyone at the nearby tables and the waitstaff noticed as well, and it became a VERY uncomfortable situation.   So if you have any doubts about her response, it might be wise to propose somewhere after the dinner or at least in a restaurant with more privacy.  

As for me, I like the idea of a hansom cab in Central Park followed by a recession special at Gray's Papaya on 72nd st (eaten at my favorite hotdog dining spot by the fountain at Lincoln Center).   Show me a woman in Manhattan who can appreciate spontaneity and the intrinsic value of a well-done Gray's hotdog, and I may be inclined to finally tie the knot myself!  

(Edited by Felonius at 12:35 pm on Oct. 29, 2001)

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I know it is a little cliché, but I always found One If By Land, TIBS to be a wonderful choice for a romantic meal.  The menu is not very creative, but reliable.

I have not been there in about 18 months, so my things might have changed.  I seem to remember a pre-fixe that was reasonably priced.

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"Horse and carriage...[whether hansome or handsome]

Go together like love and marriage."

Couldn't resist.

If truth be told I wouldn't like a proposal on one of those Central Park carriages. The horses smell! Added to which they sometimes overheat and just faint, or worse.

Signed,

Always looking on the bright side.

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My god, people.  The boy is barely out of college and you are sending him to March (跌 per couple easy) or One if by Land/TIBS (having the distinction of being quite bad and just as expensive).

Despite rumors to the contrary, romance can be had in NYC for a lot less (without stooping to the recession special at Gray's).  But before I get to my suggestions, a word of caution.  A few years back, a good friend of mine proposed to his long time girlfriend at Le Bernardin.  Neither had been there before and they were both extremely excited about the meal.  My friend (who was quite nervous, he says) could not wait for dessert and proposed up front.  Both were so overcome with emotion that they could not -- and cannot to this day -- remember what they ate.

That said, I would suggest proposing first (at one of New York's romantic hotel bars -- Bemelman's in the Carlyle, the King Cole in the St. Regis, the Top of the Tower in the Beekman come to mind, as do Temple Bar, Merc Bar for dowtown types).  Then you can walk/cab to dinner and enjoy your meal at ease.

That said, here are my suggestions:

Savoy -- great little bar upstairs (for doing the deed) and a romantic country inn-type setting.

Il Buco -- unique

Alison on Dominick (although a little more expensive)

There are also several bistros around town with cozy, romantic settings and reasonably palatable food.  Some of the more romantic ones are:

Chez Michellet (although be warned that there reservation policy is Nazi-like)

La Ripaille

Le Refuge (food has slipped considerably over the last 15 years)

Erminia (Italian and thus not a bistro, but along the same lines).

Finally, for something completely different, how about afternoon tea at Lady Mendl's.  Extremely good and romantic.

Best of luck and congratulations in advance.

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Quote: from mogsob on 3:44 pm on Oct. 31, 2001

My god, people.  The boy is barely out of college and you are sending him to March (跌 per couple easy)

My wife and I went to March in May for our anniversary, it was not more than 赨. mogsob, how many courses did you get?

I quite agree that bars are good, that's where we got engaged.

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