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my friend wants to propose to his g/f!

before early next week. most romantic restaurant in SF? Fleur de Lys is out (think there was an incident there), but any other suggestion welcome - encompassing fancy, quirky, hidden gems, etc. thanks!

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  1. I hate to be a killjoy...but I'd advise your friend to propose somewhere outdoors, private and beautiful (lots of options for that in SF) and THEN go to dinner to celebrate! There are very, very few, if any, restaurants that are private enough for such a personal moment, IMO (unless you can afford a private room all to yourself, and even then, can't think of a private room with great ambiance in SF proper, with the possible exception of hiring the entire backroom at Incanto, in which case you'd be spending a lot of money as I think they have a minimum for that room. If I were the g/f I'd rather see that money spent on the honeymoon).

    Even though I knew hubby's proposal was coming and was fully prepared to give him an enthusiastic 'yes' (well, like all sensible couples we had discussed it, and anyway, he seemed very nervous that evening and I happened to find the ring in a pocket when I was cold and borrowed a jacket :-)), I was uncomfortable with the idea that neighboring tables could overhear it...besides, the restaurant went out of business about a year later, which isn't very heartening symbolically.

    So, based on my experience if the actual proposal MUST be done in a restaurant, I'd say that potential longevity of the place is as important as romantic,a nd for that reason I'd probably specifically avoid hidden, quirky gems....think about whether the place is likely to be around for a fifth anniversary celebration.

    3 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf

      I have to concur with that line of thinking. The restaurant proposal is wrought with issues. Maybe a beautiful setting along the western ocean front of the city and then a celebration dinner at Aziza, Quince, Sociale, or someplace like that.

      1. re: susancinsf

        Good thinking...and my guess is the meal would be much more enjoyable after the fact.

        1. re: susancinsf

          I could not agree more. I guess it all depends on your personalities, but for some reason, I cannot see anything to be gained by proposing at a restaurant. I could imagine proposing somewhere more private, perhaps while on a walk, a picnic, or something along those lines - followed up by a dinner. Personally, I would also not make the dinner a restaurant that is too formal but then again, this should be reflective of the personalities involved.

          I proposed to my fiance at home, we were living together, 1997 I think it was, and then went to dinner at Olivetto afterwards - in fact, I think we still have the menu from that night.

        2. Aziza. Definitely Aziza. Mood lighting galore.

          1. Jardinere... get a table on the balcony.
            Cafe Jaqueline, sort of small... he'll get some attention
            Foreign Cinema on a warn night like tonight... it'd be wonderful.

            1 Reply
            1. The Dining Room at the Ritz
              Coi (by reputation)
              Quince (by reputation)
              La Folie
              Acquerello
              Ame

              Are all various levels of fancy and expensive. And all excellent.

              Aziza
              Sociale
              Chapeau!
              La Ciccia (by reputation)

              Are all sort of quirky, hidden romantic places.

              2 Replies
              1. re: whiner

                I wouldn't recommend Chapeau! or La Ciccia unless you want to share your special moment with some other couples -- the tables are really close together!

                1. re: whiner

                  I think the Dining Room at the Ritz is a great place for a romantic and special occaison celebration...especially if you also book a room at the hotel!

                  I agree with Ruth about La Ciccia (haven't been to Chapeau). Aziza is good for a celebration but again, you won't feel alone.

                2. I second Acquerello and Sociale. Sociale has a better setting for a proposal (tucked away, hidden, has a European feel to it), but Acquerello has much better food.

                  1. I think Woodward Garden is a very romantic, low key, great food place for such occassion. They have two sittings a evening you need to pick the earlier or later time, not crowded over rated just simple elegance.

                    http://www.woodwardsgarden.com/

                    1. Any similar recs in Berkeley/Oakland?