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Marriage proposal at restaurants... [moved from SF Bay]

Is this really cliche? I was thinking of getting reservations at Cyrus and proposing at the restaurant, but I wanted to get people's thoughts on that. Is this something that guys often do? Is it cheesy? Is Cyrus an ideal spot or should I be looking at places with a better atmosphere (we've been to the TFL and the Ritz Dining room already)?

I was hoping to do a nice weekend in wine country or SF, and looked at dinner at Cyrus with an overnight stay at the Farmhouse Inn. I also looked into Aqua and Gary Danko as potential restaurants and staying a night in the city.

Any thoughts or opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I don't know what guys usually do but I wouldn't want to propose in a restaurant or any other place where there were a bunch of other people around. What I think is somewhat cliche but appropriate is somewhere outdoors and somewhat private. I would much rather have some privacy and her undivided attention in a beautiful setting and take her out to a lovely dinner afterward.

    1. I am not sure if you are asking for specific restaurant recommendations, since general thoughts probably belong on the 'Not About Food' board...but as someone who got a proposal in a restaurant, take it from me: DON"T DO IT! Propose at the Farmhouse Inn or out in the country somewhere, perhaps over a glass of champagne, and THEN go to dinner later (perhaps much later, see reason #5 below...!

      Reasons:

      1. As happened to me, the restaurant you propose at could go out of business (well, reports are that Cyrus is going great guns, but weirder things have happened). Aside from being sort of a strange omen (though I am happy to say the marriage has flourished anyway), it means you can never celebrate an anniversary there. Just feels odd. It isn't even another restaurant now, and everytime I walk by the business it has become, I feel a twinge of sadness...

      2. What if for some reason she doesn't like the restaurant? (In that regard, read reports on Aqua which have been mixed).

      3. Do you REALLY want neighboring tables to be overhearing your proposal and rooting for you? Will happen at Gary Danko almost for sure (where tables are mostly fairly close together). I HATED that when it happened to me.

      4. What if, heaven forbid, she says no, or even just, 'let me think about it'? A way to ruin a great meal.

      5. How in the heck can you celebrate with lots of heavy necking or whatever if you are in a restaurant.....I mean, think about how you'd like her to react and decide if it would be appropriate to get that reaction in public...I'm just saying....

      I could think of at least three or ten other reasons, but as you can tell I have strong opinions on this one..... :-)

      p.s. In case any of you are worrying that hubbys proposal in the wrong place may have had long term negative effects, not to worry. We had gone for a walk earlier, and I had gotten cold, and borrowed his sport coat, and found the ring in the pocket....managed to hide from him that I knew the ring was there, but it did mean that I was expecting the proposal at some point in the near future (besides, his nervousness was a sort of a giveway that something was up :-)) and thus was able to succesfully hide any disappointment I felt about the venue for it.....

      3 Replies
      1. re: susancinsf

        omg, you should have reacted then and there when you found the ring in the coat! So much more authentic and spontaneous. Why start an engagement off with white lies?

        1. re: PlatypusJ

          Ummm, because that would have been thwarting his plans and putting him on the spot...

          1. re: PlatypusJ

            I think "lies" is a pretty strong word to use in that situation.

        2. Cyrus is great, wonderful service and amazing food-my husband and I were there in October and loved it - also ate at Farmhouse, but Cyrus was far better, in my opinion. As for the proposal, my suggestion would be to take her tasting at a vineyard earlier in the day and pop the question over an intimate picnic for 2 on the grounds of the winery, and then take her out to dinner at Cyrus to celebrate her saying "yes". Less cliché, and very romantic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mmt

            I agree with this. You will be in a heavenly beautiful area. The Russian River valley is lush green right now; the wild mustard is in bloom and phosphorescent yellow; the small winding, curving backroads (Westside Rd. in partic) are delightful and not much traveled. I like the small charming bridges over the river at various points. (You'll find one of them just north of the Farmhouse Inn on Wohler Rd.) You could go to one of those, pop the question, kiss wildly, remember it forever.

            The Farmhouse Inn is wonderful. I remember a very special, very romantic weekend there. Swanky, elegant bedrooms (hmmm...); lovely dining room, nice grounds but not expansive. Talk to them, perhaps beforehand, about a spot to pop the question. (The owners Catherine and Rod have a VERY romantic story.)

            You could also head straight west to the Ocean, 40 minutes away (incredible drive alongside the river and through towering redwoods), look out on the great expanse of the Pacific, hear the thunderous crash of the waves, and pop the question. That's at Goat Rock Beach, in Jenner, and you get there by driving due west on River Road (the same road as Farmhouse Inn). There's a beautiful spot where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, where the two waters merge.

            Last, speaking of redwoods, you will be very close to a stunning redwoods grove -- Armstrong Redwoods State Park in Guerneville. The redwoods are tall, awe-inspiring and very beautiful. They have a special way of breaking up sunlight into very large shafts or rays, right out of a painting. It feels like magic; it even has a spiritual feel. That might be another spot. Here's a link:
            http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450

            I think you will know when you happen upon the spot, and you feel a particular closeness with your love. Lots of stunning places to propose where you'll be. Nice if you had a chilled bottle of bubbly on hand, if that's your thing.

          2. Frankly I would only want to propose in a restaurant or similar public space if I (1) were assured of the answer beforehand and (2) had a decent amount of privacy. But even if you know she will say yes, I can think of very few restaurants in the city with enough table space to satisfy #2 -- the Ritz, Acquerello, others I am forgetting (Danko no, Aqua maybe, I haven't been there in a long time). I'd ask her before in the privacy of your own home and then have planned a really nice dinner afterward to CELEBRATE! That is what my husband did - planned it all on his own down to the celebration restaurant, La Folie. It was perfect.

            1. We've moved this thread over to Not About Food since the replies seem to be more about the wisdom of marriage proposals in restaurants in general than about specific SF Bay Area restaurants.