Romantic Restaurant in Phoenix/Mesa Area
Lon's hands down. Ask for an outdoor table as the weather is wonderful in the early evening. Besides being a foodie I am in the business and can tell you any hotel or restaurant always wants to know about proposals. Anniversaries are important but happen very year. A proposal is (usually) just once. Part of it is the restaurant wanting to be part of a memorable occasion and part of it is just good business.
The food at Kai is creative and wonderful but I don't think of the room as being romantic at all.
I agree with the recent opinions on elements. I went last summer for my birthday and was underwhelmed with the food and the service. I was shocked to see the chef on the potential Beard nominees list.
Let me throw in a wild card here on top of all the usual suspects: the new Prado at the InterContinental Montelucia is fantastic. The decor is beautiful, they often have a flamenco band playing on weekend nights, and the food is some of the best in town -- the chef is Claudio Urciuoli. There is nothing better than arriving just before sunset, lounging on the patio for a while, and then strolling into the restaurant for some world-class paella. All the seafood here is super-fresh. Anything off the wood-fired grill is outstanding.
As for the others: I went to T. Cook's last fall and enjoyed it -- service was first-rate -- but I would still heartily recommend Quiessence or Kai based on the food. Tricks should be gorgeous right now, too, but I've had serious issues with service in the past. However, you might chalk that up to a rogue waitress. Other times, it's been great.
A friend recently ate at Lon's and loved it. Has anyone been to Estate House recently? That's super romantic, and the patio bar would be a nice place to propose. But I haven't eaten there.
I do agree on Lon's. Wonderful setting, especially at this time of the year.
If elements could get back to what they were doing, and how they were doing it, not THAT long ago, I'd gladly put them back on my list.
I do agree with Yamalam's comment, though I was dining with two chicks (wife and a guest), who were less than impressed. Wife had dined there many times, both in the restaurant and for events across the courtyard, and had loved it. Hence, we took our guest there. I felt really bad that they dropped the ball so completely that night - in Sept., if I recall correctly. If it was a bad night, then it was bad on all counts. The bar was about half-full, but the dining room was almost empty from sunset until 10:30PM. Let's hope that it was an anomaly. I love the venue and had come to trust them completely. Now, I'm trepidatious.
Great recs. so far. T. Cook's seems to make a bunch of extra points on the "proposal" aspect, based on their press clippings. I've never proposed there, but have had wonderful meals.
One other restaurant that I think would fit your bill would be Vincent's on Camelback. All have strong elements of romance, and none is really too far (by PHX-standards) from Mesa.
Have not dined at House of Tricks, but it does get a lot of good recs.
Regardless of you final choice, do let the host/hostess know of your intentions. Also, order flowers for the table.
House of Tricks
114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
T Cooks At the Royal Palms
5200 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Quiessence Restaurant & Wine
6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Vincent On Camelback
3930 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
5594 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ
We LOVED T. Cooke's at the Royal Palms. Call for reservation and be sure to tell them what's going on and they will make it a memorable night! The Maitre'd was wonderful when we were there and made a dinner so special. It is beautiful hotel, the grounds are magical [there are all kinds of paths through the gardens, lots of hidden nooks with little outdoor firepits, etc]
5200 East Camelback Road Phoenix, Arizona 85018 Ph: 602.840.3610
You won't be sorry~!
Since you've called out Mesa I'm assuming you're looking for something around the east valley
And if $$$$ allows, try Kai out at the Sheraton Wild Horse. Tell them your plans and they will definitely make this a night for both of you to remember. http://www.wildhorsepassresort.com/dining-wild-horse-pass.html#a1
A couple less expensive options:
If the weather holds the way it has and the nights are mild, I'd say book a table on the patio at House of Tricks in downtown Tempe. http://www.houseoftricks.com/
Another nice option for a romantic dinner in the area would be Quiessence. Again, if the evening is mild the patio is nice. http://www.quiessencerestaurant.com
I'm sure others will be along with other suggestions soon.