Proposal Location, Salt Lake City, New Years
My girlfriend and I have been dating for over three years and now it's time for me to pull the pin and go for marriage. The problem is I am in the Army and she's moved to Utah, so I don't really know where to go around there for the right thing. Usually I am "all about the food" but this will require something more than that. I was thinking of reservations at the Grand America hotel, but I'm not sure where dinner will happen or where the proposal will happen. To make matters work this will happen around New Years.
So where does a good Protestant boy propose to a good Catholic girl in a good Mormon town?
Well, if you're staying at the Grand America, you can walk across the street for the New Year's Eve party at the Little America (interestingly there is no party at the grand America). It doesn't look like much from the outside, but I assure you it is first class all the way inside. The buffet is high class...better than the Grand America's famous Sunday brunches, and probably almost the equal of the Bellagio buffet. Last year, they had a great live band and there was fun dancing of all sorts. It is pricey...about $144 each (with tax and some mysterious "service charges").
If you desire a more intimate place, let me first warn you to avoid La Caille...it is a cheesy and tacky attempt to replicate a French chateau...to top it off, the food is terrible. The best restaurant in Utah is at Deer Valley and is called Mariposa. If the hike is not to your liking, Bambara at the Hotel Monaco is quite good as is Log Haven. I think it would be difficult to find a spot in SLC with a romantic atmosphere that is also elegant and has good food (not to mention having dancing). Cafe Madrid is probably the most romantic place we've been to in SLC, but it is pretty informal. It is a tapas place, probably overpriced but still pretty good. I just don't know how good it is for proposing.
I would not recommend the Grand America for dinner. I have eaten there a few times and have been extremely disappointed every time, plus it is extremely boring. If you are looking for great food with classy yet hip environment that is downtown, I would recommend the Metropolitan, Martine, Takashi (sushi), Bambara or even Em's (although Em's isn't technically downtown). Each of these places have great food, is located downtown, and you will have a fantastic time.
I looked into park city/deer valley and other locations, the problem being that she had to work that day and making it out there on time vs SLC from Provo was hard. So here's what I did:
Popped the question at Log Haven (she had no idea). They were great there and gave us a table with a nice view. The meal was pretty good...I went for the Grouper and it was alright, but the tastes of everyone else's plates were great...most importantly her, her sister, and her mom loved their meals :). The ambiance was great...the only thing that could have been better is if it were the first restaurant we went to together...but alas that is in NYC. I popped the question and after much crying, she said yes, cried some more, then finally let me put the ring on.
I booked a corner, high level room at the Marriott City Center in SLC (they too were wonderful). Out one window we had a view of Gallivan center and the EVE festivities there. Out the other window we got to sit and watch the fireworks without getting cold. It made for a great night.
Originally I had wanted to do everything downtown, but I figured it was better to have a semi-quiet night as she was emotionally drained and I was finally able to relax since I didn't have to hide the ring anymore.
Thanks all for the suggestions, the next time we are in town we will probably be visiting some of the other places, especially deer park/park city as she wants to go skiing/snowboarding with me.