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Seeking Proposal Dinner Recommendations (Philadelphia)

michael May 3, 2011 12:01 PM

I am aiming to create a memorable evening at the end of which I will propose to my beautiful girlfriend and am searching for a superior Center City restaurant to set the stage. (not proposing at restaurant)

My girlfriend and I enjoy all cuisine types and generally gravitate toward the city's many unique, often quaint/rustic/byo ethnic restaurants. That said, for this occasion I am in search of an impressive space (small or large), stellar food and superior service - be it ethnic or contemporary American. Brilliant view or people watching a plus though not requisite. Cost is not a concern.

I am hoping to capture some magic this special evening and can use a bit of direction. Any recommendations that don’t fit the above bill are quite welcome. Your advice is greatly appreciated!

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  1. j
    JZuck RE: michael May 3, 2011 12:26 PM

    I would recommend R2L for a great space with a fantastic view. Food is very good as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JZuck
      Buckethead RE: JZuck May 3, 2011 12:31 PM

      Agreed about the view and space, but the food is far from stellar.

    2. b
      bonappetite RE: michael May 3, 2011 12:39 PM

      I don't know about food or service but waterworks has beautiful surroundings and overlooks boathouse row. And you could probably find quiet space outside to pop the question. Have not heard good things about r2l in the liberty place, maybe you could go to one of your favorite byo's and go there for a after dinner drink for the view and all-important question. Good luck, you'll let us know how it all turns out.

      1. u
        urbanfabric RE: michael May 3, 2011 12:59 PM

        Talula's Garden is getting good initial reviews and seems like a lovely atmosphere.

        I've always loved Lacroix. And, it has the added benefit of being on Rittenhouse Square.

        1. p
          Philly Ray RE: michael May 3, 2011 01:01 PM

          While the space at Vetri is not necessarily remarkable, I think the food and service will match the occasion. You could also go to The Fountain Room at The Four Seasons for great food and service, with a space that is a bit more refined.

          For the space alone, I think Union Trust is quite impressive. It is a steakhouse, so if you feel that kind of cuisine is appropriate, it might work for you also.

          But here's a radical suggestion - Marrakesh. It is a 6 or 7 course Morroccan feast, but you only use your hands to eat (except for the spoons for the couscous course). When we first started dating, my wife took me there. For dessert, you get a fruit bowl and she fed me orange wedges. I have been eating out of her hand ever since.

          Good Luck!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Philly Ray
            Bigley9 RE: Philly Ray May 3, 2011 01:28 PM

            I'll second Vetri for the service and food. No matter how beautiful the view if the service or food gets messed up it can really ruin an evening. There is a small table in the back of Vetri that while near the kitchen entrance is situated so you look out at the room and you sit next to one another vs across. I love that table for special occassions.
            and Philly Ray all I can say is "aaaawwwww" who knew you were such a softy!

            1. re: Bigley9
              JanR RE: Bigley9 May 13, 2011 03:16 AM

              I agree with the Vetri recommendation -- only if you can get that two-top that Bigley9 mentioned.

          2. m
            michael RE: michael May 12, 2011 08:55 AM

            A big thank you to the recommendations thus far! Any additional ideas?

            5 Replies
            1. re: michael
              DaisyM RE: michael May 12, 2011 09:51 AM

              I think the Four Season would be lovely. It is so beautiful and there are always gorgeous floral arrangements.

              1. re: DaisyM
                FayeD RE: DaisyM May 12, 2011 10:29 AM

                I agree - the Fountain Room at the Four Seasons is perfect especially if price is not a concern.

                1. re: FayeD
                  Bacchus101 RE: FayeD May 12, 2011 11:20 AM

                  The Fountain Room with a table by the windows lookout on Logan Circle has it all.

                  1. re: Bacchus101
                    cwdonald RE: Bacchus101 May 12, 2011 03:04 PM

                    Another restaurant with a great view of the Philadelphia Skyline is XIX atop the Bellevue. I have only had drinks there so cannot speak about the food. But for a great setting, it is hard to beat.

              2. re: michael
                Cpmullie RE: michael May 26, 2011 10:18 AM

                In addition to the Vetri reccomendation I'm putting a vote behind Bibou. It doesn't have the people watching or skyline but its got a homey romantic (French) feel and the food is exquisite which makes it a lot like Vetri. The head chef and his wife are wonderful people. The Chefs wife actually runs the front of house and I'm sure they would do anything they could to make the situation as perfect as possible for you.

                It is a BYOB which could be better or worse for your sitation. I know that in my relationship there are a bottle of wine or two out there that have sentimental meaning.

              3. AmblerGirl RE: michael May 13, 2011 04:35 AM

                My husband proposed at Panorama. The section of the restaurant near the bar (the former smoking section) is extremely romantic with lots of exposed stone and skylights. I remember the stars through the skylight! Its a nice small intimate space. Feed is quite good, lots of homemadea pasta.

                Good luck!

                1 Reply
                1. re: AmblerGirl
                  curly girl RE: AmblerGirl May 14, 2011 07:47 PM

                  @Ambler Girl - your idea sounds great. I sure wish that was the setting for my engagement.

                2. c
                  curly girl RE: michael May 14, 2011 07:48 PM

                  @Michael - Please let us know how it goes and where you choose. Good luck and congratulations. She's a lucky girl. Not many men would post on chowhound for help in making a life-changing event so memorable for the woman they love.

                  1. m
                    michael RE: michael May 26, 2011 10:07 AM

                    I will be making a reservation soon. Some great recommendations so far. Again, much appreciated. Any additional suggestions are quite welcome. Thank you!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: michael
                      potroastcat RE: michael May 26, 2011 01:34 PM

                      My husband proposed outside of an In-and-Out Burger in San Francisco. Sounds corny, but it was so authentic to us. I think as long as it's meaningful to the two of you it will be a great location!

                      1. re: potroastcat
                        barryg RE: potroastcat May 26, 2011 05:41 PM

                        Reminds me of a guy I used to work for, he proposed to his wife at Zabar's in UWS Manhattan.

                    2. m
                      michael RE: michael Jun 13, 2011 02:18 PM

                      We dined at Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel and the evening was wonderful. We each enjoyed the six course tasting; one with wine flight. Amazing service - never experienced that level of attention and menu/drink knowledge. Wonderful atmosphere. Prearranged for flowers at the table - this was executed perfectly. A pleasure to deal with all involved.

                      Happy to report, at the end of the evening my proposal was accepted :) From what I understand, planning a wedding will be a bit more difficult. Hopefully equally magical results!

                      Sincere thanks to all who offered suggestions!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: michael
                        DaisyM RE: michael Jun 13, 2011 03:08 PM

                        That's just wonderful! Congratulations and Best Wishes.

                        1. re: michael
                          Philly Ray RE: michael Jun 13, 2011 04:40 PM

                          Congratulations and we all expect to be invited to the wedding. ;))

                          1. re: michael
                            potroastcat RE: michael Jun 14, 2011 01:12 PM

                            Congrats to both of you!! You can always head back to chowhound for catering/location suggestions. :)

                          2. crazyspice RE: michael Jun 13, 2011 04:56 PM


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