I proposed to Melissa at The French Laundry, using a puzzle box from Japan to hold the ring. Of course, the way I tell it is that I made the reservations and thought, "Huh. That would be a good place to propose." And, of course, I had two months to plan.
She didn't know I was proposing, though she always assumed she would. Just as we were heading out the door on March 2, I said, "Oh, I almost forgot. I have a late Valentine's Day gift." I ran back and grabbed the box, which, being a wrapped puzzle box was not obviously ring-sized. She asked if she could open it; I suggested we wait until we were at dinner. We arrived in Yountville, and she asked if she could open it; I suggested that we wait until we were seated.
Melissa unwrapped the box and I said, "Well, it's probably not what you think." The puzzle box was a heart in two pieces, and Melissa turned it over and over and admired its beauty. At which point, I said, "Maybe you should try to open it." The solution was to put the two halves of the heart together (aw). So she did that, started to slide the top panel, and I said, "So the next question is going to be..." at which point she got it open and shouted out, "Oh my God! Yes!" The waiter brought us champagne, and we both had the full tasting menu, though Melissa says she doesn't remember it all that well.
This story from Bonnie Powell at The Ethicurean made me laugh out loud.
I do remember quite well. I proposed to Bart in a roundabout way on our fifth anniversary, which we celebrated by having dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, staying nearby. When he made sure I was asking him to marry me, I took a deep breath and confirmed that I was. I was so relieved when he said yes that I ordered a dozen raw oysters to celebrate and ate them all -- he doesn't even like them. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I then ordered and ate another dozen. And no I was not sick. I think we also had a bottle of champagne.
I heard some answers from our own Bay Area Bites authors. The first is from Kim Laidlaw.
He took me out on a boat then to dinner at Piperade then a stroll on the pier next to the Ferry Building, where he popped the question. We stayed across the street at the Hotel Griffon, and just after we got engaged we returned to the hotel and drank my absolute favorite whisky: Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition. I think he'd also brought some Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam and probably some Bi-Rite ginger cookies too. But it's the whisky that stands out in my mind.
Fellow BAB author Stephanie Lucianovic were engaged in Boston.
I don't remember what we ate the night we got engaged. I remember walking through Beacon Hill in Boston, and I remember the actual proposal, but the food itself eludes me. I know we went for a ridiculously expensive glass of champagne at the Four Seasons, because we had it in our naive heads that if we told them we just got engaged, they would, like, comp us or something. I think we looked at the menu and decided that all the bar bites were too pricey, so we headed over to the Ritz Carlton where my roommate was a club level concierge and ate whatever free bites she had sent up from the kitchens. It's possible she snagged plates of cheese, chocolate-dipped strawberries, truffles, and maybe some caviar.
Way more memorable for us was the celebratory engagement dinner my soon-to-be-in-laws sent us to at L'Auberge Chez Francois in the rolling green hills of Great Falls, Virginia. It was our first experience with the storied and elusive (we're talking almost nine years ago) amuse-bouche.
Virginia from The Perfect Spot, and her husband Dan, chose Foreign Cinema as their perfect spot.
If only I could recall what I ate... that is the state of engagement, I guess. We went to Foreign Cinema (it was our second year of living in SF) and though I do not remember our entrees, I do recall an excellent sweetbreads appetizer they used to have. And we had what was at the time my favorite Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme dessert. I also remember how they gave us free champagne and lots of congrats and attention.
Sean Timberlake from Hedonia wraps up our stories.
Fifteen years ago (!), DPaul and I went up to Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite for a weekend. We had discussed taking the relationship to the next level, but this was the weekend we made the decision.
That we were able to go to Tuolumne at all was thanks to a friend of ours who was the chef at the lodge up there that year. He was able to bump us up to the top of the wait list, and we luckily were able to land a cabin. The lodge has only 8-tops, so you sit with complete strangers. The night of our "engagement," we were seated with some blue-bloods from Kensington, who happily gabbed our ears off. David, our chef friend, kept sending us tasters of every dish on the menu above and beyond what we ordered. I don't remember exactly what we ate, but I do remember the society lady to my right reaching across me and plucking tastes of things off our extra plates.