Chic or Cheesy: Restaurant Proposals?

Gourmet magazine has an entertaining feature in February’s issue about marriage proposals in restaurants: what can go right (an engagement ring cleverly presented in dessert) and what can go so very wrong (the guest accidentally swallowing said ring).

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, especially an ‘occasion’ or romantic restaurant, you undoubtedly have witnessed one of these events. I once waited on a couple who got engaged at the end of a seven course tasting menu and the guy was so nervous he couldn’t enjoy any of the six very expensive courses before dessert. I presented the dessert that had the ring tucked into it and then had to run away from the table while he got down on one knee, since I felt like a third wheel. The lady, who was slightly drunk and had a spectacular pair of fake breasts on display, cried and jumped up and down and everyone in the restaurant clapped. I found it to be cute and gross at the same time and then spent the rest of the night hoping they’d remember who really made the magic happen that night and leave her a big fat tip.

Most of the working industry folk I know are kind of horrified by these public proposals, although owners seem to think they’re good for business. For me, it’s a very intimate moment being made very public in front of a bunch of people you don’t know and will never see again, which is not really my cup of tea. Everyone’s idea of romance is different (see: “The Bachelor”).

Thoughts? Opinions? Has anyone proposed in a restaurant or is thinking of doing it? Would you even do it on Valentine’s Day? Which restaurant would be the best for a proposal?

Lovin’ Spoonfuls [Gourmet]