The Restaurant Redux Proposal The Restaurant Redux Proposal

The Restaurant Redux Proposal

The “Restaurant Proposal” might be the most standard and classic setup for asking someone to marry you. It’s tried and true but, honestly, a little played out. The engagement ring floating in the champagne flute or hidden in the dessert—it’s all been done before (plus it’s a waste of good food and drink). And while a restaurant could often have a deep personal connection to the history of a relationship, it’s a little bit too public at times. Do you really want all those people gawking at you as they’re shoveling the Branzino special into their mouths? A restaurant is expected so let’s try to exceed those expectations with this little twist (and some subterfuge) on a basic proposal.   

By John Mihaly, Illustrations By Adam Stafford

Degree of Difficulty

2 on a scale of 1 (Easy) to 10 (Expert)

What You’ll Need

  1. An engagement ring
  2. A reservation (two in fact)
  3. Coats.


A (nice) restaurant with a coat check.

The Plan

You might be tipping your hand when you make a reservation at a special restaurant for a romantic evening. There’s going to be certain unspoken expectations from your future-bride-to-be. But that’s a good thing you’re going to play into that. Also, you’re going to make two reservations at the same restaurant (more about that later). So start stoking the fire a dropping hints about what a special night this is going to be.

When you get to the restaurant (the fancy kind, seriously) the first thing you’re going to do before you sit down is to check your coats. Make sure you get the ticket—this is key. You’ll sit down, order drinks, scan the menu, all while making some serious eye contact and knowing glances. Steer conversation towards the two of you, where you’ve been and where you’re hoping to go. Out comes the appetizers. Don’t pop the question. Here comes the main course. Don’t pop the question. Order a dessert. Don’t. Pop. The. Question.

Pay the check, leave a nice tip, and then offer to grab the coats. This is where you make your move. Quickly put on your own coat. Then slip the engagement ring (in its box) into one of the side pockets of her coat. Being the gentleman that you are, kindly help her put on her coat. Hold her for a second and remark, “What’s this? There’s something in your pocket.” Then drop to your knee and ask her the four words she’s been waiting to hear.

Now, if she’s answered in the affirmative here’s where that second reservation comes in. Have the maître d’ escort you to a new table with some celebratory bubbly waiting for you to toast your pending nuptials.  

What To Watch Out For

  1. Making sure the restaurant is in on your plan and can accommodate properly.
  2. Actually getting her upset at not proposing until you leave.
  3. Getting a bit too tipsy, don’t get a DUI.


Maybe some leftovers for lunch.