Dining: Where to Pop the Question
January 01, 2012 | by —john curtas | Homepage
From grand staircase surprises to a dessert topped with a diamond, these four Vegas restaurants are the very best at creating magic for a couple’s most private, romantic event: their engagement.
Sin City turns into the city of love every Valentine’s Day, when Vegas’s five-star dining establishments prepare special romantic menus for couples from all over the country. For the head-over-heels bachelor hoping to seal the deal by proposing to his sweetheart on February 14, here are the four most romantic restaurants for garnering that all-important yes.
Marché Bacchus is perfect for love of wine, good food, and great company. The lakeside patio is one of the most popular spots in the city; even in February, two outdoor fireplaces help keep things nice and toasty. Swans, turtles, and ducks along the lake add to the ambience, and new executive chef David Middleton has created top-notch cuisine to match the setting. He has two special desserts planned for February 14: rum crème caramel and a red velvet cake with white chocolate and vanilla bean frosting. Either dessert should go splendidly with any Champagne or wine suggested by owner Jeff Wyatt. The wine list is composed of selections from his wine store, and it’s one of the best in the city. “We see people get engaged here all the time, but especially on Valentine’s Day,” says Jeff’s wife, Rhonda. “Many times, the gentleman will let us know beforehand so we can have a very special bottle of Champagne at the ready, but other times it just happens without us knowing. It’s really special for us that they thought enough about Marché Bacchus to make it part of their history.” 2620 Regatta Dr., 702-804-8008
Eiffel Tower Restaurant
We asked Eiffel Tower’s chef-owner Jean Joho what has made the French in general, and French food in particular, synonymous with love. His answer was as delicious as his foie graswith caramelized pears: “What do you think sounds sexier? Voulez-vous les plats du chocolat? or Do you want a chocolate platter?” Joho continues, “It is all in the language. Does anything sound better than les soufflé chaud aux fraise des bois(a wild strawberry soufflé)? I don’t think so. And let’s not forget, Champagne is the most romantic, festive drink in the world.” It’s hard to argue with him, just as it is hard not to love the panoramic views of the Strip from any table in the restaurant on the 11th floor of Paris Las Vegas’s artful replica of La Tour Eiffel. Joho and executive chef Joung Sohn create dishes in the best French tradition. One bite of the impeccable Dover sole, beef Wellington, or soufflé will affirm this is the most romantic cuisine in the world. More than 400 couples will swoon over this food on Valentine’s Day—when the restaurant will have its own delivery service for flowers. Spend February 14 here to find out why so many hearts are melting. 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-948-6937
Picasso has been so good for so long (13 years) that people tend to forget what a fabulous dining experience it is. First, there is the exquisite art. Originals from the master—dramatically displayed along with some of his sculptures—make this a mini-museum, and perhaps the only restaurant in the world where people routinely stroll to look at the paintings. Then, there are the flowers—always a riot of color and floral design, but especially gorgeous on special occasions. Next comes the wine list, courtesy of master sommelier Robert Smith, which features extravagant and eclectic selections from around the globe. Finally, there is the food: poached oysters with osetra caviar, warm quail salad, roasted langoustines, the sweetest scallops on earth, and the best veal chops in the universe. The food and atmosphere are so stunningly superb, one might even forget that a proposal was the reason for coming in the first place. Valentine’s Day is all about romance and tradition, and it would hard to find a better place to begin, or celebrate, a life together than at Julian Serrano’s flagship restaurant. 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-693-8105
For pure razzle-dazzle, it’s tough to beat Alain Ducasse’s white-on-white jewel in the sky. The tiny mezzanine overlooking the dining room has provided more than a few romantic thrills over the years. One guest asked the restaurant to line the floor and its spiral staircase with rose petals and direct his lady to a white linen table at the top. Two sofa chairs had been brought up for the occasion, and there he sat with a bottle of Dom Pérignon. (She thought she was meeting her beau to take a quick picture.) Two special desserts arrived, along with a small plate with WILL YOU MARRY ME? spelled in chocolate. Hidden under a small china bowl was the ring. Needless to say, she answered yes (amid tears of joy, according to general manager Nicolas Grounin). Topping that would be tough, gents, but if a restaurant can do it, it’s Mix. The 64th-floor perch offers an unmatched view of Las Vegas at night. A table on the patio evokes a feeling of floating above the Strip while enjoying Mix’s signature roasted Maine lobster “au curry” or rack of lamb with eggplant tian. Even indoors, there’s really not a bad seat in the house. But dinner in one of the two cozy “pods” in the middle of the room practically guarantees a yes to whatever proposal is made—for a lifetime or just the night. 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-632-9500
We go behind the scenes with the always stunning Sophia Bush