Ask the Critics: Where Should I Propose?


If there’s a question asked almost as often as where to bring the parents or where to go for a birthday, it’s where to propose.

I don’t completely understand the urge to do personal things like propose (or break up!) in public, but many people seem to want to do it.

Foremost, you want a place with great food and capable but unobtrusive service. Secondly, you want a space that’s not too crowded with comfortable, somewhat intimate tables that are well-spaced from each other. You don’t want to end up bellowing “Will you marry me!” over booming lounge music and shrieks of other customers.

You probably don’t need to be told that places like Daniel, Jean Georges, Eleven Madison Park, and the rest will — given adequate notice of your plans — make things very nice for you. But what if that’s not really you and your beloved’s style?

How about Devi? It serves very good modern Indian dishes, most of it light and bright enough not to weigh you down or put you in a food coma. The vegetarian tasting menu and seasonal Indian mango tasting menu are particularly delicious. Plus, it’s popular but not not generally packed and features lots of colorful textile drapery that gives the room a sort of muffled romantic quality.

Alternatively, propose on a bench at the Brooklyn Promenade at sunset and then call ahead for a pizza to-go at Lucali, to be eaten at home with a good quantity of champagne.