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Romantic restaurants and bars in NYC to visit before you propose

Before you propose, visit one of these great date spots: These romantic restaurants and bars are near popular proposal spots, and provide plenty of ambiance.

 (Photograph: Dave Sanders)
Photograph: Dave Sanders

The Campbell Apartment

 (Photograph: Annabele Braithwaite)
Photograph: Annabele Braithwaite

Blue Hill at Stone Barns


The Cloisters

Planning to propose marriage is nerve-racking enough without having to think about where to go before you pop the question. These romantic restaurants and bars simplify that process: Dates at Iris Cafe, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Campbell Apartment may not guarantee that your beloved will say yes, but they might improve your chances.

RECOMMENDED: More great dates in NYC 2013

Make a day date at Iris Cafe

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is an ideal spot to ask for someone’s hand in marriage: You’ve got a crazy-gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline, and a few of the more out-of-the-way nooks aren’t swamped with tourists. Before you go, head to this charming café; we recommend planning a brunch date to take advantage of that view while it’s still light out. Plus, the midafternoon menu features an array of light sandwiches—we like the breakfast baguette ($10), which pairs a hard-boiled egg with country ham, cheddar and onion jam—that won’t weigh you down once it’s time to pop the question. 718-722-7395

Splurge on a ritzy proposal at the Campbell Apartment

If you want to go all-out with your engagement—luxurious setting, classy mixed drinks and a historic vibe—then reserve a spot at this high-end bar within Grand Central Terminal. The location was once the private office of railroad tycoon John W. Campbell, and it retains some of the original details (such as a large fireplace) from that space. The vibe here is upscale, with a menu to match: Before the proposal, sip on cocktails such as the Prohibition Punch ($19), which mixes rum, passion-fruit juice and champagne; once your beloved has said yes, celebrate with a couple of glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne ($22/glass) once your beloved has said yes. (The bar has also planned special proposals with with question-poppers at the space, if you really want to make it fancy.)

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Midtown East

Impress your locavore lover at Blue Hill at Stone Barns


If your to-be-betrothed is obsessed with all things local and sustainable, plan a trip to this upstate restaurant, which opened on the grounds of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in 2004. Reserve ahead of time and arrive early so you can wander around the grounds and see how the food you’re about to eat is grown and harvested. (You might also want to actually get down on bended knee out on the grounds—both for the privacy they afford and the beautiful setting.) Celebrate with one of the eatery’s tasting menus ($108–$208), which offer multiple courses made with seasonal ingredients from the surrounding farmland.

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Find a quiet nook at the Cloisters


This medieval museum is one of the more popular attractions in Fort Tryon Park, but there are still plenty of quiet spots where you can ask your mate to spend the rest of his or her life with you. The West Terrace offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, though you may have to contend with photo-snapping crowds. For a more secluded experience, find a bench in the Saint-Guilhem Cloister, a small enclosure featuring limestone columns imported from a 12th-century French monastery.

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Washington Heights


P. Jafari
P. Jafari

It's funny that you should post this. I had my birthday party at Campbell Apartment in November. The ppl that work at Campbell Apartment are extremely rude! When my friend was taking pictures of me the Manager was brought out to talk to me. I was told that unless I got "permission" and paid a fee earlier I could NOT have any pictures taken inside the Campbell Apartment of my Birthday party. Then they would NOT allow me to have candles on my cupcake to make a wish! I was not told any of this when I booked my event here. In fact the staff knew it was my Birthday and did everything they could to make sure I felt like a 2nd class citizen not to mention my friends who came to celebrate w/me. No pictures! No candles! Do yourself a favor and don't book any event here! There are plenty of better places where the staff won't treat you like $hit on your special occasion!