KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Engaging Food: Do you remember?
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Engaging Food: Do you remember?

When Catherine of Food Musings announced her engagement to Mr. Food Musings last week, she told us all what she ate for lunch right after the engagement. "... I said yes. Then we went and ate lunch. He had a chicken taco and a veggie taco Nick's way and I had a taco salad with grilled fish. One day I might want to know that, so I'm writing it down."

Which got me to thinking: What about my other food blog friends? Having a predilection toward eating great food, did their engagements involve any special foods or meals?

The answers were wide ranging. Some didn't remember what they ate. One anonymous blogger who we all know and love said "This is embarrassing but we can't remember what we ate after getting engaged. My strong guess is pizza but it is foggy."

In addition to being a great food and wine blogger, a wine instructor, and a writer, Derrick Schneider at An Obsession with Food is also a puzzle designer. So it's no surprise that The French Laundry and puzzles figure into his engagement story.

I proposed to Melissa at The French Laundry, using a puzzle box from Japan to hold the ring. Of course, the way I tell it is that I made the reservations and thought, "Huh. That would be a good place to propose." And, of course, I had two months to plan.

She didn't know I was proposing, though she always assumed she would. Just as we were heading out the door on March 2, I said, "Oh, I almost forgot. I have a late Valentine's Day gift." I ran back and grabbed the box, which, being a wrapped puzzle box was not obviously ring-sized. She asked if she could open it; I suggested we wait until we were at dinner. We arrived in Yountville, and she asked if she could open it; I suggested that we wait until we were seated.

Melissa unwrapped the box and I said, "Well, it's probably not what you think." The puzzle box was a heart in two pieces, and Melissa turned it over and over and admired its beauty. At which point, I said, "Maybe you should try to open it." The solution was to put the two halves of the heart together (aw). So she did that, started to slide the top panel, and I said, "So the next question is going to be..." at which point she got it open and shouted out, "Oh my God! Yes!" The waiter brought us champagne, and we both had the full tasting menu, though Melissa says she doesn't remember it all that well.

This story from Bonnie Powell at The Ethicurean made me laugh out loud.

I do remember quite well. I proposed to Bart in a roundabout way on our fifth anniversary, which we celebrated by having dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, staying nearby. When he made sure I was asking him to marry me, I took a deep breath and confirmed that I was. I was so relieved when he said yes that I ordered a dozen raw oysters to celebrate and ate them all -- he doesn't even like them. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I then ordered and ate another dozen. And no I was not sick. I think we also had a bottle of champagne.

I heard some answers from our own Bay Area Bites authors. The first is from Kim Laidlaw.

He took me out on a boat then to dinner at Piperade then a stroll on the pier next to the Ferry Building, where he popped the question. We stayed across the street at the Hotel Griffon, and just after we got engaged we returned to the hotel and drank my absolute favorite whisky: Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition. I think he'd also brought some Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam and probably some Bi-Rite ginger cookies too. But it's the whisky that stands out in my mind.

Fellow BAB author Stephanie Lucianovic were engaged in Boston.

I don't remember what we ate the night we got engaged. I remember walking through Beacon Hill in Boston, and I remember the actual proposal, but the food itself eludes me. I know we went for a ridiculously expensive glass of champagne at the Four Seasons, because we had it in our naive heads that if we told them we just got engaged, they would, like, comp us or something. I think we looked at the menu and decided that all the bar bites were too pricey, so we headed over to the Ritz Carlton where my roommate was a club level concierge and ate whatever free bites she had sent up from the kitchens. It's possible she snagged plates of cheese, chocolate-dipped strawberries, truffles, and maybe some caviar.

Way more memorable for us was the celebratory engagement dinner my soon-to-be-in-laws sent us to at L'Auberge Chez Francois in the rolling green hills of Great Falls, Virginia. It was our first experience with the storied and elusive (we're talking almost nine years ago) amuse-bouche.

Virginia from The Perfect Spot, and her husband Dan, chose Foreign Cinema as their perfect spot.

If only I could recall what I ate... that is the state of engagement, I guess. We went to Foreign Cinema (it was our second year of living in SF) and though I do not remember our entrees, I do recall an excellent sweetbreads appetizer they used to have. And we had what was at the time my favorite Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme dessert. I also remember how they gave us free champagne and lots of congrats and attention.

Sean Timberlake from Hedonia wraps up our stories.

Fifteen years ago (!), DPaul and I went up to Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite for a weekend. We had discussed taking the relationship to the next level, but this was the weekend we made the decision.

That we were able to go to Tuolumne at all was thanks to a friend of ours who was the chef at the lodge up there that year. He was able to bump us up to the top of the wait list, and we luckily were able to land a cabin. The lodge has only 8-tops, so you sit with complete strangers. The night of our "engagement," we were seated with some blue-bloods from Kensington, who happily gabbed our ears off. David, our chef friend, kept sending us tasters of every dish on the menu above and beyond what we ordered. I don't remember exactly what we ate, but I do remember the society lady to my right reaching across me and plucking tastes of things off our extra plates.

What about you? Do you remember what you ate when you were engaged?

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

Top of a mountain in the Adirondacks. Sandwiches of some sort, and Freihofer's chocolate chip cookies. I'd smuggled along a mini-watermelon (as a surprise for him climbing his first 46er). He smuggled along a ring and a mini-bottle of champagne. He won the surprise contest!

After the climb and the surprise and the happiness, it was getting late and cold, so we scarfed down some food and some champagne (never touched the watermelon!), fed some crumbs to a bold mountaintop vole, and headed for home. There were 6.5 miles, drenching rain, and knee injuries before we finally made it home to a hot dinner that I no longer remember at all.

3/18/2008 12:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were in Osaka, Japan on a vacation. The proposal actually happened right in the middle of the street with everyone watching and not really understanding what was happening, which was kind of fun. Before he popped the question, we had tons of yummy okonomiyaki and beer, a perfect combination. Afterward, we shared a cigar and some whiskey while using my limited Japanese to try and explain to people why we were so giddy.

3/20/2008 10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a cute thread. I had just come home from a trip to Italy and had been awake approximately 30 straight hours (it was also New Year's Eve). My boyfriend and roommates insisted that I clean up and go to have sushi (masago, tuna, salmon, cream cheese, tobiko, and avocado) on Lincoln Road in South Beach. By the time dinner was over, I was practically incoherent with fatigue, so they blasted heavy metal music in the car to revive me. Finally, about 2 minutes before the ball dropped, my boyfriend proposed a toast with prosecco from the region of Italy I had just visited.. and then proposed.

3/25/2008 4:26 PM

Anonymous Jennifer BB said...

Oh how nice to remember! My husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this past Saturday. We were in engaged in October 2002--he proposed in our Berkeley apartment right before lunch and took me to one of our favorite places on the planet--La Mediteranee on College Ave. I had the Middle Eastern Plate.

3/26/2008 10:32 PM


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