Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.
Andrea Eppolito knows firsthand how romantic Innovative Dining Group's Las Vegas restaurants can be: The New York native met her current boyfriend during a dinner at Boa Steakhouse five years ago.
Now, as director of catering and special events for Boa and Sushi Roku at The Forum Shops at Caesars, she plans everything from corporate events to birthday parties and, this time of year, makes couples' dreams come true.
"We do fantastic engagements," Eppolito said. "When I talk to people, I call them romance packages because it could be a wedding for two or a surprise engagement with 40 (people)."
One time, a boyfriend planned a fake girls' weekend for his girlfriend, then when her girlfriends led her out to Boa's private balcony, she found a red-satin walkway surrounded by rose petals and candles leading to her soon-to-be fiancé. A seven-course tasting and wine pairing (and, naturally, a wedding) followed, and Eppolito and Boa gained a lifelong friend.
"Every time they're in town, they come in and we have a cocktail we do for them that's not on the menu, that we just made for them, that we don't sell. This engagement took place two years ago, but anytime they see our ad, anytime they drive by and see the balcony, anytime they see us on TV or they read about us in a magazine, they go, 'I got engaged there.' It's amazing to be a part of somebody's life forever."
— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine