Plagued by breakup rumors, the two share a romantic meal and leave holding hands

By Paul Chi and Hitha Prabhakar
Updated July 02, 2008 07:00 AM

Diners at New York City’s ‘Cesca, an Italian eatery on the Upper West Side, got a surprise Tuesday night when Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie walked in, holding hands.

They looked “like a normal couple that just wanted to have a nice dinner out,” says an onlooker. “They looked very unassuming. Not like they were looking for attention.”

Seasoned New Yorkers are quite accustomed to spotting celebrities at the restaurant (and Madonna does have an apartment in the neighborhood). Still, seeing the queen of pop and her director husband together in public is a rare occurrence – and a meaningful one.

“Everyone was whispering and saying, ‘Wow, that was Madonna. She is supposed to be separating from her husband. I can’t believe she is here,'” the observer adds.

But Madonna and Ritchie didn’t flinch. The couple, who’ve been plagued by breakup rumors, continued with their cozy, hour-long dinner before leaving – also hand-in-hand.

“Madonna’s husband Guy arrived in New York last night to be with his wife and family (not in a last-ditch attempt to save his marriage which does not need saving),” the singer’s rep Liz Rosenberg told PEOPLE Tuesday. “There are no plans for Madonna and Guy to divorce.”