Filed under: Dining
Luxist readers nominated and voted for the restaurants that they believe are the best of breed. Below, are their favorite places to wine and dine within such categories as Best Steakhouse, Best Seafood, Best Romantic, Best Domestic and Best International restaurant.
Best Romantic Restaurant: Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford, Ca.)
Enjoying a glass of wine at sunset in California's Napa Valley is one of the best ways to start an intimate evening, and the restaurant at Auberge du Soleil offers a chance to do just that.
Founded in 1981 by San Francisco restaurateur Claude Rouas, the eatery helped spawn the wave of popularity currently enjoyed by the entire Napa area. In 1985, Rouas and business partner Robert Harmon opened the inn---in French, auberge---to host visitors to the California wine country. He envisioned both the restaurant and the inn as a tribute to his beloved Provence, and, true to form, both continue to be exactly that.
Guided by executive chef Robert Curry, the restaurant remains one of America's most delicious---and most romantic. The best way for lovebirds to enjoy the seasonally-changing menu is at La Pagode, the restaurant's private dining area for two. Here, the evening begins with a bottle of champagne, followed by a dozen oysters and a four course dinner, with wine pairings included. This type of romance comes with a $1,495 per couple price tag, plus an optional $550 for two hours of solo guitar accompaniment.