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Auberge Du Soleil (a relais & chateaux) is fabulous... definitely the best view in the valley- opt for outside seating (of which there are 2 times to choose). The new chef elevates the level of cuisine and sets a new standard for perfection.... far better than the old days of Auberge. It can be quite pricey but you really do get what you pay for. If spending $200-300 easily for 2 people isnt your style, try Auberge's bistro which is a much lighter alternative with the same great view.
The Auberge's new chef makes a world of difference. The food is amazing and the views are even better. We got the tasting menu, which narrowed down the choices and made the evening worry free. The scallop with english pea puree and vanilla oil was to die for... almost as unforgettable as the foie gras with warm brioche.
Although the bill for lunch was over the top, the view, ambience, food and service made it a good value. It definitely rates with the world class restaurants that we've been to. No disappointments here.
I must be a real food snob; after reading these 'over-the-top' positive reviews, I'm left in bewilderment. The restaurant as an overall is pleasant, but sadly nothing too special in a town prominently filled by foodies and countless brilliant chefs. The food was a solid 7+ out of ten; service (because we were lucky to have John) was a 9+. The wine pairing to our six course tasting menu was a 5. If I was to make a recommendation, I would urge you to have lunch not dinner. You will be privileged to gorgeous afternoon hilltop views. Both chef and sommelier show promise but still have a long way to go. Perhaps it was an off night, seeing how this is a Relais & Chateaux honored restaurant.
We had our 24th anniversary here and although it is pricey as several reviewers have said, to us it was worth every penny. It is impossible to describe the incredible food. If you are a ""meat and potatoes"" person you would probably not appreciate this cuisine, but if you have an adventuresome palate this is the place for you. The view is stunning. Even in a cool evening there are overhead heaters thoughtfully supplied to keep you toasty. Our service was excellent and the pacing was perfect...not too long between courses, yet we felt that we could spend as much time as we wanted enjoying the lovely surroundings. I can't wait for another special occasion for an excuse to return to this delightful restaurant.
My husband had heard really great things about this restaurant so we went. I'm not cheap, but I hate feeling as if I've been robbed. First, we ended up buying our water ($15). Second, the food was just okay. Third, I didn't get to a great view and we had to wait for almost 15 minutes before a server recognized we were there. We were about to leave when a very nice server came over and took up the slack. Without wine we ended up spending over $200. It was a nice place, but I truly recommend going for lunch.
This was one of the most memorable evenings of our week in Sonoma and Napa valleys. The view from this restaurant is incredibly beautiful and romantic. Sit outside to really enjoy it. Overall, the food and service was excellent. Although other reviews complained of the slow pace, we didn't mind at all, because you have time to ""consume"" the beautiful setting. Also, I think the portions were just fine. In fact, I felt pretty gorged by the end. Although it is expensive, I think it's worth it, because the food is excellent, and the setting is even more so!
If you have $ to throw away for a nice view of the valley, then Auberge is your kind of restaurant. The view was spectacular. Everything else was far from spectacular - in fact, the service was abysmal and the food was just ok. With all of the excellent restaurants to choose from in the area, I wouldn't waste my time here. VERY DISAPPOINTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The opportunity to sit for dinner and experience the Valley was quite romantic, so my wife says I agree. The fixed price menu offers enough choices, albeit it small portions. Seems the delay between courses made you less interested in eating so the small portions fit, in a strange sort of way. Food was great and the service was what you would expect for a top-notch restaurant. I did notice a significant amount more attention (conversation) to tables ordering bottles of wine versus glasses. For the high price, slow service, small portions, this is a do it once as the start to a hopefully great romantic evening.
It's really the setting that pushes Auberge to the top of the Wine Country scene--the view is almost spiritual. Otherwise I'm not sure I wouldn't go somewhere else. The menu is surprisingly affordable for this level of cuisine and richly if not innovatively rendered. Also it's very well geared to accommodating the urge to try it all w/various tasting menu options. Look out though: the corkage fee was horrifying ($30). Note also that they will probably shut down for a couple months to renovate late 2002/early 2003. Hard to say the service was inadequate on one visit, but it certainly wasn't well-timed at all.