Candlelight Dinners to Spark Romance

Fine Dining in Napa Sonoma and Bar Harbor

No matter where you roam on this big, beautiful, blue marble feeding your discerning palate is more than likely incredibly important to you. Enjoying a fine meal with someone close to your heart is one of the greatest joys in life.

Two of the most romantic locations in the US are thousands of miles apart on either coast – Napa Valley, California and Bar Harbor, Maine; but both have marvelous fine dining establishments fitting for amorous dinners to fan the embers of passion.

We would like to share with you some of the restaurants in each of these destinations we feel would be conducive to the beginning of a very romantic evening.

Napa Sonoma, California

La Toque, Napa Valley

La Toque has earned a Michelin star every year they have been awarded in Napa’s wine country. It has also received Wine Spectator’s highest honor, The Grand Award, for its wine list and service excellence. Pairing wine and food is a passion at La Toque. Pairings on menus are considered by many to be the ultimate food and wine experience. Here, the culinary team and sommeliers taste together daily, constantly exploring, looking for combinations that elevate both the food and wine, creating ultimate harmony. 1314 McKinstry Street, Napa.

On the menu: We suggest trying the chef’s tasting menu. Starting with amuse bouches of chilled king crab with sea grapes and dashi gelee and toasted lobster head aioli. Move into such delights as Bera Ranch Royal Blenheim apricot clafoutis with almond butter, caramel and Sauternes ice cream. Paired with 2019 Vidal icewine, from Inniskillin wineries in the Niagara Peninsula, Canada.

Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley

This beautifully-placed restaurant has won the coveted Michelin star for 14 consecutive years. Founded in 1981 by visionary French restaurateur, Claude Rouas, as Napa Valley’s first fine-dining establishment, Auberge du Soleil has maintained its legacy as a “must experience” culinary destination for more than 40 years. Executive Chef, Robert Curry, sources the freshest ingredients from local purveyors, harvested at their peak of flavor, to create delicious dishes showcasing the region's best seasonal ingredients.180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford.

On the Menu: Start with chilled Maine lobster with Osetra caviar, white asparagus, crème fraîche, and watercress. For the main, we suggest the Liberty Farm duck with cherries, endive, arugula, pistachios and cocoa nib. The fromage blanc cheesecake with a pistachio crust, spring rhubarb, and rosé soaked lady fingers is the choice for dessert.  

A beautifully-plated dessert at Auberge du Soleil. [Source: cloudfront.net/]

Charmingly Chic Villa Leanna

Nestled in California’s wine making heartland, Napa Sonoma, Villa Leanna is a most natural and sensual place to stay for a rendezvous with romance. This five-bedroom residence is warm, yet opulent with its gorgeous chandeliers hanging from beamed, cathedral ceilings. Brimming with luxurious finishes, the home has a free-flowing floor plan creating an air of refinement and aesthetic excellence. Outside spaces are landscaped beautifully and include a bocce ball and ping pong court and a gym area. You will adore having meals in the outdoor dining space and having a swim in the heated pool, followed by soothing your muscles in the hot tub. Villa Leanna can accommodate up to 10 guests.

Enjoy the absolutely glorious Napa Sonoma countryside of Villa Leanna.

Kenzo, Napa Valley

Kenzo Napa Head Chef Kenji Miyaishi brought his culinary expertise to Kenzo in the Napa Valley in 2018. His inventive interpretation on traditional Kaiseki cuisine highlights seasonal delicacies from both Japan and the Napa Valley, garnering Kenzo a Michelin star. The menu philosophy is centered around shun, which in Japanese, is the idea of enjoying seasonal food at its peak. In Kenzo’s intimate dining room you will feel like you’ve been transported to Japan without ever having your passport stamped. The streamlined, elegant décor simply falls away, so as not to distract from the culinary experience. With an increased attention to privacy, you are treated to discreet service highlighting the virtues of each Kaiseki course. 1339 Pearl Street, Napa Valley.

On the menu: Kaiseki – a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner featuring cuisine such as grilled chiba cutlassfish with crispy Yukon gold potatoes, zucchini and yuzu pepper-infused potato coulis and a chef’s selection of sushi served with red miso soup.

One of the courses from Kenzo’s Kaiseki dinner. [Source: axwwgrkdco.cloudimg]

Bar Harbor, Maine

Salt & Steel, Bar Harbor

Salt & Steel opened its doors in beautiful downtown Bar Harbor, Maine in 2019. Daily sourcing of the freshest local produce, meat and fish from Maine’s master purveyors will ensure a unique and exciting dining experience. Salt & Steel’s sommelier has carefully cultivated an extensive list of wines designed to perfectly complement your meal. You will get delicious food presented in an imaginative and innovative way. 321 Main Street, Bar Harbor.

On the menu: Share some small plates with your partner to start such as yakatori grilled Spanish octopus with pecorino and polenta espuma, parsley panko crumbs and sumac red pepper jam. Move on to the butter poached Maine lobster with confit Maine potato, nettle pistou and yuzu hollandaise. The lemon and cardamom panna cotta is the perfect end to a delectable meal.

Fresh lobster prepared the Salt & Steel way.

Galyn’s, Bar Harbor

Galyn’s menu features Maine seafood including fresh fish, lobster, oysters, scallops and more. Additional steak, chop, chicken, vegetarian and gluten-free selections means there is something for everyone. An extensive wine list, hand-crafted cocktails and local beers complement Galyn’s well-prepared food offerings. You will experience the sense of old-world gentility at Galyn’s with its high ceilings, spaciousness and contemporary Maine art donning the walls. Ask for a harbor view table for a romantic dinner. 17 Main Street, Bar Harbor.

On the menu: Start your palate off with a bowl of traditional lobster bisque. You can’t get lobster any fresher than in Maine, so if you’re a fan, choose the whole poached lobster served with clarified butter, rice and a fresh vegetable or opt for the Frenchman Bay stew brimming with shrimp, scallops, fresh fish and lobster surrounded by steamed mussels. Served with grilled ciabatta bread.

Enjoy a bounty of seafood at Galyn’s. [Source: collinsdictionary.com]

The Timeless Refinement of Villa Eastern Watch

Bar Harbor has to be one of the most romantic places on the eastern seaboard. A perfect complement to a romantic getaway is an exquisite place to stay. Villa Eastern Watch is on a cliff overlooking Frenchman Bay. Awe-inspiring seaside panoramas stretch from the Porcupine Islands to the Egg Rock lighthouse and beyond. This stately residence -- with room for up to 14 guests -- is the height of maritime romanticism and timeless elegance. Imagine being cuddled up to your love beside a roaring bonfire with champagne – the purple, red and orange of the setting sun reflecting off the crystal glasses. A 120-foot-long stone terrace delivers unobstructed ocean views atop the dramatic Sols Cliff. Plentiful patio space and outdoor BBQ beckon al fresco dining under the stars, with a fine vintage chosen from the estate's extensive wine cellar. The additional carriage home keeps lodging options versatile, affording the utmost discretion and comfort to each guest.

The majestic views atop the cliff side of Villa Eastern Watch.

Reading Room

Refined pleasures await you in the Reading Room restaurant. You will enjoy a dining experience where the delicious cuisine and attentive service are surpassed only by the breathtaking ocean view. The distinguished fine dining experience overlooks Frenchman Bay. The menu includes fresh seafood, choice cuts of meat, and memorable desserts. Enjoy nightly live entertainment of grand piano music which provides the perfect ambiance to the fine dining experience. Take in the rich ambiance, while you enjoy dining looking over one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in New England.

On the menu: Start your evening with locally farmed oysters while deciding between the signature beef short ribs or filet and lobster tail fresh from the boats on the Harbor. Linger over a slice of Maine blueberry pie while you enjoy a crafted cocktail sitting closely with your love listening to that soft piano music. 1 Newport Drive, Bar Harbor.

Enjoy the full bounties of the sea at the Reading Room Restaurant. [Source: tripadvisor.com]

When you entrust your luxury vacation plans to LVH you can be assured we will always find the finest – and if you choose – most romantic places for you to dine. We will also provide you with elegant, refined, private accommodations with full services and an itinerary coinciding with everything you hope your holiday will be. We will also provide support around the clock. We want to make sure every moment of your time away meets or exceeds your expectations. Whatever your getaway dreams are, we do our utmost to make them a reality. We invite you to reach out to a client services team member who will start to plan your vacation to Napa Sonoma or Bar Harbor whether you are traveling to attend something specific or to delve into the culture, history or in this case, the culinary scene of the area.




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