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Aug 25, 2009 11:08 AM

Auberge Du Soleil, Redd or Martini House? Or your own suggestions.

Hello, I am planning my first trip to wine country with my girlfriend for November. I know it may be a bit early to start looking for places to eat etc but I just wanted to get as much info as possible in case I decide on a place where reservations are needed far in advance.
I've heard some pretty good things about, Auberge Du Soleil, Redd and Martini House. I'm looking for a place with a romantic ambiance. My price range is anywhere from $150 a person and below. So I'm sure I should be able to find something pretty good.

Also, any suggestions on wineries would be appreciated if you know of something good. We're not wine connoisseurs by any means so we're not too high maintenence on going to the vineyard with the best tasting wine. We are looknig for for the best looking winery with decent wine. If the best winery has the best view as well than even better. I've heard good things about Cakebread and Hess?

Thanks for any help.

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  1. Depends on your idea of romantic. Auberge is a beautiful setting that could easily be considered romantic by anybody. But some people think it's a little stuffy and can make people under 35 feel very young. Redd is more modern and casual. Some people will say Redd is not romantic, but again that depends. My wife and I had a very romantic evening at Redd. If you need ambiance and a view Auberge beats Redd. If you want to keep it a little more casual, and enjoy a 5 star meal, Redd is great.

    I'm not sure how your third choice stacks up since we were comparing just the other two when we were in your situation.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Shane Greenwood

      Sounds good, thanks for the input. Is Auberge somewhere where a jacket is preferred?

      1. re: setesami

        You won't need a jacket anywhere in Wine Country (or all of the Bay Area) except for French Laundry. Here's a recent report from Martini House and Redd,

    2. I think the best romantic evening would be drinks at the bar at Auberge - you can admire the very charming/romantic setting/view, and then dinner at Martini House or Terra.

      1. For somewaht romantic I'd go with Auberge or Terra in St Helena

        8 Replies
        1. re: mick

          For romance, it's definitely Auberge for late afternoon drinks checking out the valley view.

          For dinner, it's up to your taste. Terra is in a 19th C. stone building, small and intimate. Martini House is a Pat Kuleto redo of an Arts & Craft home (think early Frank Lloyd Wright). Redd is modern and minimalist. Cool for some. Too cool/cold for others. Outdoor patio there solves the issue with a beautiful setting w/fireplace and vines above the tables.

          For my $, it's Redd both for the food and for the ambiance (but, I like minimalist modern). Martini House and Terra seem artificially quaint to me. But, others will definitely disagree.

          Have a great time.

          1. re: cortez

            Thanks for adding some perspective to these places that were missing or that I had missed, cortez.

            1. re: cortez

              We've never been, but some friends of ours traveling from Louisiana had brunch there last Sunday and raved about it afterwards. It was their first visit to wine country, so they really enjoyed the beautiful weather and view out on the patio. The cost was $50/pp which included a drink (Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Kir Royale, or wine), appetizer, entree and dessert.

              1. re: cortez

                Note that the original poster specified they were coming November. Can anyone say which of these outdoor spaces has heaters or what a good back-up plan would be if it rains?

                I remember standing outside Martini House one evening and thinking the lighting coming through the windows was very romantic.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I had an afternoon Thanksgiving meal on the patio at Auberge Du Soleil a long time ago. The weather was cool and sunny, there were heaters, and the experience was world-class wonderful (food wasn't quite up to that level). People would (and do) come from all over the world for that experience. Of course if the weather doesn't cooperate in November, I guess you're out of luck for the patio.

              2. re: mick

                We were married at Auberge so I may be biased but it is one of the most romantic spots in the valley. Make sure to get a table outside. Redd is excellent as well - we had one of our pre-wedding dinners there followed by drinks at Martini House for our guests who were in town early. You're going to have to do your research on wineries, but suggestions are: Kuleto (you have to book a private tasting but worth the crazy drive up the hill), Far Niente/Nickel & Nickel, ZD, COPIA, etc.

              3. I would first go wine tasting at Rutherford Hill (next door to Auberge) and then go to Auberge and sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous view from the patio and have a light meal. I never tire of that view.