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May 24, 2010 03:29 PM

Stonehill Tavern vs. Studio at Montage

So I am planning on taking the plunge and popping the big question...eek! I'm very much into a private setting for the actual deed but, afterwards, my (hopeful) fiancee and I will be heading down to the St. Regis for a night. We are both big foodies and enjoy delicious cuisine so I'd like to have a memorable meal that evening. After exhaustive searching, I've narrowed it down to Stonehill Tavern and the Studio at the Montage. I'm sure we can't go wrong with either choice but I wanted to let the hounds chime in. So...thoughts?

Stonehill Tavern
St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

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  1. Stepping back in time just a bit, I can recall one of my most wonderful and unforgettable special occasion dining experiences - Studio Restaurant at the Montage, an exquisite seaside venue located at the foot of one of Laguna’s most fabulous resorts. I remember feeling transported back to an earlier, grander era, Gatsby-ish if you will. The lovely grounds and unforgettable panoramic ocean view amplified the feeling. A perfect locale to pop the question. Do it outside, overlooking the deep blue Pacific.

    The walk from the entrance through the hotel and down to the restaurant near the shoreline sets the stage for the exceptionally engaging dining experience that awaits. World-class ambience, impeccable food and service in an elegant craftsman-style mansion by the sea. Chef Craig Strong’s culinary creations are as appetizing to one’s palate as they are appealing to the eye. IMHO, the edge goes to Studio over Stonehill, which I have too enjoyed.

    Worthy of my highest recommendation and your highest expectations. A time and place to remember.

    Studio Restaurant at the Montage
    30801 South Coast Highway
    Laguna Beach, CA 92651
    (949) 715-6420

    1 Reply
    1. re: degustateur

      I have not been to Stonehill Tavern (a colleague at work has been - about 2 weeks ago - and reported back to me that it was a wonderful birthday celebration), but I have been to Studio, and it was fantastic. The location is very very beautiful as well, so I'd recommend Studio.

      As you say, you probably really can't go wrong either way.

      Stonehill Tavern
      St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

    2. For my two cents, its the Studio. Get a table at a window overlooking the ocean. much more romantic than the Stonehill. full disclosure - i did not get engaged at studio, but my wife did give me the wedding ring she picked out for me there. its a lovely memory...

      1. I have been to Stonehill years back and have seen Studio, but never eaten there. To pop the question, I would go to Studio. The location is much, much nicer. Stonehill is a very pretty room, but there is no view. Plus, looking down the road, the property is under financial hardship so who is to say if it will still be there in 5-10 years. The Montage is more likely to stick around, so if you want to head back in a few years, even if the restaurant changes, you will still get the view. I would take Stonehill over Studio if there was a specific item on the menu or something like a wine dinner that was not offered at the other place. The real memory here will be that you got engaged, not that you had a specific dish. Go for the view. Oh, and don't put the ring in her food.

        Hope she doesn't read the boards here. Good luck.