If you manage to find fabulous food, a terrific wine list and a spectacular setting all in one place, you've scored a major trifecta. These restaurants pull off all three. From a beautiful restaurant in a restored lighthouse to dining rooms with sky-high views of glitterning Tokyo or Mount Fuji, here are eight of the most romantic restaurants across the globe.
1. Sierra Mar Restaurant at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
Big Sur's cliffside Post Ranch Inn is perched 1,200 feet high, and has magical views of Pacific sunsets. At the Inn's restaurant, Sierra Mar, you can choose from daily-changing four- and nine-course tasting menus complete with optional wine pairings. Chef John Cox, whose menus are influenced by his time cooking in diverse regions from New Mexico to Hawaii, focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and bold flavors. Bonus: The adults-only property has a strict 18-and-over policy, so your whisper-soft conversation with your date won't get interrupted by screaming kids.
2. Tradewinds Restaurant, Peter Island
The family-owned Peter Island, a private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands, is home to the intimate waterfront Tradewinds Restaurant. Snag a quiet table under the stars and enjoy the stellar cooking of chef Todd Howard, whose resume includes stints in the kitchens of renowned British chefs Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay. Menu items, which rotate regularly, incorporate freshly picked herbs and produce from the restaurant's garden. On Saturdays, hear live music as you feast on an over-the-top spread of fresh seafood, shellfish, sushi and local Caribbean specialties.
3. Dasheene at Ladera Resort, St, Lucia
Oprah Tweeted her praise of St. Lucia's Ladera Resort, and it’s not hard to see why. The 32 suites are wide-open on one side, so you're essentially living outdoors—in extreme luxury—when you stay there. At the resort's restaurant, Dasheene, you can gaze down at the Caribbean Sea and the twin Piton volcanic peaks. The menu offers a modern take on traditional St. Lucian dishes (think sweet potato and coconut soup, or jerk poulet sausage), and the kitchen makes uses of fresh native ingredients from island farmers. And since there's nothing like a little liquor to shed your inhibitions, partake of the homemade rum made with Bois Bande (the bark of the Richeria grandis tree), rumored to be a Viagra-like aphrodisiac.
4. Signature at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
The Michelin-starred Signature at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo makes a heart-stopping impression from the moment you walk in. The sleek interior has an open kitchen and huge windows with stunning views overlooking the bay, Tokyo Tower, Ohtemachi, Mount Fuji and the Imperial Palace from the hotel’s 37th floor. Seasonal ingredients from Japan infuse the artfully-plated French cuisine, and the glittering city skyline provides the ultimate backdrop for a night to remember.
5. Restaurant Lasserre, Paris
Restaurant Lasserre near the Champs-Elysées has been a staple on the Parisian culinary scene since the early '40s, and it's still a destination for refined French cuisine in posh, ultra-romantic surroundings. Get pampered by the staff while you gaze up at a canopy of sky and stars under the restaurant's open roof.
6. Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island
Retreat to Castle Hill Inn in Newport for doting service and uninterrupted time with your lucky companion. The 19th-century mansion and restored lighthouse, set on a secluded peninsula, has killer views of the ocean. Its elegant dining room serves specialties from the land and sea, including excellent lobster and oysters, sure to get the right mood flowing.
7. Hen of the Wood, Waterbury, Vermont
The rustic 40-seat Hen of the Wood, in a converted 1835 grist mill next to a waterfall, oozes charm. A candlelit room, stone walls and a menu from six-time James Beard Award nominee Eric Warnstedt—with lots of fresh Vermont produce, meats and cheeses—set the mood for a memorable evening. The restaurant name refers to hen of the woods mushrooms, served here on toast with house Vermont bacon and a poached farm egg; a definite must-order.
8. Rossellinis at Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy
If the panoramic cliffside views of the Mediterranean in Ravello, Italy, aren't enough to give you heart palpitations, the luxurious Hotel Palazzo Sasso and its two-Michelin-starred Rossellinis restaurant will do the trick. Chef Pino Lavarra, formerly of the renowned Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in England, heads up the kitchen at this medieval palace turned posh resort. Linger over soft candlelight as you indulge in Italian haute cuisine and gaze down 1000 feet to the beautiful blue sea.
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