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>> Napa Valley
>> Lauberge Du Soleil
LAUBERGE DU SOLEIL
180 Rutherford Hill Rd.
Tel: +1 7079673111
Much noted for its romantic dinner dining, Auberge du Soleil also enjoys a brisk lunch trade, despite its comparatively remote location. Nestled high in the eastern wall of Napa Valley, its deck has a vantage that, on a clear day, reaches all the way to the Mayacamas Range, the natural divide between Sonoma and Napa counties. The view is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon respite and a two-course luncheon. Among fine openers is the ahi tartare with cucumber, lemon and chive. The dish is light and both refreshingly restrained and inventive in its seasoning---the tuna is “salted” with the briny taste of wasabi-infused tobiko which enhances not only the taste but the presentation. Another starter, the potato gnocchi accented with pea shoots, tomato confit and an aerated Parmesan nage is a wonderful reprieve from the pesto-laden sauces that often stalk the dumpling. Main courses include a piquant Atlantic cod with Manila clams served atop vermicelli, picholine olives and espelette pepper underscored by a savory broth. The pomegranate-glazed beef short ribs with chestnuts, chanterelles and Swiss chard, however, is a crowning achievement. The affable waitstaff is attentive but not overbearing, always at the ready but respectful of diners’ privacy. Moreover, they are well-versed in both the cuisine from chef Robert Curry and the globetrotting wine list (local wines well-represented too, of course) and how to pair these elements such that each are showcased at their finest. Their recommendations will not disappoint, nor will the evening ambience, which is bolstered by the western setting sun that bathes the valley in amber lightbla
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