With California’s stellar reputation for fine dining, it comes as no surprise that the Golden State is home to a number of restaurants featuring the country’s top-rated wine lists. With award-winning wine selections and, in some cases, on-site cellars, these restaurants pride themselves on offering internationally renowned wines that will pair perfectly with your dinner, no matter what you choose from the menu.
Whether you prefer sipping wine in an elegant palazzo or from the top floor of a luxury hotel overlooking the harbor, you’ll find countless opportunities in California to enjoy your favorite vintage, especially if you like to pair your bottle of wine with a memorable meal in a romantic setting. If you’re taking a trip out West anytime soon, here are three romantic restaurants in California that you’ll definitely want to try.
The Cellar in Fullerton
As a winner of the Grand Award from the prestigious publication “The Wine Spectator,” The Cellar has been listed among the six top-rated restaurants in the world for its wine list, which showcases more than 1,400 wines from all over the world. In addition, The Cellar also boasts a number of exceptionally rare vintages, any of which you can reserve before your meal by emailing the restaurant owner.
In addition to the wines, you can enjoy classic European dishes such as pork tenderloin with bacon in a star anise brine, or lamb osso bucco glazed with lavender honey.
After a dinner like this, you simply must indulge in a lemon or chocolate hazelnut soufflé for dessert. You’ll experience your dinner in a setting that resembles the cellar of an ancient castle, complete with huge fireplaces, arches, and soft-lit chandeliers.
Il Cielo in Beverly Hills
Once you step inside Il Cielo’s magnificent palazzo-like dining room, you’ll understand why enthusiasts and critics call it the most romantic restaurant in the Los Angeles area. Il Cielo boasts a compact wine list that concentrates on quality rather than quantity.
You’ll find wines ranging from Dom Perignon champagnes to a carefully chosen selection of Italian and domestic reds and whites, including several distinguished reds by Barolo and Barbaresco as well as whites from the cellars of Brunello di Montalcino and Tenuta San Guido.
The menu harkens back to the owner’s roots in Tuscany. You’ll find dishes such as homemade porcini mushroom ravioli with butternut squash and salmon rosettes with champagne tarragon sauce. Desserts include homemade gelato and, of course, tiramisu. You’ll dine in a magnificent setting reminiscent of an Italian palace, complete with a lit garden perfect for after-dinner strolling.
The Sky Room in Long Beach
Located atop the Breakers Hotel, the Sky Room offers a classic Art Deco ambiance with magnificent sky-high views of the waterfront below. Its popular kitchen is enhanced by a superlative, streamlined wine list that includes vintages from France and the U.S., including a Kosta Brown Pinot Noir and a Dominus Cabernet Sauvignon. On the less expensive side, you can opt for quality wines such as a French La Croix Bonis Cabernet or a Coquelicot Sauvignon Blanc.
The menu includes entrées such as paella with rabbit or chicken and chorizo, or you can try a luxurious duck confit with walnut bread pudding.
If you’re looking for superb cuisine and distinguished wines all served in an elegant, intimate setting, you’ll find everything you’re searching for when you visit any one of these romantic Californian restaurants.
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