2010

Auberge du Soleil Restaurant Review, Rutherford

Posted by Foodnut.com

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Auberge du Soleil

180 Rutherford Hill Road

Rutherford, CA 94573

707-963-1211

Auberge du Soleil Website

Book Reservation

Auberge du Soleil exterior decor

Auberge du Soleil (Inn of the Sun) is a posh resort in the Napa Valley with a Michelin starred restaurant that opened in 1981. Executive Chef Robert Curry, formerly of Domain Chandon and Greystone, serves up Wine country cuisine.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford View 01

Decor, Vibe – Overlooking the lush vines of the Napa Valley near the Silverado trail, Auberge du Soleil has a killer view. Tranquil, peaceful, and lush with birds chirping in the cool breeze blowing. Well-heeled hotel guests and wine/food aficionados from 30s to 60s wearing country club attire were dining at dinnertime.

Menu

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford Menu 08

Signature dishes – Pan Seared Foie Gras With Poached Rhubarb, Baby Fennel And Red Wine Vanilla Jus;  Poached Lobster, Avocado With Brioche And Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette; and Venison Tournedos With Sweet Potato Napoleon, Wild Mushrooms And Huckleberry Sauce.

This resort restaurant also serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They have a 4 course prix fix dinner Menu at $105, $125 tasting menu, vegetarian menu, but I’ll honor a la carte ordering.

Website Auberge du Soleil Menu

Full image set

Picks:
Mojito was minty and strong, but not too sweet.

Amuse Bouche 1 – Pastry puff with goat cheese and topped with a apricot. A delicious combination of flavors and textures.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford cauliflower soup

Amuse Bouche 2 – Warm Cauliflower soup with truffle oil had subtle vegetable flavor and a balance hint of richness.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford hamachi sashimi

Hamachi Sashimi, Slow cooked egg, Hong Kong Vinaigrette was an excellent dish with top-notch fish in a very good lemony sauce that went well with the fish and noodles. Not sure why the vinaigrette was from Hong Kong though.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford sauteed foie gras

Sautéed foie gras from France, chocolate stuffed pain Perdue (French toast), pistachios, cherries was a huge portion of artery clogging goodness cooked perfectly and accented well by the tartness of the cherries and the crunchy pistachios.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford lobster

Maine Lobster ($22) sea beans, basil, tomatoes, watermelon foam was a refreshing and beautiful dish with big chunks of tender lobster sweetened by the watermelon chunks. The foam added a weird watermelon skin flavor to the dish. Tapioca pearls added to the uniqueness.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford wild hopper shrimp risotto

Wild Hopper Shrimp Risotto, Boullabaisse, Parmesan, Rouille was a robustly flavored dish which included some fresh shrimp. Hearty and complex flavors with very good cheese.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford Scottish Salmon

Scottish Salmon, Onion Crust, Spring Vegetables, Fava Bean Sauce had an interesting European origin. The high-quality fish was cooked perfectly and had an excellent crust.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford spiced local Lamb

Spiced Local Lamb, Gnocchi, goat cheese stuffed squash blossom, Bagna Cauda was cooked to our desired medium and possessed a perfect Moroccan spice flavor. The large quantity of Lamb was of high-quality and not gamey. Tempura’d zucchini flowers were crisp while the zucchini below were nubile.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford liberty farms duck

Liberty Farms Duck, Apricot Glaze, Almonds, Fennel, Chamomile included both a perfectly cooked pan seared breast portion and a braised portion. Both provided contrasting ways to highlight the high-quality duck. Tart apricots helped balance out the poultry.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford prime new York beef

Prime New York Beef ($42) Boulangere Potato Gratin, English Peas, Caramelized Shallot Sauce also included two cooking styles. The traditional steak had a nice salt crust. The braised version was very tender and possessed strong flavors from the gravy. Meat quality was definitely in the prime category.

Pre-Dessert blackberry spritzer with whipped cream was on the bland side.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford torte au chocolat

Torte au Chocolat, Hazelnut Dacquoise, Valrhona Guanaja Crémeux, Ice Cold Milk is their signature dessert that they even sell separately. 11 different layers of strong chocolate and nutty goodness washed down with a slightly sweet milk and ice cream.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford Trio of seasonal sorbet

Trio of Seasonal Fruit Sorbets consisted of blackberry, strawberry, and apricot, all laying on thin shortbread. All three were clearly freshly made with the strawberry the most delicate and fruity.

Auberge du Soleil Rutherford petit fours

Petit Fours – chocolates, caramels, candied nuts, and blueberry mini muffins.

Parting gift – Box of 4 fruit gelees.

OK:
None

Pans:
None

Service – Auberge du Soleil had very good service with a very knowledgeable and upbeat waiter that took care of any concern. We never ask for refills, pacing was perfect, and napkins were promptly replaced when someone moved away.

Value – While prices are high, food quality is high and so is food quantity. Comparable restaurants like Gary Danko and Masa’s charge about the same but don’t offer stellar view.

Alternatives – Nearby restaurants of this caliber include The French Laundry and the Restaurant at Meadowood. Etoile at Domain Chandon offers a sample of the relaxed environment at more affordable prices.

Verdict – Auberge du Soleil serves up her legendary view along with some top-notch food, resulting in the restful and fulfilling journey. On a budget, visit their lower-cost bistro and bar. Extensive 79 page wine list with tastes, glasses from $10 and bottles from $30.

Auberge Du Soleil Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Auberge du Soleil Overall Rating: (Excellent 3)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Excellent)
Service Rating: (Very Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Excellent)
Value Rating: (Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full Bar
Attire:Dressy
Hours:Daily 7-11am, Brunch 11:30am - 2:30pm, Mon - Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Daily 5:30-9:30pm
Parking:Complimentary Valet
Reservations:Yes
Prices:$105
Posted on July 28th, 2010
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4 Responses to “Auberge du Soleil Restaurant Review, Rutherford”

  1. New 2011 San Francisco Michelin Guide | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] San Francisco Alexander’s Steakhouse – About time! Ame – San Francisco Applewood Auberge du Soleil – Rutherford Aziza – San Francisco Baumé – Palo Alto Bouchon – Yountville [...]

  2. New Michelin Guide San Francisco 2012 | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] time! Ame – San Francisco Applewood – Guerneville Atelier Crenn – San Francisco Auberge du Soleil – Rutherford Aziza – San Francisco Bouchon – Yountville Boulevard – San [...]

  3. The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] Alternatives – Restaurants similar to The Restaurant at Meadowood include nearby French Laundry of course. If you are on a budget, dine at nearby Redd in Yountville. If you are looking for an awesome view, try nearby Auberge du Soleil. [...]

  4. New Michelin Guide San Francisco 2013 | Foodnut.com Says:

    [...] Spice – San Mateo – Not worthy! Bib gourmand at best Ame – San Francisco Auberge du Soleil – Rutherford Aziza- San Francisco Bouchon – Yountville Boulevard – San Francisco [...]

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