(Posted by: DaleR on 08-20-2008 @ 7:23 PM)
A group of 6 of us, family and friends, stopped in for lunch on a Friday around 1:30, without a reservation.
In a nutshell, the atmosphere, service and views were impeccable. The food was not.
Two in our group wanted to try Auberge. The pourer at our Peju winery stop mentioned that it was he and his wife's favorite Valley restaurant. He added that while most want to sit outdoors on the deck to enjoy the views, that in his opinion sitting inside near a window was at least as pleasant.
Upon arriving, we were pleased to find they offered free valet parking. Appreciated, even though the lot was fairly empty and at the time we were there we easily could have parked ourselves only steps from the door.
We started inside (the bistro room, not the fine dining room), and moved outside once a larger table was ready.
To me, sitting outside was indeed worth the wait (and I'm not usually one to wait!). Even though it was nearing 100 degrees outside, the slatted roof over the deck and breezy conditions made the heat a non-issue.
The atmosphere in general was beyond reproach, inside and out. Gorgeous. Even the restrooms were spotless.
The service was first rate, right down to someone waiting to open the door whenever a diner approached.
Our sole but noteworthy criticism, all 6 of us, was the food itself. While not bad, it was certainly nothing special. For the hefty prices, I'd have expected more originality, subtlety, and freshness. Again, nothing was bad. In fact most of it was good. It's just that I've had better food for half the price. This alone prevents me from wholeheartedly recommending this restaurant.
Overall, worth trying if you're so inclined and you can afford it, but I suspect there are better options out there, particularly if the food itself is your top priority.