World's Most Romantic Restaurants

by Lexi Dwyer


Where: Ristorante Castello Banfi, Montalcino, Italy

Why Go: No one nails the Tuscan countryside fantasy quite like this decadent hilltop hotel-winery, whose medieval stone fortress dates to the 800s.

A Side of Atmosphere: The dining room, housed in one of the "newer" 17th-century buildings, has only seven tables, making for an incredibly intimate experience. Except for the leafy, frescolike wallpaper, the decor is simple: wooden crossbeams, white tablecloths, enormous fireplace. Windows overlook a rolling patchwork of vineyards backed by the rising cone of Monte Amiata, Italy's second-highest volcano.

Appetite for Seduction: Upstart Guido Haverkock has earned a Michelin star for his exquisite, ingredients-driven cooking: white truffle risotto with pork from heirloom pigs; beef cheeks braised with Brunello; and thick, handmade spaghetti in pigeon and quail sauce. Cap off the epic, seven-course tasting menu with a doppio espresso.

The Hot Seat: The fireplace room may be warmer and livelier, but the back room—which has only two tables—is the better spot for an intimate dinner.

Ristorante Castello Banfi
Sant'Angelo Scalo
Montalcino, Italy
Tel: 39 05 7781 6054

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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