Dancing in the moonlight may make the best song lyric, but dining in the moonlight is just as romantic...and this is the season for it. Whether you're headed to a stunning Maldives island or a Southwest desert on vacation, here are 10 dining experiences that make the most of gorgeous summer nights.
The Vines of Mendoza Resort & Spa
At the Vines of Mendoza winery in Argentina, the Siete Fuegos restaurant welcomes guests to the vineyards for a traditional outdoor asada, grilled with flair by Chef Francis Mallmann. The Vines of Mendoza is opening guest accommodations this October...possibly as a necessary convenience for all the dinner guests who fall asleep by the fire after an excess of Argentina’s famous beef and the winery’s critically acclaimed Malbec.
Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y.
They call it “dining in a lean-to,” but this handsomely rugged indoor-outdoor space at Whiteface Lodge has little in common with the lean-tos we read about in Little House on the Prairie — for one thing, it’s in the Adirondack Mountains. Stay in one of two structures specially designed for guests of this luxury mountain resort, where one can dine, drink wine, and snuggle under the stars year-round.
Turtle Inn, Placencia, Belize
Is it a movie set? Not quite but it is a Coppola property. Masterminded by the famous producer/director Francis Ford Coppola and his family, Turtle Inn is designed to give every guest a night straight out of an Oscar-winning film. There are three Belize properties, each small and exquisite. Restaurants showcase local flavors and the natural beauty of the surroundings — at the Gauguin Grill in Placencia, it’s fresh seafood served in simple baskets, with tables set right on the sand.
320 Ranch, Big Sky, Montana
Now this is roughing it. Only, not really. Big Sky, Montana is certainly cowboy country, but the dude ranches in this part of the West offer a completely idealized version of the cowboy lifestyle — hayrides, sunrise hikes, cookouts under the stars, wine dinners in the saloon. The 320 Steakhouse kicks off its 2013 summer season with a pig roast on June 10, 2013.
Different Pointe of View, Arizona
With its clear skies and year-round warm weather (okay, in summer, downright hot weather), the Arizona desert is ideal for open-air dining...hence the proliferation of choices. Romantic firepit seating and mountaintop setting not pictured, because they come standard with the zip code. What’s special about Defferent Pointe of View is the dessert: liqueur-infused marshmallows that guests can roast over the fire and put between cookies for gooey, decadent grownup s’mores.