A great restaurant table for two is always a spectacular find. At least, THESTREET.COM thinks so.
A couple having a romantic night out might want a secluded table for privacy's sake, while another couple celebrating a birthday or anniversary might want to be seated in the center of the action -- but without feeling shoehorned-in.
Here are 10 places, in six countries, that do tables for two right.
Bella Vista, Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, Santa Barbara
1260 Channel Dr., Santa Barbara, Calif. Tel: 805.969.2261
Bella Vista, the fine-dining restaurant in this lavishly restored 1920s resort, is one of a handful of spots that does not have a bad table for two. The outside patio, overlooking the endearingly named Butterfly Beach, can get crowded, but seating indoors is remarkably private and the wait staff is unobtrusive.
Food is Southern California casual, served fresh and in-season, and there is a decent wine list. Be sure to stroll around the wondrously landscaped grounds, graced with tropical flowers, trees and ferns.
Temple Club, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
29 Ton That Thiep St., District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Tel: 08.829.9244
The Indochine sensibility and dream-of-the-East décor -- wooden shutters, dark-stained wood and rattan furniture, whirling ceiling fans and original art for sale -- make Temple Club a très romantic hideaway. Vietnamese fare, a subtle blend of Asian ingredients and presentation and French accents in the kitchen, is one of the most successful fusion cuisines.
Don't let the nondescript building exterior (it's a former Buddhist temple) put you off. Inside, all is intimate and serene.
The Park, Park Hyatt Hotel, Milan, Italy
1 via Tommasso Grossi, Milan. Tel: 39.02.8821.1234
Sleek and very Continental, located in a gorgeous boutique hotel steps from the Galleria and La Scala, the Park is romantic enough for a honeymoon meal. Seasonal, regional Italian fare is showcased. Stylish black banquettes flank one side of the room, and tables are spaced so a couple can sup there without feeling they're part of a group encounter.
Verses, Hôtel Nelligan, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
106 St. Paul W., Montreal. Tel: 877.788.2040
Be sure to occupy one of the secluded booths in the hip bar before going to the dining room. Verses is tucked away in a lovely boutique hotel, amid the cobblestone and brick of Old Montreal. The restaurant has high ceilings and booths along the wall, affording privacy and room to spread out. The food is robust without being heavy and flavorful without relying on rich sauces and fussy combinations.
Terra, St. Helena, California
1345 Railroad Ave., St.Helena, Calif. Tel: 707.963.8931
Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley wine country in a stone-walled 19th-century building, Terra has been a culinary destination since it opened in the 1990s.
You can, paradoxically, feel like you're alone in this very popular, Michelin-starred place, which specializes in skillfully prepared California-Japanese fusion food such as broiled, sake-marinated Alaska black cod.
Spoon by Alain Ducasse, Hotel InterContinental, Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: 852.2721
Perhaps half a dozen cityscapes in the world match the glamour of Hong Kong harbor and Victoria Peak -- both of which are on display from this elegant waterfront restaurant.
Combine the view with French chef Ducasse's classical French food, and you have got an affair to remember. Hong Kong is one of the world's great food towns, but few of its bustling eateries are places for quiet conversation; Spoon can provide that.
Just St. James, London
12 St. James' St., London SW1. Tel: 020.7976.2222
There's nothing like a historic London bank building: It is stolid, eternal. It's just so with Just St. James, a "modern British'' place in a high-ceilinged converted bank, a quick jaunt away from Piccadilly and all of central London.
There are tables for two with good views of the dining room and the happening bar and spacing is sufficient to ensure some privacy. Try the Cumbrian lamb with leeks.
The Dining Room, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Francisco, California
600 Stockton St. at California Street, San Francisco, Calif. Tel: 415.296.7465
Embedded in a dazzlingly white hilltop building fronted by dignified columns and classical frieze, the Dining Room serves modern French cuisine with Japanese influences and employs a correct, attentive staff: They never hover, but they're always there when you want them. Tables for two are plentiful but not clustered, so you're not forced to overhear every syllable from the next table.
Chef Ron Siegel was the first non-Japanese to win Japan's televised Iron Chef competition. The wine list measures up to Siegel's sophisticated food.
Brown's Beach House, Fairmont Orchid Hotel, Big Island, Hawaii
1 N. Kaniku Dr., Kahala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii. Tel: 808.885.2000
When big-city dining becomes a bit rushed or stuffy, a place to wiggle your toes in the sand, listen to the trade winds rustle in the palms and dine to the light of tiki torches could be just the ticket.
Oh, there's a hula dancer, too.
The tables are well-spaced and big, and servers strike a good balance between laid-back and attentive -- something many restaurants in Hawaii have yet to learn. The food is beach-casual, with fresh seafood, fruit drinks and subtly powerful mai tais.
Seagrille, Brentwood Lodge and Spa, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
849 Verdier Ave., Brentwood Bay, B.C., Canada. Tel: 888.544.2079
The place to sit in the warm months at this beautifully situated resort on Vancouver Island is outside on the expansive deck. The deck overlooks a lush, temperate rainforest and expanse of water; if you're lucky, you can glimpse bald eagles riding the air currents.
Fresh Northwestern food adorns the menu, and polished, assertive British Columbia wines -- the reds can be very good, and match up well with the food. Service is casual but professional.