Why the Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the perfect dinner date.
Look, I know what you’re thinking: Sauté focuses on the finer aspects of eating, drinking and the best places to do both. So why are we suddenly talking about high-end cars? Well, the answer is really quite simple if you merely dig a little deeper into the meaning of our purpose. The goal of Sauté is to help our readers “taste the good life.” My belief is that this encases the entirety of a dining experience from start to finish, and for my money, I can think of no better way to start an evening of frivolities than by getting behind the wheel of the 2019 Aston Martin DB11 AMR Coupe.
The great British Chef Marco Pierre White described that how a diner “feels” is what is most important. Service and food matter, yes, but if you are not comfortable in your surroundings, you’ll never enjoy yourself. If we are honest with ourselves, though, this sensation begins long before you take your seat at the table. If you fly to an exotic island tomorrow but have a horrid travel experience in antiquated modes of transport, then the experience already has a sour note to it. Travelling, not just well but in the timeless grace, beauty and civility that only Aston Martin can deliver, is sublime and key to enjoying any occasion. Let’s not kid ourselves, though — this is a DB11 AMR in a particularly staggeringly Elwood Blue. Where do you take such a feat of engineering? As we’ve established, Sauté is well-versed in the finer points of food and drink, so let’s do this properly.
Before we lay out a destination, let’s talk about what makes this Aston Martin so special. You probably think any Aston will do – after all, it is the brand most synonymous with British elegance, sophistication and performance. While other automotive manufacturers have their respective portfolios of luxury and supercar prowess to peruse, there is something about Aston Martins that stand apart. I would say you can’t put your finger on it, but that would be romantic hyperbole because when you do push that starter button, and the 630hp 5.2L twin turbo V12 engine comes to life, it is impossible not to feel the hairs on the back of your neck rise up with anticipation and excitement. And, yes, 630hp is a lot, but with the beautiful 8-speed automatic transmission, the power is completely manageable no matter the road. In fact, leave the car in GT mode, and you can just glide along the coast until you realize you’ve accidently ended up in Pebble Beach.
Put the powertrain into Sport, or Sport+ if you are feeling very brave, and prepare to be astonished. Putting your foot down to the floor now will result in there simply being a thin outline of you in the air from where you used to be. Think Wile E. Coyote, but he is also partial to Tom Ford suits, and you get the idea of the power. No matter which mode you choose to travel in, you will be doing so surrounded by luxury and style beyond words. Every aspect of your driving experience has been curated by the design teams at Aston Martin to cater to the driver’s every need. For such a powerful coupe, you feel secure, safe and relaxed. Even something as simple as backing into a parking space has been handcrafted to come with ease, thanks to the 360 degree camera with surrounding sensors. This system in the DB11 AMR gives you a fully rendered view of the car and your surroundings, which is good, since you’ll want to take a moment to catch your breath after the exhilaration of a drive like this.
Even parked, the DB11 AMR stands apart. I will admit my bias as a lifelong fan of Aston Martin’s cars. The design evokes some primal admiration in me and stirs my heart to a degree that very few cars do. They are classic, stylish and, I believe, hold their own as quite possibly the most elegant cars on the market. As beautiful as the interior is, when you drive a car like this — particularly in a color that looks like it was handpicked from the skyline of a sun-setting Newport Coast — you are sharing beauty with the world. You are inspiring imagination and joy for young children walking the sidewalks of Laguna, taking the breath from others who see cars like these only in their dreams, and gleefully shifting through a sea of camera flashes and onlookers through the Newport Beach streams of side streets.
The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is a gift of engineering, design and experience. When you drive it, it is equal parts enjoyment and ecstasy. It is poised, taught and just a bit naughty. It wants you to drive it, and drive it you should, because as I stated earlier, any great meal starts with how you feel. Let me tell you from experience, there is no feeling quite like that of an Aston Martin DB11 AMR. With three selectable powertrain options for that V12 engine, just where are you and your date for the evening off to? Well, here are three of the places I would go to wine and dine in my DB11:
Sport mode in Southern California will be truncated by red lights, so let’s keep things local, shall we? Just enough driving to let the engine fly with flirtatious abandon before arriving at our destination. Sport mode is for when the car will be heard, and you will be seen. So, we need a restaurant that has been custom tailored to this mentality. If a night on the town is what you crave, then let the sinfully wonderful CdM in Costa Mesa be you and your Aston Martin’s destination for the evening.
Long Distance Option: You want to open the tap a little more with sport mode and really go all out? Blast up to Catch L.A. for a night out you will never forget.
This is synonymous with long, comfortable, scenic blasts up coastlines and through desert straits alike. It’s OK to settle down for the long haul, gently squeezing your partner’s hand in both security and excitement with every change of the gears as you coast along. Take a comfortable trip outside of your comfort zone and slide into the “snug” at Fable & Spirit in Newport for an intimate evening surrounded by relaxing beauty and flavor.
Long Distance Option: Let out the “grand” in Grand Touring mode and take a weekend with a beautiful blast up California to the impeccable Single Thread. Just make those reservations in advance.
Feeling frisky, are we? Speed, relentlessness, power and just a dash of arrogance are on the menu here with the Sport+ setting. A hint of grandeur mixed with intoxicating engineering calls for a meal that is equal parts excess and skillful execution. But let’s not muck about here, Sport+ is about holding nothing back. So, if its local dining you’re after, then have a group of friends meet you at Vaca in Costa Mesa. Loud, proud and unrelenting in the flavor of the food and the presentation — Amar Santana’s team holds nothing back.
Long Distance Option: Las Vegas seems emotionally appropriate for a Sport+ type of trip, but I would need medical clearance before I suggest keeping your adrenaline that high for that long of a drive – so Crustacean in Beverly Hills will suffice, believe you me.
7776 East Coast Hwy // Newport Beach, CA 92657