I was given dinner for 2 at any restaurant in North America as a Christmas gift. This is pretty much the best gift ever, and I don't want to make a selection lightly. So I'm looking for votes for the most sublime eating experience people have had in North America. While a good destination is preferable, it is not critical.
As for destinations, I'm looking for restaurants that are *not* in New York City, Washington, DC, or Chicago. I live in or frequently visit these places so don't want to use the gift on places I would go anyway.
My first thought was French Laundry, where I've never been. I loved Per Se but am not sure whether there would be too much overlap in the experiences. I've also heard fabulous things about Hastings House on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver.
Please, don't let me make a mistake. Tell me about the meals that made your heart sing.