The fundamentals are covered: first-rate cuisine, attentive yet unobtrusive service, and subdued lighting that's perfect for stolen glances. But a great romantic restaurant must be more than an appetizing and aesthetically pleasing way station between the front porch and the boudoir. It ought to be a place where love itself is manifest in every dish. If passion breeds passion, then the consummate devotion of Auriga's eminently skilled team of owner-chefs ought to inspire even the most disaffected dater to Cyranoesque heights. Their ardor is not loud or boastful, jealous or insistent: Unlike so many of the Twin Cities' stuffier impress-your-steady standbys, Auriga expresses its brand of amore in courses that are ready to be digested by the time the clock strikes nookie. From the delicately tangled greens to the ogler-friendly organic legumes, the carefully caressed cuts of flesh to wholly unafraid-of-commitment specialty sauces, it's clear this is no one-night stand.


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