Guide to Napa Valley

June 21, 2010

My Napa Valley friend (the one I have been posting about for a week now) was kind enough to let me post her “Visiting the Napa Valley” list.  There are so many wonderful places in Napa that it can be overwhelming, so it is nice to have a little starting point.  I have been to most of the places with her over the years and they are all wonderful.  Thank you so much Boo.

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RESTAURANTS

Bouchon Bakery – THE best place for coffee and pastries in the morning.  Or if you’re ‘fooded out’ they have a nice light lunch too.

Bouchon – The most fun and lively restaurant in the Valley. Part of the Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry) collection.  The pomme frites are all-world.  Try the the steak, or  Croque Madame.

Auberge du Soleil –It has the best view in the Valley.  Perfect for a drink on the deck

Ad Hoc – This Thomas Keller restaurant is a test kitchen.  It is prix fixe with one set menu each night, so call ahead to find out what they’re serving.

Press – Owned by Leslie Rudd of the Dean & Deluca food group, this spot serves a fantastic cocktail and their bar menu is terrific.

Mustard’s Grill – Nothing fancy, but always delicious.

Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s) – beat burger and fries around.  I talked about it at length in the Napa Style post, so I won’t go all into it again.

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HOTEL/RESTAURANTS

Calistoga Ranch – It’s casual, elegant, has a wonderful sense of place, and the service is extraordinary. (If you’re staying at Auberge you’ll be able to eat here since it’s an Auberge property.)

Solage – Located in Calistoga, this new resort is owned by Auberge and is young, fun and hip.  Each room has bicycles so you can bike into town, the pool is a total scene (think L.A. meets Napa), and the food at the restaurant is quite good.  Oh, and if you have kids they are GRRRREAT about accommodating them.

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WINERIES

Frog’s Leap – Always a favorite – A wonderful spot with a new tasting facility that is unpretentious and fun.

Roud Pond – Located right in Rutherford, their view of the Valley is exquisite.  The winery is beautiful, the wines are great and the staff is knowledgeable.  Round Pond offers many different tastings, even an olive oil tasting with lunch, and all are fun and beautifully done.

Cliff Lede –  The space is beautiful and if you’re in that neck of the woods (Yountville) it would be worth a stop.

Boeschen – A small, family owned winery that recently opened.

Quintessa – Another Rutherford  favorite, but this winery has extensive caves and is a real architectural treat.

Revana - A selection of wines are made at this relatively new winery. . .and each wine is made by an outstanding wine-maker.  They feature big (pricey) Cabernets.

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WINES TO LOOK FOR AT NAPA VALLEY RESTAUARNTS – That You Might Not See Elsewhere:

The Prisoner/Papillon – The wine is sumptuous.

75/ The Sum –of course, my friend’s wine

Acme Fine Wines – If you’re serious about wine, this is the place for serious fun.  A wine store in St. Helena that specializes in small production wines

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2 Responses to “Guide to Napa Valley”

  1. Beth said

    This comes at the perfect time! I’m heading to Napa in a couple weeks for a bachelorette party so these recommendations will come in handy! I LOVE the Prisoner and Quintessa is a favorite too. Thanks for the guide!

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