Looking for a great meal in wine country
Greetings all -
Can anyone give me the current run-down on great places in wine country? I'll only be there for one full day, and I'm looking for the BEST for both lunch and dinner. I tried to get into French Laundry, and even a month-and-a-half in advance, they were booked. It's just going to be me eating - does anyone know if French Laundry has a bar that a single diner can slip into and enjoy the full menu?
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I realize it's an obvious choice, and that some people think its time is past, but I'm a true believer when it comes to Mustard's in Napa.
See my account of a recent SF trip (including info on Mustard's) at the URL below, and see our "Articles and Special Reports" section for a number of other files on eating in the Bay area
re: Jim Leff
Thanks for the response. I did see your article mentioning Mustard's, and thought that would be a good place to check out for lunch, but I'm wondering about suggestions beyond that and the French Laundry. I noticed Jonathan Gold's 1998 response and wondered if anyone out there knows if Bistro Jeanty is holding up, or if anything new and great has opened in the last year and a half? Thanks....
re: Bill Addison
This past weekend, I was winding down a day of tastings in the wine country. We had some time to kill before heading back to the city and wanted to have a pre-dinner snack. Tried to get in at Mustard's with no reservation (5:30 PM) and were sent to Bouchon as we had specifically indicated that we were looking for oysters.
Bouchon was quite a treat. It's in Yountville, down the street from French Laundry and is actually Joseph Keller's endeavor, brother to French Laundry chef Thomas Keller. Bouchon is a French bistro and an excellent one at that. We were able to get a table for 3 at that time and the place had not yet filled up. It seemed like a good place where a lone diner could have a good meal.
As we were looking for a "snack" we ordered 2 dishes to share and 3 smaller individual ones. To share we ordered their petit plateau of seafood that included a generous amount of 4 varieties of oysters, 3 clams, 9 mussels, one lobster, and 3 jumbo shrimp. Also to share we ordered the cheese plate of which you could have 3 from the very-well selected list. They had an interesting cheese plate menu- some things that were familiar but not necessarily typical.
For individual plates, we ordered the charcuterie (fantastic house-made pate), cauliflower gratin (again, a familiar concept but not typical ingredients), and a salad. This wasn't exactly the snack that we envisioned but it was a great meal.
The food was excellent quality in the French bistro style. The ambience itself was welcoming and inclusive which as a person who often dines alone because of work travel, I look for these things.
In the future, this will definitely be added to my itinerary of the wine tasting jaunt as a very nice way to close out the day. Highly recommend it.