L.A. Chowers Looking for Napa Lunch Recommendations
Greetings, Bay Rea Chowhounds! My wife and I are going up to Napa Valley from L.A. for the day for our anniversary next month. She's a private chef and cooking instructor who's going to be taking some courses at C.I.A. in the fall, and we're going up there to look at the place.
Since we're not going to French Laundry (too expensive), do any Chowers have any recommendations for lunch in Napa or the surroundings (we'll just be up there for the day)? What have your experiences been like?
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We've eated several times at Angele in Napa - it's located in the same complex as Celadon and Sweetie Pie's (two more stops to make) at 540 Main St. Great desserts...the dining room looks like an old barn in Provence and there's a nice terrace available also.
Mustard's has always been good for lunch, IMHO. I go there twice a month or so (last Friday being the most recent time). Auberge du Soleil is also wonderful, even if only for drinks/snacks/dessert. The patio there is glorious this time of year!
If you really want to do a Thomas Keller restaurant you can go for Bouchon just down the street from French Laundry. Tables are too close together- but the food is fine. I like Bistro Jeanty just a bit farther down the road from there (all in Yountville). I took a critical food writing class at CIA at Greystone the first year they opened-- it is a beautiful setting-- your wife will definitely enjoy it!
I'd suggest Pilar in downtown Napa for a very personal cooking style. The lunch menu has many interesting things to choose from, unlike other places that save their best for the dinner hour. Here's a link to my lunch post from last month -
Ms. Sanchez was the executive chef at Greystone @ the CIA before opening her own place. Her husband and cooking partner was executive chef at Meadowood.
It's on the same block as Zuzu and less than two blocks away from Celadon and Angele. So it would be easy to park once, then stroll around to take a look at each of the restaurants and their menus before deciding where to eat.
I like Bistro Jeanty a lot, but it's classic bistro food. And, while done well, why not take advantage of the unique things that you can find in this area.