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Aug 23, 2006 08:41 PM

Boston 'hound looking for Napa/Sonoma recs

Hi all,

My wife and I will be staying in Napa proper early next week and need to plan some meals. I've done some research and come up with some ideas, but I thought I'd come to the experts...hounds! :)

Here's what I have so far:

Monday dinner: Fig Cafe and Wine Bar in Glen Ellen or the Girl and the Fig in Sonoma

Tuesday dinner: I have 5 [!] that I'm trying to decide between [all in Napa county]:
Angele, Bistro Don Giovanni, Ristorante Allegria, Bouchon, and Mustards Grill. My wife eats fish/seafood but no meat. Any advice here especially would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday lunch: Pizza Azzurro or Zuzu in Napa

Thanks in advance!

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  1. When in Sonoma, I skipped another restaurant to dine @ THE GIRL & THE FIG twice. I enjoyed their tasting flights that accompanied the meal.

    1. My wife and I both really enjoyed Bouchon, as well as Bistro Jeanty:, both in Yountville in Napa County

      In Healdsburg in Sonoma County, we loved Zin ( Ravenous and Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar. Barndiva also generally gets good reviews, (bit edgier less conventional decor and style)

      1. None of the restaurants you mentioned in Napa specialize in sea food. I would go to Don Giovanni where they usually have a special fish of the day plus they usually have salmon which is great. Try to get a seat outside if it is still summer, nice view. Best restaurant in that price range in the valley. IMHO

        1. I adore Bouchon. Great raw bar too for the Mrs.

          And I second Don Giovanni, even though I tend to recommend restaurants out of the city of Napa. I've eaten at Don Giovanni at least 30 times and it's always been good. Love the atmosphere too.

          Terra in St. Helena is just flat out amazing. Especially with fish. Please read the reviews on Chowhound and at --click on Restaurants and enter Terra as your search term.

          Please also search Chowhound for the many comments on Napa'll find the terrain well-covered.

          Personally, I think having lunch outside of the city of Napa
          would be more enjoyable from both a visual and culinary standpoint. The city itself is not part of the verdant, bucolic part of Napa Valley. That begins in Yountville and goes north to Calistoga.

          4 Replies
          1. re: maria lorraine

            "I think having lunch outside of the city of Napa would be more enjoyable from both a visual and culinary standpoint. The city itself is not part of the verdant, bucolic part of Napa Valley."

            Okay, I live in the city of Napa and agree that it will always be the ugly stepsister of the Napa Valley. When I see tourists roaming around downtown I think they must have a bad travel agent. Not really. But there is great food here and it is pretty darn bucolic. Pilar, Pilar, Pilar, Angele, and Zuzu would be my picks, in that order. The view from the patio at Angele is good if the tide is in ;) Julia's Kitchen would be another to consider for lovely surroundings/gardens.

            To the OP: For Wednesday lunch choosing between Pizza Azzurro and Zuzu depends on what you want. Pizza Azzurro is very casual, great thin pizzas and my favorite "manciatta" spinach salad on flatbread. Zuzu is much more chic (and expensive) and I always think it is fun and romantic to eat off shared plates.

            Is Ristorante Allegria the place on 2nd near Main? If so, skip it. If you need Italian food, and who doesn't, go with Don Giovanni or the more casual locals favorite, Uva (on Clinton downtown).

            Glen Ellen is a bit of a haul on winding roads if you are staying in Napa. Sonoma is quite a bit closer.

            1. re: Junie D

              Just remembered that Allegria is on First in the old bank building - don't know anything about it but it reminds me that nv is right next door. A couple of nv threads:



              1. re: Junie D

                I was there on Saturday with some girl friends and we have a GREAT meal at Ristorante Allegria. We started with the calamari, some got salads, some got the lentil soup. I had the pappardelle with prawns and mushrooms in a shrimp bisque. Dessert was an apple berry crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. I'm still thinking about that meal. So yummy!

                1. re: aloha810

                  Thanks for the report.

                  Ristorante Allegria
                  1026 First Street, Napa, CA 94559

          2. My favorite spots in the town of Napa: 1. ZuZu 2. Pilar 3. Angele.