4 Nights In Napa Valley.....What About Calistoga.....
I'm staying 4 nights @ Meadwood Resort with my wife for our 25th anniversary celebration. We have been to NV twice but only for 1/2 nights each time. I remember going to Calistoga but don't recall a lot. Would it be worth the drive up to visit and where should we have lunch. I know we will spend time in Yountville and St. Helena.
Calistoga is only about a 20 minute drive from Meadowood and it's a beautiful drive up there on the Silverado Trail. Brannan's is a nice lunch spot--at least it was a couple of years ago. All Seasons cafe was also on the A list but I'm not sure it's open at lunch. The outside patio at Calistoga Inn is nice and the food is OK.
Calistoga is such a fun place to visit. A new and beautiful resort opened just a few months ago, which is called Solage. Their restaurant is Solbar and it's lovely and delicious. It's located on the Silverado Trail. I highly recommend it if you want a lovely dining experience again, whether it be for lunch or dinner at this restaurant.
Calistoga resident here...my favorite, by far, is The Wappo Grill. Wonderful patio.
Also, there are many great restos in St. Helena that you should try. Terra is my
favorite in all of Napa Valley; my other favorite is Martine House -- these are both in St. Helena. I also like Taylor's Refresher for a casual lunch,
and love Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen for a casual dinner. The Restaurant at Meadowood has been getting good reviews also, even though they recently changed chefs. Please do a search for St. Helena and Yountville too. You may like Redd resto in Yountville also.
The concierge at Mwood will be very helpful in arranging winery visits, and food reservations, but it's probably be good to get something on the books now.
I agree with Cindy's Backstreet kitchen and Taylor's has great burgers. My favorite has always been Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, I dream about their tomato soup..
This may or may not suit your fancy: We visit Calistoga at least twice a year and stay at the Calistoga Spa (the spa is also open to public with various fees for various services). We enjoy the pools, particularly the large Jacuzzi type and I always get a massage (though over the years I've seen price go from about 2/3 of SF's average to 1/3 above). Most or all of the hotels-cum-spas offer their mud baths and other services to non-guests; there is also one or two free-standing places that offer various spa services.
Ever since Catahoula closed, there has not been any place we wanted to eat. We now plan dinners in one of the restaurant-worthy towns south of Calistoga. We've tried most of the places in Calistoga and, of course, peruse menus each time upon arrival. They tend toward the mundane, with little of the emphasis on local, fresh, seasonal, etc., one finds at many of the Valley's more estimed places.(Also, I watched in dismay as a busboy at Calistoga Inn lost control of the basket of bread he was bringing us, juggled it, and put his hands all over the morsels, then--instead of replacing the bread, as common sense and the law require--plopped the basket down in front of us. One couldn't help wondering what basics of hygiene they broke in the kitchen if they were so cavalier under public scrutiny.)
I wrote some time back about the rather shocking reply I received when I asked the maitre d' at Wappo whether he could check if particular dishes contained an ingredient one of us is allergic to. He replied the kitchen crew was entirely Spanish-speaking and he had no way to communicate with any of them. Talk about unforgettable experiences!
We can't even find a decent spot for breakfast any longer: The last time we ate at Sarafornia, the local standby for years, there was a noticeable decline from what were in the past barely acceptable norms. The coffee house across the street serves food but has no true cooking facilities: The ambiance is pleasant, but by late morning one is often stuck with a choice among the variety of tutty-fruity bagels that have bastardized the original in recent years, which they offer with a straight face. I love Calistoga and wish I were the bearer of better news.
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
It's too bad if Calistoga isn't offering all it could, because it has, to my mind at least, a huge advantage in not being right along the highway. The trucks going through St. Helena a couple of feet from the sidewalk produce enough smog to choke you. In Calistoga you can wander around relatively peacefully. There's that little Sharpsteen museum there-- it's the kind of place where the volunteers will tell you stories of the olden days of silver mines and stage coach robberies.