Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 16, 2009 08:29 AM

Help narrow down anniversary dinner options (Napa Valley)

My husband and I will travelling to Napa for the first time in March for an anniverary trip. We will be staying in Napa. Looking for an anniversary dinner with memorable food (open to whatever kind), great service in an atmosphere that isn't overly stuffy. From researching this board, right now we are looking at Redd, Bouchon, or Ad Hoc but open to other ideas. I think we will be eating at Ubuntu another night while we are there. Can you please help in narrowing down the best option? Thanks for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Bouchon would be pretty crappy for an Anniversary setting. Its loud and casual. I think Redd or would be a nice choice.

    1. I would definitely say Redd and Ad Hoc are good, but just depends on what you are looking for. I personally enjoyed Martini House in St. Helena although it doesn't have as much of a romantic atmosphere as perhaps S-Western, but it is fabulous food - I'm still salivating over the food. Over Redd and Ad Hoc, I would say I like Redd better for romantic. Ad Hoc is just a great place I'd go any day I was in Napa - chalkboard, barstools, family style...

      1. Hands down, I vote for Redd. Food is excellent (and will be very, very memorable) and the service is just wonderful (professional but casual). It's a gorgeous space, but very simple and low-key. Ad Hoc does a great brunch too (so that's an option if you also want to check it out). I've found Bouchon to be okay, but nothing spectacular. For an anniversary dinner, Redd is the best of all three.

        1. I love Ad Hoc, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a special occasion restaurant. In my world, it's a splurge, but a Tuesday night splurge, and it's pretty casual if you're looking for a romantic anniversary dinner.

          I'd vote for Redd.

          1. I don't think Redd is romantic enough for an anniversary dinner. The interior is stark and noisy -- the food is good but you can get that elsewhere. For a romantic setting and wonderful cuisine, I'd look to Martini House, first; Meadowood, second, and possibly Terra as a third. More comments about these restos on the board here, if you'd like to do a search.

            3 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine

              This is excellent advice, though I would rand Meadowood above Martini House - much more elegant food, service and atmosphere.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                It depends on your idea of romantic. My wife and I had a very romantic dinner there. Redd is definitely more sparsely decorated and noisier than some other places. But it is not sparse and noisy in the negative. Redd is a very very nice restaurant with excellent service and top notch food. I highly recommend the tasting menu, which is a lot of fun for a couple. Each of you gets a different dish for each course, so you actually get to taste 10 different plates over your 5 course tasting menu. Redd is fantastic.

                Ad Hoc is way more casual and probably the least romantic of the three the OP lists. I've been there when people are wearing shorts and ballcaps. Food is fantastic, served family style in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Bouchon mimics a French Bistro, and may not be everyone's idea of a special occasion place. It might be a better choice for lunch.

                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                  Finally got to Bouchon yesterday and I vote thumbs down on a special anniversery. Very good food, but if there is a good French bistro where the OP lives, I see no point. Also it is way too casual and way too loud with the tables very close together.

                  The other thing with Ad Hoc to consider is that there is only one set menu. If you don't like it, there's not much you can do about it. If you are there on a Wednesday or Monday, there's the chance that choice will be fried chicken ... if that is your idea of a good special occasion meal. .