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Jan 27, 2009 01:30 PM

Private group of 11 in Calistoga or St. Helena

We are staying with a group of friends in Calistoga at the end of April. I thought it would be fun on the first night to get a private room at a mid-priced restaurant (main courses in teen or 20s) at a restaurant in Calistoga or even St. Helena that serves contemporary American or similar food. We can get a little loud as we don't see each other very often (and everyone seems to be talking at once) so I thought a separate room at a restaurant might be a good thing. My ideal would be an intimate wine-lined library--hey, I can dream. Any thoughts? We could go even further south if we need to as we have a designated driver.

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  1. Bennigan's should fit the bill -- in Calistoga, can handle loud, rowdy groups, and have great food in your price range.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Carrie 218

      Actually, I think we're looking for a lot better food than that and not a chain. We're not rowdy (all in our mid 40s to mid 60s), just talkative loud.

      1. re: mousse

        It is not a chain. It just happens to have a similar name that that chain which has now closed down (and this one has been open at least a decade, I believe, so it has survived the test of time in an area where many restaurants do not last more than two years). The one in Calistoga has an entirely different menu than what was served at the chain. At least walk by it and peer in -- I think you'll be surprised.

        1. re: Carrie 218

          The name of the restaurant is Brannan's. I'd like to be able to recommend Brannan's, but I can't, and I live in Calistoga so I've tried the place many times. Dishes are inconsistent or just plain poorly executed. It's so disappointing to have a dish that's pretty good on one occasion, and the same dish is god-awful on another occasion.

          As to other restaurants in Calistoga, there is All Seasons, on the upswing again, but no private dining area for a group of which I know. Flatiron is so-so as is Calistoga Inn.

          In St. Helena, I'm at a bit of a loss also, though the upstairs at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen might work well, and I love Cindy's food. Farther south is Brix, and the back room is quite nice.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Wow - thanks for setting me right on the name, ML (I always have a horrible time remembering names). So shame it has taken a dive! I used to love their polenta appetizer...

            1. re: maria lorraine


              Brannan's Grill
              1374 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, CA 94515

      2. I'd suggest the back room at Brix, now that Anne Gingrass is in charge. It's a nice private room.

        1. Private dining rooms in the Valley usually come with a significant fee. For example, the smallest private room at Brix seats up to 12, but has a food and beverage minimum of $1200.

          Many restaurants (including Brix) have patio seating that is usually available by late April. Your group may find al fresco dining more fun than a PDR.