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May 3, 2009 07:22 PM

Napa trip musts

My girlfriend and I will be going to Napa for a 5 days. I searched the past posts but still need more updated recs for wineries and restaurants.Ive been to the wineries twice before but the only one I ate in was Chandon, which had OK food. Thier sparking rose I really liked.
I need recs for lunch and dinners, breakfast will probably be at the hotel which is in town of Napa. I'm open to breakfast elsewhere if it's really exceptional.
-- French Laundry is fully booked according to Open Table so I need a good 2nd choice.
Ive read reviews on Cyrus, Redd, I've been to Bouchon in LV and wasnt impressed.
I know Friday nite reservations will be touch so I'd like a fairly easy place to get into, perhaps Angele.
I'm not sure how driving at night is from Napa to Yountville or St Helena where it seems most of the best restaurants are. Also, I'm wondering if there are any good tapas style ( spanish, french , asian) restaurants in Napa Valley.
I definitley want good wines, but also want good photo ops. I;m not sure whether to base it on wines I like since those wineries might not be visitor friendly. And there are so many wines I havent tried. I would liek to go to Sonoma, Napa, and Healdsberg areas.
Wines i like are Montelena, Mt Veeder, Chappellet, Duckhorn, Tedeschi, Rabbit Ridge, Chalone, Stags Leap, Joseph Phelps, I'd like to try some Rieslings and some dessert wines also ,,, and Frog Leap's website is the cutest so I want to go there.
Please give your recs on which restaurants and wineries are a must to see. Also is the Wine Train a good "must"

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      1. Martini House and Restaurant Terra are very good Restaurants as well. They are in St. Helena. Bottega Napa Valley is nice, this is Chef Chiarello's new Restaurant and is doing well this is in Yountville.
        Pay a visit to Hess Winery. Frank Family Vineyards is one of my favorites and Rombauer Vineyards. I also enjoy Caymus and Cakebread Vineyards.

        The Royal Oaks Restaurant inside at the Silverado Resort is very very good. We usually stay there.

        1. Ad Hoc for Dinner is excellent - and regarding TFL, they only offer a few spots on Open Table - call them.

          Swing by the Oxbow Market while you're there and try a couple chocolates at Annette's and a Chocolate Velvet Cupcake from Kara's.

          I had a great lunch/appetizers at Bistro Jeanty - the most affordable-for-its-quality Foie Gras I've had in a while.

          3 Replies
          1. re: uhockey

            I don't remember seeing a mention of Annette's in any of your prior posts -- what did you like there? I've tried most of their line, and have found a couple of things that are excellent (the apricot chocolate and the fiery beer brittle) and the rest pretty ho-hum (i.e., similar style to See's but not as good).

            I would have thought that Woodhouse Chocolates in St. Helena would be more "uhockey style."

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Dark Chocolate covered Honey Comb. :-)
              The Fleur de Sel was pretty average.

              1. re: uhockey

                Thanks. I'll remember to try the dark chocolate honeycomb next time I'm there.

          2. The drive to Yountville to/from Napa is very easy - 10 minutes. St. Helena isn't difficult, but it is a bit further.

            Restaurants I would consider in Napa - Bounty Hunter (casual, wine bar with tasty BBQ), Ubuntu (fabulous, don't miss), Pizzeria Azzuro.

            Further North, I'd highly recommend Ad Hoc and Redd in Yountville, and Cook in St. Helena.

            If you're looking for an alternative to French Laundry, I'd recommend Cyrus, but it's a long drive from Napa. Redd is much closer and has a 5-course tasting menu.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cyberroo

              thanks everyone ,,, booked redd, and ad hoc , and booked a wine tour with platypus.
              I'll proably go to Chapplellet on my own if possible they said they dont normall y go there.
              I'll call french Laundry and see if they have openings,,, Cyrus too far to drive for me at nite with wine in me. Not sure how Auberge de Soleil is ,,or Toque ( im staying at the westin) ,,,,i also booked Element , since its small dishes and we like that. thanks again,,i'm leaving in a few hours

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Oh man, if you check back during your trip, I didn't realize you were at the Westin. The breakfast there sucks big time. Way overpriced hotel food. They use Ken Frank's name but it is pretty obvious he came up with a dish or two and that is about his involvement. If my name was used like that either I'd get more involved or insist they didn't use my name.

                Here's a list of Napa breakfast places.

                Boon Fly very good. Alexis Baking always gets lots of recs. Brix has a very nice weekend breakfast. They also have one of the best happy hours in the valley. Click on the restuarant name and you will see reports. Soscol Cafe is the ultimate dive with an interesting pedigree.

                Definately check out Oxbow which is nearby. Another vote that Ubuntu is a must. try.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  If you're looking for another upscale option, check out Meadowood.