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May 11, 2009 02:34 PM

Casual Restaurant in Yountville

We're going to be in Napa for a weekend in August. We already have reservations at Redd for one night. I'm looking for a more casual place for the other night. Some place with good food and wine, but a bit more relaxed and laid back.

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  1. Hello, from an ex-Napa Valley resident... Bistro Jeanty is tons of fun, it's a block from Redd. It's French Bistro food, sometimes that requires an adventurous spirit for we Americans. It's very casual and the front room and bar area is really fun. They also have a nice deck.

    If you are willing to travel to Napa from Yountville I suggest ZuZu. It's a wonderful tapas bar. Very relaxed, great ambience, affordable wines.

    If you're in St. Helena and looking for good food go to Cook. Hands down the best food in a casual environment. Small, intimate, all hand-made food. The owner oversees all dishes going out. You would need a reservation there as the locals love it.

    Hope you have fun!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Eat Like Athena

      How far from Yountville would you say ZuZu is?

      1. re: Jake Barnes

        It's about 15 minutes south on hwy 29. It's in the middle of downtown Napa. Here is their web site...

        One way streets in Napa can make it difficult so here is the easy way to get there...

        From Yountville, get on hwy 29 going south. Get off on Lincoln. Go east a couple of miles to Soscol. Go right on Soscol. Go about a mile or so. Take a right on 1st st. Go over the bridge. You will see The Bounty Hunter on your left (another locals hotspot). Go left at the light, Main St. It is 2 blocks down on your right.

        Another great restaurant is Angele. It's so charming, French Provencal. It's walking distance from ZuZu. They have a nice bar. ZuZu stays open later so if you have the time go to Angele first for a glass of wine then head over to ZuZu for dinner and ... more wine of course!

        Not to overwhelm you but... Ubuntu is also within walking distance and they have been written up in tons of magazine. Very avant-garde vegetarian cuisine. Great place for a glass of wine too.

        Hope you enjoy. They are great places!

        1. re: Eat Like Athena

          Thanks for the help. I was actually looking for some place within walking distance from our hotel in Yountville. I was hoping not to have to drive much at night. Any suggestions?

          1. re: Jake Barnes

            Hi Jake,
            Walking distance from your hotel...I've eaten at them all many, many times. Ad Hoc is good but really crowded on weekends, you'd def need reservations and you would have to be okay with whatever they are serving as it is one menu only.
            Michael Chiarello's Bottega has a great bar area and a deck.
            Bouchon Bistro is cute but again you'd need reservations unless you sit at the bar and there are only about 10 barstools. They have a great raw bar. The salmon rillettes is my favorite thing on their menu.
            Avoid Hurley's. You'll see it. That place is never full for a reason!
            Happy dining.

    2. Personally, I'd recommend Ad Hoc. It's a bit of a "risk" in that you won't know what the menu is until that day, and it's not necessarily casual by the usual standards, but relative to Redd, it's pretty casual, and the food has been delicious every time I've been.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cyberroo

        Yup. I'd agree with that. Ad Hoc.

        Also in Yountville and easy walking: The mussels and frites, and the entire raw bar (fresh oysters, crab, shrimp -- all artfully executed) are great at Bouchon but -- IMPORTANT -- sit at the bar. The table service area truly sucks. The tomato soup with the puff pastry dome at Bistro Jeanty is legendary, as is the cassoulet, and several other French standards.

      2. You could go to Ubuntu. They're actually very friendly and I saw several families just dropping in for some pizza. (They also serve coincidentally amazing vegetarian food--and I'm normally a meat eater.)

        1. Like others on this thread, I'd say check out Ad Hoc. The spot gives you a relaxed vibe. My last trip here was on Valentine's Day and it was amazing. The food and service was excellent. Like Cyberroo said, you won't know what is on the menu until the day of service, but it adds to the feeling of excitement and mystery. Here are some pictures that I've taken at Ad Hoc:

          Ad Hoc
          6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

          1. No real casual Relaxed places left in Yountville maybe Pacific Blues or Michael Ciarello's Napa Style store for lunch or grab a sandwich at Bouchon Bakery a glass of wine at Bouchon and sit outside at one of the tables.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mick

              Hi Jake. I'll second Mick's idea of Bouchon bakery if you are truly wanting to go casual. That would be very casual, but with some scrumptious options. They make up wonderful little french baguette sandwiches. And the desserts . . . ! They don't have inside seating at tables, but it would be easy to hoof it somewhere nice like he suggested, and in August you're pretty likely to have nice toasty weather and will be able to find some shade somewhere. I thought the food inside the Napa Style store was pretty good too, but I like Bouchon better.