3 days in Napa....10 year wedding anniversary
I would love some help with my itinerary in the napa area.....my husband and i are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary and it is our first time to Napa. We are huge foodies but not necessarily French food lovers....or i should say we do not eat french food often. we prefer italian or fresh, local ingredient restaurants that combing flavors in an inventive way
so far we are thinking
-La toque (for the night of our anniversary)
-Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant (this was recommended to us but is not at all on my list of contenders...opinions?)
sunday brunch at either Brix or Ad Hoc
I really wanted to check out Terra, girl and the fig, and perhaps Cafe la Haye
I wasn't sure if i should do terra, ad hoc, or cyrus for dinner and have lunch at redd rather than at greystone
any help would be greatly appreciated!
We were two couples visiting Napa/Sonoma in mid-August. We had a fabulous dinner at Bottega ... REALLY good food. Michael Chiarello was cooking and did a few passes through the dining rooms. Our waiter was fun, friendly, knowledgeable.
We had to wait approx. 20 min. for our reserved table ... the hostess brought us champagne flutes with Proseco ... very nice.
My husband ordered the chocolate cake that takes 25 min. to prepare ... we had all finished ou entrees and were waiting on the cake ... our waiter brought us more bubbly on the house. Again ... very nice. Can highly recommend the lamb chops, the gnocchi, and I had a really interesting salad of matchstick snap peas, raw sweet corn, some sort of nuts and a lemony vinigrette ... really tasty.
We also had a nice dinner at The Eldorado Kitchen. I wasn't expecting much (don't know why) but we sat outside on the interior courtyard by the swimming pool and the evening was very warm (had been in the high 90' during the day) plus there was a fabulous sunset and a warm breeze (cute lights strung overhead as well). The service wasn't as professional as you might want (empty bottle of beer left sitting at the edge of the table until I lifted it and handed it to someone rushing by) but the food was very good. Two of us had a gazpacho with prawns ... really good. I had a dozen oysters ... delish and nicely presented. As we went on a Wednesday night it was half price wine ... we had two bottles of Lazy Creek riesling for $25 each.
A few notes:
- I'd swap Redd to a lunch and Ubuntu to a dinner. I think these 2 restaurants are better at these mealtimes.
- If you're staying in Napa, then the drive to Sonoma is quite easy for dinner - we do the reverse all the time. There is some construction on 121, but it's nothing that you need to avoid - at the worst, it'll cause a 10 minute delay. Girl and the Fig is nice, but it's pretty definitely French - ask to sit on the patio if you go. Cafe La Haye has a new chef and I haven't heard much since the change.
- Cyrus is a long haul from anywhere in Napa County.
- Personally, I really like Ad Hoc, but I haven't been for brunch.
- I also like Bouchon - part of it is certainly the "cult of Keller" factor, but I eat a lot of baked goods and some of their stuff is fantastic.
You'll have a great trip - enjoy the planning and the visit.
If you like Italian then Bistro Don Giavanni is a Napa mainstay and has a nice more casual atmosphere.
My wife and I loved Ad Hoc...the food was simple but delicious and the atmosphere suited our style.
Auberge is really nice as well on the patio for lunch. Dinner is great as well but a bit more formal.
If you are huge foodies and like inventive cusine with fresh ingredients then The French Laundry fits the bill and is also a special occasion place (should be worthy of a 10th anniversary celebration). Also you might want to check out the restaurant at Meadowood. The baked goods at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville are to die for so you might want to try them out.
You should also be aware that Sonoma and Napa aren't particularly close. If you stay in Napa and eat in Sonoma you will have dimmly lit windy roads you will need to navigate back to your hotel after dinner.
Gee, I'm going to disagree about a lot, primarily the Napa / Sonoma issue with distance. Given the places mentioned, the distance according to Google maps is 16.5 miles taking 28 minutes. That is across 121 one of the straightest fastest roads in the area with the speed limit for much of the stretch 55 mph. I wanted to confirm those numbers since I've driven that route one or two days a week this entire summer. It would be a shame to miss the lovely town of Sonoma
If they were mainly stationed in St. Helena and wanted to go to Healsburg, that would be a different thing and quite the ride.
As to the French Laundry, the OP should read the many reports on the board. It takes a certain type of diner (outside of those blinded by the hype) to appreciate FL. For all that money ... read the reports and see if it is for you.
I'm one of those people that would not return to FL and I'm not a Keller fan in general. There are better bakeries in the area than Bouchon such as Sweetie PIes or Alexis Baking Company.
Lots of positive reports on Meadowood though.
The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
I had a fabulous ... FABULOUS .. brunch yesterday at Brix. Do NOT pass this up. I should post about it tomorrow ... FABULOUS.
If you are going into Sonoma for girl and the fig or Cafe La Haye, you might instead consider Fremont Diner (lunch). It is in a lovely vineyard and the food is great.