Napa/Sonoma for special occasion
I will be visiting Sonoma and Napa for a special occasion - my wife and my first trip away from our children since they were born 10 years ago. I have reservations at French Laundry. I have not visited the area for about 15 years, so I am looking for other special occasion restaurants. I am also looking for winery suggestions. Thank you.
Good job getting a The French Laundry reservation to suit your trip time frame. That's no small feat, if on a weekend. My favorite restaurant other than The French Laundry in the Napa Valley is Redd, also in Yountville, very good one Michelin starred restaurant, actually a great value for what you get. Other great "special occasion"/romantic restaurants in the area include Cyrus in Healdsburg, The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Terra in St. Helena, the Auberge du Soleil Restaurant in Rutherford, and Domaine Chandon Etoile in Yountville.
Those are good places to start, and then you can do some searches on the wineries that look interesting to you. Cyrus is definitely another special occasion to look into.
congratulations on your trip:
For me, lunch is a wonderful thing too often overlooked. Don't need reservations most of the time. Offers great taste with better value. Recommend:
* Redd Yountville on the patio: terrific bargain for delicious food. Petrale sole with chorizo, clams and saffron foam is a must.
* Mustard's: onion rings and/or calamari salad to share followed by pork chop or duck. Napa Valley original.
* Taylor's Refresher: ahi burger with sweet potato fries. Beer or shake, to your taste.
* Go Fish: spicy shrimp starter with crab louis salad. Sushi if you prefer.
* Ubuntu: Fri-Sun. for lunch. Still fresh, unusual and delicious.
* Cook in St. Helena: honest, straightforward Italian-influenced Calif food. Love the counter with its bread and olive oil while you peruse the menu.
* La Luna: local Mexican fare in Rutherford grocery store. Order in the back, pay in the front and eat just outside overlooking the vineyards. Not nouvelle, but authentic and delicious.
I love the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma. Deserving of its Michelin star and quite romantic without being pretentious.