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Dec 13, 2009 05:07 AM

Calistoga recs

going to Caiistoga for 10 days over Christmas, seeking Chowhound advice on restaurants. We've been there a lot--have Christmas-Day reservations at Calistoga Inn (the brewery), and a lunch booked at Culinary Institute of America. Beyond that--what do Chowhounders like these days in that end of the Napa Valley?

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  1. For a nice dinner go to Solbar at the Solage resort just south of town on Silverado Highway we have had a couple of fantastic meals there. If the weather is nice you can sit out on the patio. Breakfast at Sarafornia in town is nice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: skwid

      We thought the food mediocre and the place pretentious. I would not recommend it when there are so many other places worth eating at.

    2. Lots of recent queries and posts here about the North end ot the valley...check and see if they answer you.

      Restaurant at CIA has not been popular -- turnover of chefs, food only so-so, room is noisy and the chairs uncomfortable.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MRMoggie

        I'm embarrassed to say I found those queries and posts about an hour after posting my own request....thanks?

        1. re: MRMoggie

          hmmm. we found CIA almost the opposite--well, can't comment on the chefs, but we liked the sound level, hardly noticed the chairs. thinking about the room, though, the sound probably has a lot to do with where you're seated (we got lucky?) and the time of day. and whether there are larger or smaller groups (see previous remark). but the restaurant was full or nearly full, and wen could hear that other people were talking, but not what they said, and we could converse perfectly clearly. ah, well, as my mother used to say, "difference of opinion makes horse racing."

          1. re: chairbc

            I have had better experiences sitting at the bar and having a few apps with wine. For a full on dinner, you'd probably be better off somewhere else depending on what you like. But, the CIA space and building is fun to see and the food is good for a light nosh.

            1. re: Shane Greenwood

              folks eating at the bar did seem to be having a great time.

        2. Had dinner last night at Solbar. Outstanding. Don't miss the pork cheek tacos with pickled bird's eye chilis and crema. The pork had the texture of tongue and its soft unctuousness was perfectly balanced against the heat of the chilis and the sweetness of the crema. A real crunchy delight - and a very generous appetizer portion to boot. This upvalley treasure boasts great service, a lovely room, and a terrific seasonal menu. If you're coming to Calistoga Solbar and nearby Jole are in a class by themselves - even if I am a little prejudiced since I live there.

          1. If you're looking for somewhere with no corkage, Flatiron Grill is decent, especially good at accomodating large parties.