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Jun 23, 2010 10:36 PM

Napa - Planning a 40th birthday - small group 15 people - looking for a magical outdoor dining experience

I need help planning my girlfriends 40th birthday party in Napa. Looking for the ultimate experience. Visually she sees a rustic outdoor table with tea lights hanging above. Like you would see in a Martha Stewart magazine.

We're going in mid-Aug so it should be a good time to eat outdoors. As far as's not so much an issue but she doesn't want to spend French Laundry kind of money. I think you understand.

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  1. Your best bet would probably to look at something like Here Comes the Guide which lists wineries and areas that have such facilities. The only restaurant that has outdoor dining in Napa is Mustards, but I'm not sure they have the hanging tea lights.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Actually, there are lots of restaurants with outdoor dining in the Napa Valley. Here are a few: Bistro Don Giovanni, Redd, Bottega, Cantinetta Piero, Hurley's. Auberge de Soleil, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Brix, Bistro Jeanty and, li think, Martini House.

      Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
      1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

      Martini House
      1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574

      Bistro Jeanty
      6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      Bistro Don Giovanni
      4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

      7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

      6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

    2. maybe it can be held at a rustic barn or a private home. I'm looking for a creative experience without going the main stream route.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jennybond

        Bale Grist Mill SHP
        State Historic Park
        Special Events/Weddings:

      2. I had two immediate ideas:
        Maisonry is an art gallery/tasting room in Yountville, with a gorgeous back patio. For the right price, I suspect they could cater a meal in the garden. It would definitely fulfill the "tea lights hanging from the trees" idea, if not literally.

        The other idea isn't in Napa, it's outside of Petaluma. The family that owns the Della Fattoria bakery in Petaluma does "Ranch Dinners" at their home/ranch in the hills. It's pretty spectacular, and feels like dining in a Gourmet magazine spread. No tea lights, but you can watch them baking bread in the wood ovens, visit the chickens/cats/dogs, and eat a spectacular meal. They have a scheduled event once a month, or they'll do a private event if you need them to.

        2 Replies
        1. re: purveyorofawesome

          Sounds wonderful......I will look into it.

          1. re: jennybond

            I think the Martini House patio fits your description. It has a grape arbor covering the patio and little twinkly lights. Pretty special. You could occupy one end of it. Masonry is also a possibility. Bistro Don Giovanni has a nice (walled) outdoor patio. It's very nice, like something out of Tuscany, with bounteous produce a la Martha Stewart. You could work with them to get special lighting, lots of votives, etc.

            Martini House
            1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA 94574

            Bistro Don Giovanni
            4110 Howard Ln, Napa, CA

        2. What about Redd? They have an outside patio and a fountain - I'm thinking you might be able to arrange candles (don't think they have tea lights).

          4 Replies
          1. re: Cindy

            IMO, Redd doesn't have the visuals the OP and birthday girl have in mind.

              1. re: Cindy

                It's urban, austere, on a busy street, so, uh, no.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Had dinner at Redd last September on a Monday & was surprised to see the place reasonably humming. Doubly surprised to see the lively patio area...didn't recall reading about it here. Also, didn't think the streets were busy at night. It may not be what the OP is looking for but imho, not austere either.

                  Regarding the main dining room, I remember thinking to myself, "this place isn't as stark/cold as portrayed on CH". Could be DH & I like this type of decor : ) Excellent food & first class service.

          2. Take a look at Solage in Calistoga, it's an extraordinary property with a great setting, food is very good too. Enjoy our valley!

            755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA