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Mar 17, 2011 02:08 PM

40th birthday in Napa -- best options?

I'm heading to the Napa area -- group of 6 - for a friend's special 40th birthday.
I have not been there in some time, and the only fine restaurant I've been to in the area is Ubuntu (which I enjoyed, though it's not appropriate for this occasion).

Basically, I'd like to have the best most wonderful dining experience possible.

-- waitlisted at The French Laundry.
-- waitlisted at Cyrus
-- reservation secured at Meadowood Restuarant (though it is for a rather late time)

Also: (Cyrus has a private room available, but for our smaller group, we'd have to order some pretty stellar wines to meet their minumum charge for the room. A possibility if this is really truly our best option)

Questions for the board:
-- if all 3 were available, how would you rank them
-- if you prefer cyrus, do you prefer it to the point where you'd plunk down extra on wine to go there over meadowood?
-- am I missing a place that I should consider?
-- regardless of how you rank the 3, do you feel that Meadowood will fit the bill?

Thanks, opinionated friends of mine....

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  1. First of all, though Cyrus is excellent, it is not in the "Napa area" in so far as I'm concerned. It's in Healdsburg which is at least an hour away from your other two choices. I think if you do not get into TFL, you will be very pleased with Meadowood which has a Michelin star. You might also consider Etoile, the restaurant at Domain Chandon in Yountville. I haven't been under the current chef but it is getting very good reviews and is an attractive restaurant. Redd, in Yountville, would be another good choice IMO.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobpantzer

      I think you mean that the Meadowood has 3 Michelin stars (as does the French Laundry, Cyrus has 2, and Redd and Etoile each have one). I haven't been to the Meadowood or Etoile yet, but I was at the French Laundry on Saturday, Redd on Sunday and Cyrus a few years back...
      IMO, Redd, while wonderful, is definitely not in the same league as the 3 and 2 star Michelin restaurants I've been too (here and elsewhere). I think that if the OP and friends want an exquisite dining experience, they should stick with their current 3 choices (hopefully an earlier slot will open at one of them). I also agree that Cyrus is a bit far from Napa, but if they do not have a place to stay booked yet, that shouldn't be an issue.