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Jul 25, 2011 07:09 PM

Girls Weekend in Napa - need help with restaurant and winery list

I am meeting six other girlfriends for a 40th birthday weekend in napa in August. We are all foodies and any budget is fine. We have all lived in the bay area at some point, but some of us are now coming in from Austin, Maui, Denver, Seattle. We have a list of wineries and restaurants and would like some help picking one restaurant for saturday dinner (friday is ad hoc) and saturday lunch. We are staying in downtown napa and dont want to drive too far.

Farm at Carneros
Rotisserie and Wine
Fish Story
La Toque

And wineries (we have a van and drive:
Robert Keenan
Spring Mountain
Joseph Phelps

221 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102

La Toque Restaurant
1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

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  1. Avia isn't quite settled in its menu and is too wildly inconsistent in what it offers (some times there are limited proteins - it is very odd).

    Fish Story just got a new chef who is going to be revamping the menu and there are no reports yet on what or when that will be.

    I like Rotisserie and Wine but find its offerings too heavy for the hot summer; to me, big hunks of roasted meats and rich Southern-inspired sides are better suited for fall and winter.

    La Toque has gone up and down in reviews in the last few years and I'm afraid I haven't heard anything exceptional as of late.

    All that said, here are the downtown restaurants I CAN recommend:
    Oenetri - great salumi plates and wood-fired options.
    Angele - on the river-front, they have stepped up their game in the past few years.
    Morimoto - what's not to love?
    Grace's Kitchen - a local's favorite; not pretentious or even fancy, but great food.

    La Toque Restaurant
    1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

    610 Main Street, Napa, CA

    1. Morimoto's is in the downtown area of Napa and very close to both Rotisserie and Wine and Fish Story.

      I had a good time at Morimoto's; the food is very Japanese-fusion, with some very exotic flairs. I loved his version of the bagna cauda, and most of the dishes there can be shared.

      Another note about Morimoto Napa -- the omakase is more of a sampler style menu -- all the items on the omakase are also on the a la carte menu, so it may make more sense as a party to order some individual items to share than to order omakase for the whole table.

      610 Main Street, Napa, CA

      1. We just got back from Napa.

        I would ask what wineries you'll be visiting on that Sat so that any recommendations don't have you driving too much.

        I have to 2nd the Morimoto suggestion and also would add in ZUZU which is down the street from Morimoto and tasty. It is Tapas so you could all order and share and taste.


        610 Main Street, Napa, CA

        1. I would recommend skipping Quixote. They've had some turnover in staff lately and I've found it to be a much less pleasant experience now than say a year ago. Your winery choices are all over the valley. That's fine if you don't mind spending a lot of time driving but you might try to organize them to minimize that driving or do all of spring mtn one day (Spring mtn, Pride, Schweiger, flowers, etc) and then do Silverado the other (Phelps and others). The weekend traffic in the valley is crazy and for me personally, I hate doing so much driving.

          Since you'll be eating mostly in the southern end of the valley I'd recommend adding Hope & Grace and Cornerstone to your winery list. They're walking distance from each other in Yountville.

          1 Reply
          1. re: openhelix

            If you are going up to Spring Mtn, you should also do Smith Madrone and Pride... two of my absolute favorite wineries.

          2. I would consider the following wineries:

            Outpost Winery (Howell Mtn appt only) - terrific Cab, Zin, Petite Sirah and Grenache
            Sherwin Family (Spring Mtn Appt only) - terrific Cab
            Smith Madrone (Spring Mtn appt only) - Cab and a very good domestic Riesling plus a bit quirky

            Lagier Meredith (Mt Veeder appt only - terrific Syrah and Rose of Syrah

            Seavey (Silverado Trail/St helena) - Cab, chardonnay. Great tasting

            Phelps is a very good option. Wide range of wines and beautiful patio.

            in Yountville Kapcsandy makes terrific but pricey wines. Appt only

            Restaurants - skip Fish Story. Just ate there and boring. Same with Angele.

            Morimoto and Oentri great options.

            If you do feel like going a bit further north, head to Yountville for Bottega or any one of the Keller properties.

            6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

            610 Main Street, Napa, CA