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One night in wine country - where would you eat?

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My wife and I will be in wine country next April for one night (maybe two). My question is, besides The French Laundry, where would you eat?

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The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. I was in wine country last April for one night and failed to achieve French Laundry reservations so we ended up going to Adhoc, Thomas Keller's casual family style restaurant, we loved it. He has a cookbook for this restaurant as well and we use it all the time.

    1. Where in wine country? A search of this board using the specific area might help. Examples Healdsburg, Russian River, Sonoma, Yountville, etc. Lots of excellent places and no need to drive far if some place is convenient to your lodging and winery choices.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        We haven't decided where to stay yet and are willing to drive anywhere within Napa or Sonoma Valley for a great dinner.

        1. re: chefconti

          The top three dining destinations in wine country are The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Cyrus. Other places that receive good reports include Redd, Bouchon, The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, Terra, and Auberge du Soleil.

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          The French Laundry
          6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          Terra Restaurant
          1345 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

          Farmhouse Inn
          7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

          Cyrus Restaurant
          29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          Auberge Du Soleil
          180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford, CA 94573

          Redd
          6480 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

          Bouchon
          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          1. re: Paul H

            Terra and the Farmhouse Inn are my favorites in the wine country (now that, sadly, the Martini House has closed).

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            Farmhouse Inn
            7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

      2. I live in Napa so these are my favorites - in order of preference:

        JoLe (Calistoga)
        Terra (St. Helena)
        Meadowood (Rutherford)
        Bouchon (Yountville)

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        JoLe
        1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515

        Bouchon
        6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

        1. My favorite place in Sonoma Valley is Vineyards Inn, though if the French Laundry is your idea of fun, maybe not.

          I find Napa Valley too touristy and Yountville intolerably so, but I'll put up with it for Bistro Jeanty, since I love classic old-school bistro dishes such as lamb's tongue, pig's foot, blood sausage, and veal kidneys and they do them very, very well.

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          Bistro Jeanty
          6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          Vineyards Inn
          8445 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452

          1. For some reviews on most of these places check http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806780

            1. My overall favorites for Napa and Sonoma after multiple considerations would be:
              Napa County, Redd in Yountville
              Sonoma County, Barndiva in Healdsburg

              1 Reply
              1. re: tom246

                I second both of these recommendations. We ate at Barndiva for brunch over Memorial Day weekend this year and it was outstanding. Redd is a regular favorite when we're in Napa for a weekend. Very reasonable price for the quality.

                Cyrus is my favorite restaurant in California, over French Laundry, so it has my highest recommendation. :)

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                Barndiva
                231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

              2. Since you mention French Laundry I'm assuming you want a swish Fine Dining place.

                If I were in Napa I'd return to Meadowood, where we had a great meal earlier this year (one night after another great meal at the French Laundry).

                If I were in Sonoma I'd dine at Cyrus.

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                The French Laundry
                6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                10 Replies
                1. re: willyum

                  As much as I would love to go to those three restaurants, they are not in the budget.

                  1. re: chefconti

                    uhhh - how much do you have to spend?

                    1. re: gougeres

                      $200-250 for two people.

                      1. re: chefconti

                        Within your budget:

                        JoLe
                        Bouchon
                        Brix
                        Grace's Table
                        Terra (tight - order light on the alcohol)

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                        JoLe
                        1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515

                        Brix
                        7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

                        Bouchon
                        6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                        Grace's Table
                        1400 2nd St, Napa, CA 94559

                        1. re: CarrieWas218

                          I had the worst service of my entire life at Brix. It's the only time I've walked out of a restaurant.

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                          Brix
                          7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

                        2. re: chefconti

                          check out farmstead at longmeadow ranch, we went a couple weeks ago and absolutely loved it, and it's affordable for the area especially for the quality level.

                      2. re: chefconti

                        You'r in luck, then, as Meadowood would have been a big mistake, IMO.
                        As I've said before, based on my experience, 1 star at best.

                        1. re: chefconti

                          Chef,

                          In Napa Valley within your price range, I'd go with:

                          Redd: on the patio if weather allows. More minimalist presentations than a Bistro Jeanty style
                          Solbar at Solage Hotel in Cailstoga: relaxed Michelin one star in beautiful agri chic space
                          Auberge du Soleil for late afternoon drinks only overlooking the valley

                          Have fun.

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                          Bistro Jeanty
                          6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                          Soleil Restaurant
                          625 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                          1. re: cortez

                            No one has mentioned La Toque in Napa. We've always had exceptional food and service. It would be at the upper end of your price range.

                            Owned by Chef Ken Frank, years ago the classic French bad boy in Los Angeles. Really good wine list and wine service by Scott.

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                            La Toque Restaurant
                            1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

                            1. re: MRMoggie

                              I am so on the fence about La Toque; I have had two drop-dead, exceptional meals and I have had two perfectly horrible, send-back-to-the-kitchen inedible meals...

                              I'm not ready to spend that kind of money on the inconsistency of a crap shoot again.

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                              La Toque Restaurant
                              1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559