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Suggestions for 2 dinners in Napa area plus The French Laundry

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Four of us are traveling to the Napa area for 3 nights. We are eating at The French Laundry the second night, and so we're looking for recommendations for the first night and the third night. I'm thinking that because we're going to be having such a decadent multi-course meal at TFL, we probably won't want to have another long multi-course meal. Here is the list that we've come up with so far:

Redd, Morimoto, Ad Hoc (another Thomas Keller so maybe not?), Bottega, Bistro Jeanty, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Restaurant at Meadowood, Cyrus

Are any of these too similar to TFL? Which two would you recommend as good counterpoints to TFL?

For lunch, one day we were thinking of getting together a picnic from the Oxbow Market. I'm not sure of the other day. Maybe Bouchon Bakery - do they have lunchtime items or is strictly a sweets only kind of place?

Also, someone had mentioned that drinks on the terrace at auberge du soleil at sunset is great - is it worth making the trip? We're going to be staying in Yountville.

Thanks!

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  1. Would not do Meadowood (long tasting menu), Cyrus (not in Napa and quite a drive).

    Auberge Du Soleil is not far from Yountville at all. But it depends on what your other activities are for the day. If you are winetasting around there - I'd say go. If you are not within a couple of miles, I'd say skip.

    1. Ad Hoc is nothing like TFL -- it's upscale comfort food, served family style. I'd say the most different in cuisine would be Morimoto and the most different in style would be Cindy's, which is quite casual.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Morimoto is excellent: wonderful flavors, brilliant execution. Agree with Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen.
        Those were my picks before I read any replies.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen is a favorite but it is far more casual than than TFL, I really enjoyed our most recent meal at Morimoto. Ad Hoc didn't wow but that's not it's goal. I really like Cook in St. Helena, 15 minutes from downtown Yountville. It's a lower price point but I liked it better than the food than Bouchon.

          Oxbow Market is a great with The Fatted Calf.

          1. The best part of Morimoto is a tasting menu so that might feel a little too similar to French Laundry in its small, tasty courses.

            Personally, I would recommend JoLe in Calistoga for one night and perhaps Redd another night.

            Other considerations could include Brassicas, Cook, Oenetri, or Bouchon. I found Bottega a bit on the heavy side and prefer Don Giovanni.