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Apr 30, 2012 02:11 PM

My "Final" Napa/San Fran Dinner Itinerary

Thanks for all of your help in my previous posts. I believe I have my "final" dinner itinerary for our trip. Here it is:

June 5 - Chez Panisse
June 6 - French Laundery (Yes we have reservations)
June 7 - Morimoto
June 8 - The Restaurant at Meadowood
June 9 - Atelier Crenn

What do you hounds think? Any changes/ suggestions /comments?



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  1. I would switch out Morimoto for Redd. I understand that Morimoto Napa is very good, but one can find Morimotos other places. On the otherhand, I can understand the Morimoto pick if you'll be sick of "New American" cuisine and want something a little different.

    Are you sure about Atelier Crenn? It's a meal with extreme highs and lows and can be too outside the norm in taste/texture profiles for some (including myself). The pastry chef is amazing. The highs are worth talking about and linger on in the memory, but I'm not quite sure it makes up for some of the somewhat odd dishes.

    I actually liked Benu much more (their beverage pairing is excellent (Atelier Crenn's winelist is eccentric and young), but others on this board and elsewhere have not been "wowed."

    2 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      gold, thanks for the reply. I looked at Redd and it appeals to me. I will as the rest of my group. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Thanks for the comment on Atelier Crenn. Some of my group is not as adventurous as me, so I probably need to find a replacement.

      I have eaten at Benu and while good, did not have the "wow" experience.

      1. re: goldangl95

        Don't do it. Don't switch out Morimoto for Redd, especially when that advice is coming from someone who hasn't been to both restaurants.

        Morimoto in Napa -- right on the Napa River with that terrific ambience -- is mindblowingly good -- brilliant presentations and developed flavor in everything. The precision of the service is impressive. I was stunned at how good it was. I've been several times. I could never say that about Redd, especially lately, when Richard seems tired and uninspired. Redd is adequate but nothing like Morimoto. Go.

        I think your lineup sounds lovely. Very classy restaurants with outstanding reputations. What I don't see, and maybe you're reserving this option for lunch, is any of the incredible ethnic food of the Bay Area. Schedule some in. Your palate might be delightfully expanded.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston


          Thanks for the input. What would you suggest changing? We are open to most anything, within reason. Price is not much of a consideration, both high and low. We love hole in the walls as well as white table cloths.

          1. re: BillLumberg

            It does seem one-dimensional, but if your one dimension has THOSE restaurants on it (and your wallet doesn't mind), then go for it, I say!

            I'm half considering something like that myself for my trip to Chicago. Already reserved for Trotter, have a tentative reservation at restaurant-that-shall-go-unnamed-for-fear-of-jinxing-but-which-you-can-probably-guess, and am considering Alinea, because what the heck, I've already gone this far.

            I've never been to Morimoto Napa, but my friend went a few months back, and when I asked him about it, all he had to say was, "Yeah, it was good," in a somewhat indifferent tone, like he was talking about last night's episode of This American Life.

            1. re: BillLumberg

              Where do you live or visit regularly? Hard to guess what would be special here without knowing where you're coming from.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston


                We are from Tennessee. This will be a first trip to Napa, but I travel all over the country for my work and eat in a wide variety of restaurants. I was in Los Angeles last week and had a phenomenal osso boco at Madeo and the chefs tasting menu at Nobu (miso sea bass, yum..yum). Then flew to Tampa and had a wonderful meal of sea scallops at oystercatchers. Next week I am in Dallas and have reservations at Javier's for the quail (one of my staples), but still need to decide on my next two nights. I flew ~100k miles last year and spent ~140 nights in a hotel, so I am in a lot of restaurants.

                My other 3 people in my group (Wife and another couple) travel frequently, but usually with our younger kids, so the fine dining experience is not something they experience all the time.

                None of our party is really interested in what I would classify as "out there" foods (i.e. brains, tongue(bad experience in Bakersfield CA - don't want to relive that), etc.), but otherwise, open to most any cuisine.

                Don't know if that helped or hurt.

                Thanks for the replies Robert.

                ETD: We are staying in Meadowood in St. Helena, so that may make a difference in your recommendations. We are staying in Berkeley the night of the 5th and in Union Square the night of the 9th.