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Dec 3, 2012 08:30 PM


Going to Napa this Friday. Will be there Fri and Saturday night. Haven't been in a while and always looking for trusted suggestions. Prefer to go to the low key local places that have excellent food but are not over hyped with celebrity chefs. Any and all suggestions welcome. Have done the Oxbow Market and may go again (Hog Island Oyster Bar is amazing), but am curious about other restaurants.

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  1. My current favorites in downtown:

    Zuzu for tapas
    Grace's Table (local's favorite)


    For breakfast, consider Biscuits on Main Street for chicken & waffles or Boon Fly Cafe in Carneros - love their green eggs & ham, miniature doughnuts, and friends adore the spicy Bloody Mary with bacon.

    1. If you're not opposed to St. Helena for dinner, I highly recommend Goose & Gander. Great food and undoubtedly one of the most impressive cocktail lists I've ever seen. We just went on Saturday and it was absolutely amazing.
      Here's a link for you:

      For breakfast, I agree with Carie - Napa Valley Biscuits on Main St. is the way to go!
      If you need any winery reccos, happy to help there too.


      6 Replies
      1. re: jmendes

        Thanks so much. It is appreciated!!! And yes jmendes, I'm always open for winery recs. Again, because I'm from California and we have fairly close access to Paso Robles I am a bit spoiled in terms of wanting low key non-pretentious tasting rooms that serve a good glass of wine. Have done the whole Mondavi, Z, V. Sattui, etc. tours in the past. And while they serve a purpose, I would much rather go to a smaller winery where the tasting experience is friendly and knowledgeable.

        Carrie - you had me at bacon in the Bloody Mary - I am definitely there!!!! (If you ever head out to Vegas, I can give you a rec for a really good one out by the Hoover Dam.)

        1. re: tavmark

          Tav - winery-wise, most of us would recommend you avoid Mondavi and V. Sattui as being way too touristy. Non-pretentious tends to be off the main drag; I'm a fan of Dutch Henry up Silverado Trail, Robert Sinskey, and Duckhorn.

          Bloody Mary-wise, I'm not a fan... But I know lots of friends who love Boon Fly's version and I prefer their food, but thanks!

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            We were just up there last weekend and went to Salvestrin, William Harrison, and Honig and have only great things to say about all three of them. Agree with Carrie here that Mondavi and V. Sattui should be avoided at all costs. It's the Disneyland of Napa, minus the cool rides.

            1. re: jmendes

              Yeah I was even going to use that reference when I posted. Thanks both of you for the suggestions.

              1. re: tavmark

                Last weekend we went to Paloma Vineyards and Pride Mountain, both next to each other on Spring Mountain. Highly recommend both. Paloma is a small, mom and son operation with the highest rated merlot in the area. Very personal tasting in their dining room (it was raining, otherwise tastings are out on their deck overlooking a fabulous view). Pride Mountain has several wines with Cabs being their speciality. We had a wonderful barrel tasting in their caves.

                1. re: piafoodie

                  With thanks to all who replied, the following is a summary of where I ended up. First off, it turns out that when you book a hotel (using airline miles) it would behoove the person making the reservation (me, I confess) to actually double check the location of said hotel. I booked a Doubletree that claims to be in Napa. It may have been in the Napa Valley (very loosely speaking) but Roehnert Park is NOT Napa. The reservation actually claims that it is in Napa, but needless to say, the street the hotel is on is nowhere near Napa.

                  Because of this (and the hour long drive to and from Napa) we ended up at the following: dinner Friday night was at Redd. Ate mostly at the bar, although when my brother showed up, we did manage to get a table in the restaurant. We had to be in downtown Napa by 8:00 p.m. so we did not do a full on dinner but the pork belly was very good. My brother had a play being produced and because of the length of the drive back we basically called it a night after the production and headed back.

                  Next morning we had breakfast at the hotel (meh, but it was comped). We visited downtown Calistoga and the farmers market. Picked up some amazing sea salt. Then onto Rombauer. Met my brother there. The assistant manager who was pouring had actually been at the event we had attended the night before. He recognized my friend. He gave us recommendations for three wineries.

                  We ate at Farmstead while waiting for our Duckhorn reservation. Had the carpaccico which I enjoyed. Duckhorn, I have to say, was a disappointment. Way too commercial for my taste. Not sure exactly why but it left a negative impression and I would not go back.

                  From there we went to Goosecross which was my favorite of the trip. This had been a recommendation from Rombauer and did not disappoint. Left there with a bottle of Syrah and two chocolate/bacon bars. Thought of eating in downtown Napa but really did not want to do that drive late at night so we drove back to Roehnert Park and had dinner at Hana Sushi.

                  All in all we had a good time. The only negative was the length of the drive to and from Napa.