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Dec 5, 2012 12:50 PM

Napa Itinerary

Taking my wife to Napa for her birthday. Staying at the Napa Cottages just South of Yountville. The Cottages receive lots of great reviews. They offer free dinner transportation to Yountville and several other nearby restaurants, so we are going to try to take advantage of that each night. Hopefully the cottages are as nice as they look online. They deliver Bouchon pastries to your doorstep every morning.

30 days out I had major issues making reservations for dinner. I thought it would be somewhat quiet the week between Christmas and New Years… guess I was wrong. We have dined at Bottega for lunch before (and loved it) so thought we would try for dinner this time. Might just show up early to walk around Yountville and put our name in or eat in the bar. Local friends that are Napa natives recommended Carpe Diem and Bistro Don Giovanni.

Here is the itinerary. We have some favorite wineries in Napa (Miner, Hall, etc…) but are trying to go off beaten path this trip (ex: Spring Mtn). Tasting prices have really gone up recently but we usually buy wine so hope to get a few waived. We usually prefer Healdsburg but were due for a Napa trip. Hopefully Yountville will still be decorated for Christmas. Any comments are welcome.

Dinner – 6:30pm @ Carpe Diem

Lunch – 11:30am @ Tra Vigne

1pm @ Relic (Hunnicutt wine cave)

2pm @ Failla

3pm @ Chateau Boswell

Dinner - 9pm @ Bottega

Lunch - 11:30am @ Redd

1:15pm @ Behren

3pm @ Pride

4:30pm @ Alpha Omega

Dinner - 7:30pm @ Bistro Don Giovanni

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  1. Carpe Diem is wildly inconsistent, I'm afraid. I have dined extremely well and then - just two weeks later - been very disappointed. I think they go through a lot of help in the kitchen because the sizes of the items change.

    I'd stick to Bistro Don Giovanni, but if you are trying to get into Bottega (over-rated, in my opinion), then you could be setting yourself up for two, heavy Italian meals... I'd take BDG over Bottega any day.

    For your lunch on Friday, I would also HEARTILY recommend you avoid Tra Vigne. It has been below mediocre for longer than any of us locals can remember and the only consistent business it gets is from tourists who don't know better or remember it from Chiarrello's days. (Also, it would be a THIRD Italian meal for you!)

    You are great with Redd but other places I would recommend to dine would be Cook, JoLe in Calistoga, Farmstead, or Terra (most up-valley, since that seems to be where you are going to be central).

    4 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Thank you for the great feedback. Cook was on the list for lunch too so I'll switch it.

      Wanted to go to Ad-Hoc or Bouchon on Fri night but it was booked, so Bottega was last choice but like I said, we did enjoy our lunch there last year. Realize a lot of tourists go there...

      Not worried about eating heavy Italian as we sometimes just split some apps (crudo, mussels, etc...) and then a light pasta or seafood dish and a bottle of wine for dinner.

      Any thoughts on other Yountville restaurants? Redd Wood?

      Don't really want to take a taxi back and forth to St Helena for dinner.

      1. re: boltsfan

        Redd Wood is a pizza joint. Granted, it is a really good pizza joint but just that...

        The only other Yountville choices are Jeanty (French, I love it), Hurley's (a local's favorite), and Etoile at Domaine Chandon (hit-or-miss and quite expensive).

        1. re: CarrieWas218

          I know Redd Wood was pizza... Just wanted your impressions.

          Was leaning Jeanty too so maybe we'll do there for dinner on Sat. I cancelled Tra Vigne and made reservation at Farmstead for lunch on Friday.

          We have been to Etoile. We plan to have a drink at Hurleys.

          Any feedback on the wineries?


          1. re: boltsfan

            Went to Farmstead last Friday - it was wonderful. Also Pride Mountain up on Spring Mountain was great. Right next door is a small, mom and son winery called Paloma. LOVED it. Very personal tasting in their home and the merlot is top-rated in the area. Lovely experience.