Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 12, 2013 09:43 AM

Any "wow" lunch places in Napa Valley? Looking for more ambiance vs fine food.

We are driving in from Carmel that morning and wanted to find a relaxing place for lunch with a nice view. So far I have come up with Auberge Du Soleil. Are there any other contenders? We are staying at Bardessono in Yountsville - but we dont have any where to be that day so it can be anywhere in the vicinity. Just wanted a light lunch or even some appetizers - so food doesnt have to be outstanding, just good.

Was going to try and do PRESS for dinner that night.

Other plans - Sol Bar for lunch one day, Bistro Jeanty and Bouchon for dinners. If I can land FL reservations one of them will get the boot.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Auberge is the first choice for a view. After that, sit outside at Bistro Don Giovanni or Brix.

    I would dump Bouchon in favor or Goose & Gander. Bouchon has been slipping these past few years...

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Thanks! Brix was also on my list for a lunch. And I have been eyeing Goose & Gander but was trying to avoid driving out of Yountville for dinners except for one night. But I can make it two :)

    2. Brix is really pretty, and the food is very good (not "great", but...) and lunch is not overpriced. The vista out the back is an unexpected plus.
      I head for Redd Wood in YV for nice ambience and good food. Perfect wood-fired pizza, outdoor tables, good cocktails, affordable (quite a feat in Yountville!). Ciccio across the street is good too, but not as groovy in the ambiance dept.
      Farmstead in SH is great in both departments, for lunch or dinner. I love going there and spending 3-4 hours grazing and drinking wine out on the patio. It's a perfect hang-out spot.
      Bardessano is really nice. The bar is very good, the restaurant seems nice (I've only been to a couple private parties) and it's the Greenest hotel in the USA! They even have a fleet of good bikes so you don't have to drive everywhere, which adds a couple stars in my book.

      1. Brix is a favorite for the great vineyard and garden view out the back. . . Call to see if they are seating on the patio

        1. The view is everywhere you drive and look when outdoors. Because of agricultural laws, restaurants aren't often near vineyards. I'd never call Auberge relaxing or the food there
          good, but there is a view.

          So, I'd enjoy the view while you're outside and at wineries, and
          not expect to find it at a restaurant. There are beautiful restaurants, but not restaurants with "views" per se, other than Auberge, which has drawbacks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine

            I'm not current on the food as Auberge; it used to vary quite a bit from time to time. But the view from eating on the patio is special. I remember eating on that patio a long time ago on a sunny winter way and thinking wow, people come from all over the world to eat here and have this view, and we get it whenever we want it.

          2. I have been more impressed with Solbar in terms of the quality of the food and ambiance than most of the other similar places I’ve tried in Napa valley. Another option for dinner is Redd. Went with friends last week and it was really a good experience. Very delicious seafood. Also Terra. I have not been in a long time but used to be excellent.