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1st Napa trip need help

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My husband and I will take our 1st trip to Napa in Oct. we need help on lunchs and dinners. Some places I have looked at Graces table, Mustard's, Oenetri, Carpe Diem and Bistro Sabor. Would love any and all opinions. What wineries should not be missed? Also any other don't miss things to do. We will be in Napa for 5 nights.
Thanks

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  1. if driving from sanfran stop at Fremont Diner on route 121 Sonoma for lunch. also not napa but Girl and the Fig in sonoma

    3 Replies
    1. re: kevin25

      Girl & Fig/Sonoma got famous on Chris Jones' cooking. He moved to Brix on the Napa/Yountville border (next to Mustards) and is doing a terrific job since summer 2011. We returned to Brix last month (April) and the second visit was just as successful as the first.

      If one is going to trek to the city of Sonoma (the crowds on the hwy can be hideous at times) La Salette would be a good choice, or Barndiva just off the Square.

      For Napa, some relatively inexpensive eats at Oxbow Marketplace can offset the high prices elsewhere. It's all relative, of course: if you're from NY or Hawaii or Tokyo, Napa/Yountville/St. Helena etc. won't be a shocker. If you're from someplace not as outrageously expensive, your credit card will suffer a heavy beating after five days, LOL.

      Here's the thing: are you winetasting? Because if you are, you should plan your meals to be not too far from your last pre-lunch and last pre-dinner stops. Driving back and forth on Hwy 29 gets very old, very fast.........!

      1. re: jaiko

        Thank for the help. I think I will add Brix to our list!

      2. re: kevin25

        You won't go through Sonoma if you are driving from SF to Napa.

      3. Carpe Diem is wildly inconsistent, I'm afraid - some times the offerings are opulent and filling and other times, I am left hungry. In one week alone, the salmon came in around 4 oz for the entree and later that week, it was probably 8 oz.

        Instead, consider Zuzu which has been a consistent favorite for over a decade.

        I'm not a fan of Mustards as it specializes in large plates of roast meat which - to me - is just boring.

        Bistro Sabor is better for lunch than dinner, I think.

        Other favorites include Angele, JoLe (Calistoga), Goose & Gander and Cook (both in St. Helena).

        Avoid: The Thomas, Celadon.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CarrieWas218

          Thank you I will look into these. No one on chowhounds seems to be a fan of Mustards, it funny because here in the South (Mississippi) everyone I ask who has been names Mustards, but I think we will skip it. Anything else I should know?

        2. Do visit, the Oxbow market, there are many stores to shop there. I really like the spice shop, all kinds of spices,salts and herbs. I also like the Three twin organic ice cream there. You will find something you will fall in love with.

          1. My standouts over the last the last few years are Ad Hoc, Redd, Solbar, and Etoile.
            Oenetri is great and I've heard good things about Redd Wood but haven't made it yet.

            Mustards over hyped for sure.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lrealml

              I've been to Redd Wood a handful of times and have been continuously underwhelmed.

              Maybe because pizza just doesn't thrill me to my core, I have had just as good pizzas at Pizza Azzuro, C Casa, and Oenetri - none better than the other...

              1. re: CarrieWas218

                Good to know... some of what I heard did come from people who worked there or knew people who worked there, so there could have been a bias or special treatment.

            2. So I don't know your tastes and expectations but if I were planning for myself, I would have one leisurely lunch at Bouchon. Solid technique making classic French bistro food. It's not exciting but it's comforting and well executed. Eat a dozen of oysters. Order sides of rillettes, cornichons. Sit at the bar. Tuck your napkin in your shirt. Dig in.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cary

                Thanks love Bouchon in Vegas and may try it in Napa. We have eaten in the Vegas one on two different trips so we really like it.

                1. re: missy1974

                  If you've already had Bouchon in Vegas, I would definitely skip it in Napa when there are so many other stellar eateries that excel...