Opinions on Napa itinerary for late October- restaurants and smaller wineries
I have been pouring over all of the various threads regarding Napa Valley trips, and would love to have your feedback. My winery choices are based upon the chowhound threads and recommendations from a good friend of ours who has spent a decent amount of time in the valley. Note: we will be there in conjunction with a conference, and so will not be free until the afternoon (I do have one day free without my husband). We will be staying in Napa.
Tues: get in in the late afternoon (probably not until around 5pm), so I'm not planning anything. Probably doing a few tasting salons in Napa as time allows and eating at Oxbow Market
Wed (finish around 5:30pm): will try and hit Vinters Collective and/or Back Room. Or maybe Trinitas since it's connected to our hotel and we are curious about their Amarone.
**Dinner at ZuZu (is this a waste of our time?)
Thurs (finish around 3:30): stop by Patz Hall for Pinots
**listen to music and taste at Uncorked at Oxbow
**9pm dinner at Press
Fri (finish at 12:30): 1.45pm tasting at Corison
**3pm tasting at Spring Mountain Vineyard
**7:30pm dinner at Goose and Gander
Sat (finish at noon): 2pm Terra Valentin short tasting
**make our way back to SF for flight next morning.
Would love your opinions. I chose Press because my husband loves a good steak more than about anything else, and he rarely gets to indulge. I haven't really seen much about it on the boards. As far as wines go, we're all over the map: we like dry whites and bubblies, all the way to big cabs. Amarone is kind of an anomaly for us, as we tend to stay away from sweeter wines except for the occasional dessert wine (see below).
As an aside, on my free day, I'm planning on going to Schaumberg and Casa Nuestra (I love a dessert wine they make, and am curious about the rest of their portfolio). Do any of you have recommendations for breakfast/lunch places that are especially good for solo diners? I have no problems eating on my own.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Wednesday - Zuzu is NOT a waste of time. It has been a locals and visitor's favorite for over a decade.
Thursday - Okay, I get why you want a steak so I suppose Press will do. We don't talk about it much on the boards because most of us think there are far more interesting things to full our bellies with than just pure grilled meat (or, we can do that easily enough at home). But I get why he would want it, even if it will cost you a ton of money. ($60 to $70 just seems excessive to me and you still have order side dishes!)
Friday - Goose & Gander is a great choice. And I love both Corison and Spring Mountain.
Saturday - Consider eating in Napa on Saturday since your flight isn't until the next morning.
Breakfasts: Boon Fly in Carneros is a consistent favorite. It offers more substantial breakfasts that will fill you until dinner. For something more interest and smaller, consider Napa Valley Biscuits on Main Street.
I have eaten at every restaurant in the Napa valley as a solo diner and my favorites remain Grace's Table for their happy hour (lots of small plates at half price), Oxbow (specifically, the chowder and grilled cheese at Hog Island), Zuzu (again, small plates are nice for me), or the counter at Bouchon (I like the saffron mussels).
I like Casa Nuestra for offering very different varietals and if you are a fan of sweet wines, you should also consider Praeger Portworks.
Sorry- I was editing and meant to question Trinitas winery- not ZuZu. We are big fans of tapas, and their menu looks great.
With regards to Press, I'm only set on it if it's a truly special experience for a meat eater. Ex: when we were in Italy a few years ago, one of my husband's most memorable meals was a florentine steak prepared perfectly at a locals trattoria. I realize that Press is far from that, but if it's of the same kind of quality, I'm willing to fork out the money. If, however, it's just a glorified Ruth's Chris, or something that we can easily create with a good steak on our grill at home, I'd pass.
Thank you for your other recommendations- I'll check them out!
re: maria lorraine
Thanks for the input, Maria. We'll stick with it then, and can glory in the beef for a night. Do y'all think I have any misses with the vineyards? I tried to get into Shafer, and they were already booked out. Any no-miss tasting rooms/salons in Napa? I realize we don't have much time for on-vineyard tastings.