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Dec 28, 2013 10:18 PM

CELEBRATING 30th anniversary ....where to eat in Napa Valley

I have reservations at Press, Bistro Jeanty, Cole Chop ....though its a very special celebration, I still don't want to pay $68 and over for steak I'm looking for a memorable dinner with great atmosphere and so delicious food. We have been to Tra Vigne and me with our 3rd dinner!!!!

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  1. Bistro Jeanty although very good, is IMHO, definitely not a special occasion restaurant. It's noisy, the tables are small and close, and the antithesis of romantic...not what I'd want for a special anniversary. I've not been to Cole's, but I love Press!! Press has wonderful food and service, and the ambiance is very nice. I would definitely recommend it for a special dinner.

    3 Replies
    1. re: josephnl

      I think the choice really depends on the personality of the anniversary couple and their budget. I'd say Bistro Jeanty is a romantic but in a French bistro way. I love the food there.

      I like the food at Press, though it's really for meat lovers who enjoy the decor -- kind of a hybrid between a swanky men's club and Pottery Barn. Might not be for everyone. You might want to check the menu prices before you commit.

      The outside dining room near the fireplace at Don Giovanni is quite beautiful. (It is a closed-in porch room so it's not chilly.)

      More expensive and perhaps beyond your budget is Meadowood, and there the environment is both romantic and the food very fine.

      My sense is that Coles has been off its game for a long while.

      1. re: maria lorraine

        You're right. We all can reasonably differ on what is romantic. To me the noise level and rather crowded smaller tables in the very informal BJ is not at all romantic, but others might feel differently.

        1. re: josephnl

          I agree with you on specialness -- that a special restaurant is needed for a 30th Anniversary, and that Bistro Jeanty does not rise to that level of specialness. Unfortunately, those that do might be a bit past the OP's budget, except for a few.

    2. If you don't want to pay $$$ for a steak, then cancel reservations at Press and Coles because that is their specialty and - honestly - I think both are sorely over-rated and over-priced.

      I'm a Bistro Jeanty fan, but I really like classic French bistro food. I am also not a Tra Vigne fan whatsoever. It has had so many chefs and so many iterations as to be laughable and is a mere shadow of its former, Michael Chiarello glory days.

      Instead, I would have you consider Zuzu for tapas and I have also heard really good things about Torc in the old Ubuntu space. I'm also a fan of Goose & Gander.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CarrieWas218

        I strongly disagree with you! Yes, Bistro Jeanty has very good French bistro food, but nothing there is exceptional, and the atmosphere is certainly not what I would consider appropriate for a very special anniversary celebration. On the other hand, although Press is expensive, the atmosphere is great, the service excellent, and the food very, very good. Yes, top quality meat is expensive, but it's beautifully prepared at Press, and the service is terrific. To my mind, for a special occasion, Press is very much superior to Bistro J.

      2. I love Market in downtown St. Helena, and Bottega in Yountville was worth the hype when I visited in November.

        1. Also, Auberge is way more than $68 but much more special than just a steak.

          1. Maybe for your third dinner you could consider venturing over to Sonoma, to La Salette ? Very good food with some unique items (Portuguese food), charming atmosphere, wood-fired oven that they do many of the dishes in, prices are reasonable IIRC. It's right off the town square so that's always nice to take a little walk around, before or after dinner.