Town of Napa dining
We've spent a great deal of time in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys and have explored many wine & food options there. We just had a baby and are looking for a very low key weekend (with the baby), probably lots of hotel time. Thought of Napa because it's so close, and I passed through recently and Oxbow Market looked fun. Will definitely check out some of these options, thank you!
(short drive) - Boonfly Cafe
Napa Valley Biscuits
Oxbow (Ca'Momi or Kitchen Door)
Morimoto (better to get the $25 bento box for lunch than spend $100+ for dinner)
Zuzu - great tapas
Bounty Hunter - wine/beer tasting food that kicks-ass
Grace's Table - skip lunch and head here for 3:00 to 6:00 half-price appetizer happy hour and be completely sated.
Spending a weekend in the city of Napa without going up the valley to Yountville etc. would be kind of like spending a weekend in Mariposa without going into Yosemite. The city and local developers have spent millions of dollars trying to derail tourists heading for the wine country, but you can get stuff like that cheaper in Oakland. If you want to avoid the Napa Valley high prices, go to Sonoma.
That said, there are lots of recommendations:
re: Robert Lauriston
The Valley of the Napa Valley doesn't really begin per se or open up till just north of Yountville. The City of Napa, though improving greatly, is not agricultural, and not what Napa Valley is all about. Most of your time, if visiting, should be in Yountville and north of it, in Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga. Otherwise, you're missing the point.
The only exception to spending most of your time in the town of Yountville and north is if you had already spent a great deal of time in those five Napa Valley towns north of the City of Napa (look at a map), and were strictly focusing on the Carneros District or the Coombsville area. But I gather that's not your situation.
All to say, you should only be returning to the city of Napa in the evenings to sleep, and perhaps have dinner.
Have to agree: we were just there, loved Ca'Momi (the food, not the cramped seating and more-expansive-but-drafty patio) - the baccala won my Portuguese-Chinese DH's heart even over La Salette's codfish fritters, and the Roman-style sweetbreads knocked our socks off, as good as anything Fleur de Lys ever gave us.
And ooooh, those bigne and ciambellina - yummmmmmm! We brought a pound of those beauties home (all eight flavors) and loved every one of them.
We ate at Solbar, Brix, Market, and The Grill @Meadowood, and Ca'Momi was by far the best of all of them. Oenotri is permanently off our list after a spectacularly bad meal May 2013. We were very sad about that, our first meal there was phenomenal.