Location: Napa Valley, California
Picking a restaurant in Napa is very much like selecting a winery to visit. There are endless options, and for the most part, all are incredibly delicious. Since this was my third trip to Napa, I wanted to dine at establishments I haven't tried in the past. Aside from having good food of course , I selected restaurants according to the kind of experience it offered and made sure I had a variety of them. Also, be cognizant of the proximity of the restaurant to the winery you will be visiting so your are not wasting time driving back and forth. Be aware that there is some traffic in Napa/Sonoma.
FARMSTEAD. This is my favorite this time around. Napa is known for farm to table before the concept was trendy. They have been doing this all along, it's their way of living. Farmstead is just that. It is a beautiful property surrounded by home-grown vegetables and livestock throughout. It's lively and peaceful at the same time. If you're seated outside, you'll get a glimpse of the Napa Valley Train passing by which is a plus. There are also shops nearby, just a short walk from the restaurant for those who fancy shopping. And if you have not have a fill of wine, several wineries are closed by as well. But if you are like me, go ahead and burn those calories you just consumed and play a round of horseshoe.
This restaurant served seasonal food. Luckily, young fava beans were in season. I gave this a go even though I had no idea if I was going to like it. It was unbelievable and addictive!
After indulging with the freshest food, walk around the property. There are gigantic eucalyptus trees all throughout providing a much needed shade. Remember, Napa can be very hot during the day and cool at night.
My husband and I just goofing off!
Here are other restaurants I would recommend. All of which I have personally tried.
Boon Cafe at the Carneros Inn- Any time of the day and the food will be good. However, I highly recommend coming here for breakfast. Go ahead and order the Boon fly doughnuts (they are known for it). It is worth every calorie.
Auberge du Soleil- this restaurant is located at Auberge du Soleil Hotel. The cuisine reflects the natural diversity and rich, fresh ingredients of Napa Valley, accented with Mediterranean flavors. TIP: Come for lunch and book through Open Table and you will be guaranteed seating on their famous terrace with some of the best views in Napa. I apologize for not having photos. I simply forgot to take them.
Redd- Yountville town is a hub for some of the most famous restaurants in Napa Valley naming The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bottega and Redd. We were unable to get in at The French Laundry and so we proceeded with Redd. Decidedly contemporary, its menu is New American highlighting seafood dishes. I personally loved the fresh shucked oysters and hamachi sashimi.
Bouchon- Another Thomas Keller restaurant in Yountville and is a classic french brasserie. And although this restaurant can now be found in Las Vegas (The Venetian) and NYC, I still would highly recommend it. The delicious smell of freshly baked pastries alone is well worth standing in line for breakfast. Sit down leisurely and enjoy people watching.
Thank you for reading!