Napa Wine country

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treeclimber
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2004/09/05 23:15:03 (permalink)

Napa Wine country

Going to wine country in Sept. Will be staying in Fairfeild, any suggestions on where to eat?
#1

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    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/13 20:11:28 (permalink)
    A good start is the SF Chronicle's website, sfgate.com.
    #2
    lleechef
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 02:46:55 (permalink)
    Oh goodness, where to begin?
    In Yountville, lunch at Domaine Chandon is a must. Dining al fresco over looking the vineyards while sipping champagne and eating fabulous food. Also in Yountville is the famous French Laundry, hardly Roadfood, but considered by "some" the best restaurant in the country. Not my opinion, but have eaten there and Chef Keller does indeed knock your socks off......be prepared to pay for it. Again, in Yountville is Bistro Jeanty, as authentic French as it could get on this side of the Atlantic. Just up the highway is Brix, one of my favorites......it's very chic and the menu is well executed, I had a delicious and very creatively prepared piece of opah there last visit. In St. Helena is the wonderful Tra Vigne Restaurant and in Calisoga is Brennan's Grill, where I had a most delightful grilled quail salad for lunch.
    When in St. Helena please visit the vineyard of Tom Burgess, up in the hills, he makes extraordinary wines and is a good friend. Happy travelling through Napa.
    #3
    meowzart
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 09:14:53 (permalink)
    Lisa,
    Hubby and I are going in April and you just confirmed everything I had on my dining list!!
    The only one I would add is Wappo Bar in Calistoga. I love their food and their outdoor dining area.
    #4
    santacruz
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 11:01:42 (permalink)
    Just last week I was in Napa. I ate at the Tuscany downtown. Superb food,wine and service. And a great place to just stroll with your gelato after dinner.
    #5
    Nemis
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 11:33:50 (permalink)
    Great Hamburgers can be found at Taylor's Refresher in St Helena, the Farmers Market is wonderful too.
    If you can get reservations at the French Laundry and don't mind paying about $120 a person you should go, it's a meal of a lifetime. I was able to go there on my honeymooon and have Chef Keller sign the menu to which we have framed and hanging in our dining room.
    Mustards Grill
    Oakville Grocery- take out food for a picnic
    Bouchon- Thomas Kellers bakery
    Have a great time, plan on taking some wine home with you because "they will suck you in"
    #6
    Spudnut
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 11:42:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    Oh goodness, where to begin?
    In Yountville, lunch at Domaine Chandon is a must. Dining al fresco over looking the vineyards while sipping champagne and eating fabulous food. Also in Yountville is the famous French Laundry, hardly Roadfood, but considered by "some" the best restaurant in the country. Not my opinion, but have eaten there and Chef Keller does indeed knock your socks off......be prepared to pay for it. Again, in Yountville is Bistro Jeanty, as authentic French as it could get on this side of the Atlantic. Just up the highway is Brix, one of my favorites......it's very chic and the menu is well executed, I had a delicious and very creatively prepared piece of opah there last visit. In St. Helena is the wonderful Tra Vigne Restaurant and in Calisoga is Brennan's Grill, where I had a most delightful grilled quail salad for lunch.
    When in St. Helena please visit the vineyard of Tom Burgess, up in the hills, he makes extraordinary wines and is a good friend. Happy travelling through Napa.



    Is The French Laundry re-opened? I know the chef/owner closed it for about a year to focus on his new NYC restaurant.

    I ate at French Laundry on my honeymoon. Amazing (the restaurant, I mean. But the honeymoon wasn't bad, either).

    I also enjoyed eating at Mustard's and at the Meadowood, which is where we stayed. But, I don't believe Fairfield is that close to these places.
    #7
    tsores
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 13:51:30 (permalink)
    The last time we toured Napa and Sonoma, we stopped at a grocery store in Napa for picnic fixin's. We got a french bread, deli meats, condiments, etc. We found a picnic table at one of the wineries and had a tasty lunch outdoors with a great view.

    I would do it again if I was headed that way.
    #8
    lleechef
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/14 23:05:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by meowzart

    Lisa,
    Hubby and I are going in April and you just confirmed everything I had on my dining list!!
    The only one I would add is Wappo Bar in Calistoga. I love their food and their outdoor dining area.

    Cool!!! I have not been to Wappo Bar in Calistoga......but I love that town! Do try some or all the above restaurants that I mentioned.......these are my favs but there are many, many more that I have eaten in and just don't recall the names now. However, I have never had a bad meal in the Napa or Sonoma valley. The competition is FIERCE, that would explain it.
    Meowzart, (and anybody else travelling to Napa) a MUST SEE winery is Clos Pegase. They have made winemaking a work of art and have brought many works of art to the winery. It is exquisite.
    #9
    BT
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/15 00:21:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    Oh goodness, where to begin?
    In Yountville, lunch at Domaine Chandon is a must. Dining al fresco over looking the vineyards while sipping champagne and eating fabulous food. Also in Yountville is the famous French Laundry, hardly Roadfood, but considered by "some" the best restaurant in the country. Not my opinion, but have eaten there and Chef Keller does indeed knock your socks off......be prepared to pay for it. Again, in Yountville is Bistro Jeanty, as authentic French as it could get on this side of the Atlantic. Just up the highway is Brix, one of my favorites......it's very chic and the menu is well executed, I had a delicious and very creatively prepared piece of opah there last visit. In St. Helena is the wonderful Tra Vigne Restaurant and in Calisoga is Brennan's Grill, where I had a most delightful grilled quail salad for lunch.
    When in St. Helena please visit the vineyard of Tom Burgess, up in the hills, he makes extraordinary wines and is a good friend. Happy travelling through Napa.


    Jeez, man. Your idea of "roadfood" is a little different than mine. But no question you can get a top notch meal (at a top notch price) at these places.

    I will heartily endorse the idea someone else mentioned here of Oakville Grocery. They used to have a branch in SF and it saddened a lot of people including me when they closed it. They have really good take-out salads, deli meats and a variety of prepared foods. You can put together a fabulous picnic there. We used to get a variety of stuff there for a day on a friend's boat out on the bay.

    But as we lost Oakville Grocery, we have recently gained Taylor's Refresher here in town and it also seems wildly popular (the City branch is in the Ferry Building food hall).
    #10
    lleechef
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/15 01:33:07 (permalink)
    No, BT, my idea of "Roadfood" is no different than yours. I have visited Napa Valley many, many times. I would not consider the majority of the eateries there as "Roadfood". Nevertheless, I cannot help but suggest some of the finest restaurants in this beautiful wine country to a Roadfooder who will be visiting there. Napa Valley is indeed into fine dining and fine wining!
    #11
    EddH
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/16 11:03:42 (permalink)
    Hate to disagree with you, lleechef. But, IMHO, when you recommend something at "roadfood.com" and don't specifically say that it is NOT roadfood, you are recommending it AS roadfood. This has, for better or worse, become a forum not just for roadfood. Unfortunately, too many people do not distinguish when they are recommending roadfood and when they are recommending fine dining. I, for one, would very much appreciate it if ALL posters would specify when a recommendation is NOT roadfood.
    #12
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/16 11:34:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EddH

    Hate to disagree with you, lleechef. But, IMHO, when you recommend something at "roadfood.com" and don't specifically say that it is NOT roadfood, you are recommending it AS roadfood. This has, for better or worse, become a forum not just for roadfood. Unfortunately, too many people do not distinguish when they are recommending roadfood and when they are recommending fine dining. I, for one, would very much appreciate it if ALL posters would specify when a recommendation is NOT roadfood.



    Mr. Ed? I have been to Napa several times and my experience is that ain't a whole lot of roadfood there. The lst time I was there, I could not find cheap eats. I think I got out paying $250 fo lunch. What I think Lleechef was doing was guiding whoever was interested to the most reasonable place with quality that she could recall. Napa ain't cheap and is a mecca for very expensive places.

    Criticizing someone because of their post is OK I guess but you really should try to understand the area. Napa may have a fast food place or two but my experience is that roadfood as this site knows it is not prevalent there.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #13
    EddH
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/16 12:04:18 (permalink)
    Paul,
    I apologize to anyone who felt I was being critical. I live in the San Jose, CA area and am very familiar with that area. I still hold my ground. If roadfood is supposed to be the subject, people should say when they feel they are posting other than roadfood. I am always looking for cheaper places to eat there, even though I know they probably don't exist. But it would certainly be more helpful to me, and I believe others, if people would let us know when they are recommending something that is not roadfood. Just my opinion, of course. Peace. Edd
    #14
    lleechef
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/16 16:31:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EddH

    I, for one, would very much appreciate it if ALL posters would specify when a recommendation is NOT roadfood.

    Oh really? We shall all keep that in mind when posting in the future.
    #15
    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/16 17:28:46 (permalink)
    Please read lleechef's first posting. She did indeed qualify her suggestions as "hardly Roadfood."
    #16
    Lunza
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/17 18:05:08 (permalink)
    If I were looking for a restaurant recommendation here or anywhere else, and price were an object, I would say so.

    The Napa wine country is not a place you go to pinch pennies.

    The definition of Roadfood, according to this very site, here: http://www.roadfood.com/NewsInformation/WhatIsRoadfood.aspx

    Roadfood means great regional meals along highways, in small towns and in city neighborhoods.

    It is non-franchised, sleeves-up food made by cooks, bakers, pitmasters, and sandwich-makers who are America’s culinary folk artists.

    Roadfood is almost always informal and inexpensive; and the best Roadfood restaurants are colorful places enjoyed by locals (and savvy travelers) for their character as well as their menu.

    It is our intention that Roadfood.com will lead the way to:

    * great local color
    * the best regional specialties
    * unforgettable diners, celestial barbecue, and four-star pig-outs galore!


    I imagine people on both sides of the debate over what should be recommended in these forums could mine that, but I see nothing expressly forbidding mentioning expensive, formal fine-dining venues.
    #17
    BT
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/17 18:54:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lunza
    The Napa wine country is not a place you go to pinch pennies.


    I think I accidentally started this debate and I didn't intend to. I personally see absolutely nothing wrong with recommending high as well as low-priced meals as long as you classify them as such (Ileechef did that)--and considering that most people reading this site are probably more interested in cheap but good food, I'd suggest that should be the focus of the most useful recommendations.

    Having said all that, I will differ with Lunza. Some people certainly are interested in saving money while visiting the Napa Valley--and even more so its next-door (and more interesting IMHO) neighbor, the Sonoma Valley. The people most interested in that, admittedly, may be locals like myself who just want to get out of the city and the fog for a day trip to the warm, sunny wine country--but that's a lot of people. And most of us don't go up there for fancy food which we can certainly get within range of SF Muni (gratuitous local reference)--we mostly just want a good/cheap (i.e. "roadfood") lunch or maybe the food to stage a picnic.

    It's sad, I think, that the NoCal wine country is increasingly the playground of the rich and celebrated with their fancy eating places among their hobby vinyards, but that's making it so much less worth visiting as the "touristification" of Fisherman's Wharf is about to drive away the last real fisherman.
    #18
    BBQ Barney
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/17 20:58:00 (permalink)
    When treeclimber asked "where to eat," no price or roadfood definition was stated. So I'm happy to hear all ideas, regardless of price---- since I intend to return to Napa valley as soon as possible. That said, I still could eat, what I consider roadfood, at Taylor's Refresher in St. Helena each day I'm in the area. Great burgers(as previously noted), but also calamari, and fish tacos along with an espresso shake make a marvelous lunch.
    #19
    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/09/20 16:31:19 (permalink)
    Sorry for veering off the course, treeclimber, but I see these recommendations for Taylor's Refresher in St. Helena. They opened a branch in SF's Ferry Building, and we went. We thought the food was good but not worth the price or wait. Is the St. Helena location better/cheaper/faster?
    #20
    Zin Chef
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/10/01 02:15:39 (permalink)
    For roadfood, you have to head west to Sonoma County. Napa is like Disneyland while Sonoma is more rural and down home.
    #21
    BT
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/10/01 13:46:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Zin Chef

    For roadfood, you have to head west to Sonoma County. Napa is like Disneyland while Sonoma is more rural and down home.


    Bingo!
    #22
    Willly
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/10/01 14:14:53 (permalink)
    This was all on an expense account, but we had great meals and wine at Pinot Blanc in St. Helena. Auberge Du Soleil had a wonderful view of the valley. Lunch at Domaine Chandon was great as well. Much too late for you to get a table at French Laundry, but well worth it next time you are up that way. I forget where, but just off the highway on your way up from S.F., I thought I saw an In-n-Out...
    #23
    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/10/01 17:07:18 (permalink)
    I bet you mean the In 'n Out in Marin County. That's US 101 north. Get off at the first exit immediately north of the Richardson Bay bridge, which is the little bridge north of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Waldo grade and tunnel. I think the name of the exit is "Seminary," and continue on the side road north about 3 blocks. If you miss that exit, you will see In 'n Out on the east side of the freeway in the Strawberry mall area, and you can use the next exit and backtrack. This location does not have a drive-through.
    #24
    marydennis
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    RE: Napa Wine country 2004/10/05 20:24:21 (permalink)
    OK, here goes. I'm a newby, but I have been to the Napa/Sonoma area often enough to know thar the term "Roadfood" takes on a whole new dimension in that area. First of all, you can't find a bad meal in the area. Some of them are just "betterer" than others. And, you will spend money-gloriously. Now, how come no one has mentioned my two favorites-one at each end of Napa Valley? The Martini House in St. Helena is exquisite for lunch or dinner. Eat outside, if possible.
    And Don Giovannis just north of Napa is great. It has replaced Tra Vigne as our Italian favorite. OK, I'm ready for the slings and arrows.
    #25
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