Napa River Inn, 500 Main St., Napa
Greg Cole (the former Executive Chef and owner) originally came to Napa to work for Chef Jeanty (of Bistro Jeanty fame) in the kitchen at Domaine Chandon. This spring, he and his wife sold their share in this cozy restaurant to their long-time General Manager and Chef de Cuisine Marcos Uribe took over as head chef. Not to worry—Uribe has been trained by Cole over many years, and we've heard the menu and food quality are still just as good.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Oxbow Public Market, 610 First St., Napa
Napa is a short drive from some of the country's best oyster beds, so it's worth taking a break from all of the farm-to-table vegetables to check out the offerings from the nearby ocean. If you have time, head over to Point Reyes National Seashore and stop at their oyster farm for a taste of the bounty fresh out of the ocean.
1314 McKinstry St., Napa
Chef Ken Frank's formal bistro in the Westin Verasa Hotel is the embodiment of the traditional, old-school Napa dining experience. In addition to the nine-course tasting menu, we recommend springing for the wine pairing here—it's totally worth it and a great opportunity to see how the region's best wines hold up in a dining setting.
610 Main St., Napa
Masaharu Morimoto is best known as the original Iron Chef, though his restaurants are actually even better than the TV hype. The vibe here is more urban than you'd find at other restaurants in the valley since it's right downtown in Napa. Meanwhile, the Asian food is also a nice way to break up the local California cuisine.
1425 First St., Napa
Although the interior at this spot is a little Napa-quirky (think green leather and lime and orange-striped banquettes), they serve up unshakably good Italian right in the center of downtown. The pasta recipes are creative and original, and the pizza crusts are the perfect, slightly chewy Neapolitan consistency.
6480 Washington St., Napa
Richard Reddington has had stints at a dizzying array of good restaurants: he worked for Daniel Boulud at Daniel, for Wolfgang Puck at Spago (he was the Sous Chef that helped open the restaurant), and was the Executive Chef at Auberge du Soleil for several years before striking out on his own with two great Napa restaurants. The space here is wide and airy with an industrial warehouse feel, and the food is excellent. Do as the locals do and order your meal from the bar.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards
6320 Silverado Trail, Napa
This laid-back vineyard is one of the few places in Napa that's known for excellent Pinots, so it's a great way to break up the schedule if you're trying to squeeze in multiple vineyards in a day. The newly-renovated tasting room includes a huge fireplace for cooking in the great hall, which promises to be a welcome addition to their already-impressive food and wine pairing program.
6154 Silverado Trail, Napa
For a sophisticated, grown-up tasting experience, book an appointment at Shafer Vineyards. They're some of the most respected and longstanding winemakers in the valley, and their Chardonnay and Merlot (which you'll sip in their clean-lined, warmly decorated tasting room, with sweeping views of the property) are classics.
Oxbow Public Market, 644 1st St., Bldg. B, Napa
Okay, we know it's random, but Model makes the best English muffins (yes, they're that good). Oversized and layered with cornmeal, they're insanely light and often-copied. Model has been an institution in the area for almost 100 years, which means you can also trust them for great bread if you're putting together a picnic with other items from Oxbow. They also have a location in St. Helena.
Oxbow Public Market
644 First St., Napa
Oxbow Public Market is kind of like a gourmet farmers' market that's open 24/7, with vendors ranging from a vegetable grocer, to a wineshop, to an ice cream parlor. It's also home to some of our other favorites in the area, like Gott's and Hog Island Oyster.
You may also like