Travel

St. Helena

Establishment neighborhood
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
200 Taplin Rd., St. Helena
Family owned, and still run day-to-day by the Phelps family for the last sixty years, this Napa wine hero boasts over 130 acres of rolling vineyards alongside olive groves, fruit orchards, and bee hives—you’ll struggle to find a more picturesque setting to settle into for an afternoon of tasting. Start off with Phelps’ Insignia Blending Seminar Settle in for a full afternoon (or two) of culinary delights (Insignia is not only the vineyard’s signature wine but is California’s first proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend). This is a hands-on, but highly refined way to learn about terroir and varietal selections as you smell, taste, and experiment with blending the six Insignia components for a sensorially perfect glass of vino. All that tasting builds an appetite and Phelps have created a truly interactive food experience—named playful plates—where guests can continue the tasting experience (led by a seasoned wine educator) but accompanied by delicious, seasonal bites all chosen to complement the wine.
W F Giugni & Son
1227 Main St., St. Helena
This Italian deli has been serving build-your-own sandwiches since the 1970s. Pick your bread base (we recommend the dutch crunch roll), and then take your pick from the endless meat, cheese, and fixings choice, including “Giugni juice”, the deli’s famous homemade balsamic vinaigrette, which we suggest adding to anything and everything you order. Arrive before 11am or call ahead to order, as the line can be long, and remember to bring cash. Photo @whatgraceeats
Acacia House
1915 Main St., St. Helena
Chef Chris Cosentino has earned a reputation as one of the culinary world's top talents (he's held his own in the TV sphere as the winner of Top Chef Masters). At Acacia House, his penchant for classic American dishes is evident on the menu. For the vegetarians among us, the whole roasted eggplant is exceptional, finished with capers, pistachios, and blistered tomatoes. If you're looking for a heartier protein, go for the Striped Bass. And if you happen to find yourself tiring of wine, there's an inventive cocktail list from which to choose, which includes a traditional Mexico City margarita.
Two Birds/One Stone (Closed)
3020 St. Helena Hwy. N, St. Helena
We love a good yakitori dish, so naturally we were curious to try this restaurant when it opened last summer. It delivers, to say the least, and offers a refreshing (and much-needed) Asian twist to Napa's culinary scene. The duo behind it has serious chops (Douglas Keane and Sang Yoon, from the now-closed Michelin-starred Cyrus and LA's Father's Office, respectively), proving their talent by using local woods to infuse the grill with flavor unique to the area. We especially like the laid-back vibe of the staff that welcomes walk-ins with the same ease as anyone with a reservation (an anomaly, at times, in Napa). Check out their happy hour event Monday and Friday.
The Charter Oak
1050 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena
New-ish kid on the block, The Charter Oak, is the highly anticipated follow-up from Christopher Kostow and Nathaniel Dorn, who previously earned three Michelin stars for the Restaurant at Meadowood. Located in the former Tra Vigne, lovingly run by Michael Chiarello for some 30-plus years, the space has undergone a soup-to-nuts renovation (the iconic lion statues outside still remain) and the result is a warm brick-and-wood interior, a substantial patio, and a more casual family-style menu. Chef Katianna Hong takes the helm of this restaurant that elevates the art of simple American food. (And we mean simple: Most of the dishes feature minimal ingredients and are meant to be shared.) This means, hearth roasted figs with local honey for starters, coal roasted cabbage, and cauliflower with a mushroom au jus. It's gaining in popularity, so be sure to snag reservations ahead of time.
Las Alcobas
1915 Main St., St. Helena
This stunning new hotel merges modern, minimalist design within a historical landmark. Six of its sixty-eight rooms are housed in the Acacia House, a 1905 Victorian mansion that also hosts the Chris Cosentino-helmed restaurant (aptly named Acacia House), as well as a lounge that offers some of the most expansive views in the valley. Like its sister hotel in Mexico City, the rooms are elegant and considered, and the architecture is noteworthy. Book the Atrio Experience, a reflexology & aromatherapy experience topped with an Indian head massage, stat upon your arrival.
Hoffman Institute
3100 White Sulphur Springs Rd., St. Helena
Many friends of goop credit the Hoffman Process as being the transformational experience in their life, helping them distinguish behaviors and patterns inherited from childhood with who they actually are as adults. The primary outpost is in St. Helena, California, where they offer year-round, week-long programs that are completely immersive (i.e. you check your phone when you arrive), with occasional sessions in Connecticut. This residential retreat will help you break the cycles of compulsive ways of being so that you can begin to make choices from a new place of clarity and love. You can read more about the process here. They also offer scholarships for those who can't pay the full rate.
Meadowood
900 Meadowood Ln., St. Helena
If making the pilgrimage to Napa Valley is a must for any foodie or wino, then Meadowood in St. Helena—officially one of the world's best hotels—is most certainly Mecca. In the Restaurant, Chris Kostow continues to wow critics, guests, and chef friends alike with his vision, passion, and downright deliciousness (proof: Kostow's cookbook A New Napa Cuisine). Plus, there's no better place to sleep off a three Michelin-starred meal than in one of their cozy rooms by a roaring fire (unless you count the massage table at the seriously idyllic spa).
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