ad hoc + addendum
6476 Washington St., Yountville
It's hard to imagine that Thomas Keller initially opened ad hoc as a temporary dining space—it's been a beloved Yountville dinner spot since it first opened back in 2006. This laid-back spot offers a four course menu that changes daily and showcases the comfort food Keller grew up with (fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and some seriously good salads with blue cheese and bacon). It's a fixed menu, with no substitutions except for a few add-ons, which always sell out.
V Marketplace, 6526 Washington St., Yountville
If you're a Food Network addict, it's worth putting Bottega on your list so you can taste Michael Chirello's Italian menu in person. It can feel a little bit touristy, meaning it can get loud and busy, but the service is surprisingly good and the signature ricotta gnocchi is undeniably awesome.
6534 Washington St., Yountville
Another mandatory stop on the Thomas Keller tour of Napa, Bouchon is Keller's take on casual French bistro food. It's sort of impossible to call out the best menu items because everything is great. Bonus: they have a late-night menu, which can be a game-changer on a long Napa night after too many wine tastings.
The French Laundry
6640 Washington St., Yountville
Nestled discreetly in a historic former steam laundry in Yountville, The French Laundry has been a pilgrimage-worthy destination for years. It's another lauded establishment by Thomas Keller–the only American-born chef to have two three-starred Michelin restaurants. Although you'll pony up for a meal like this, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if you can't get a reservation, experience it vicariously through the gorgeous three-acre garden across the street from the restaurant, which is open to the public.
6755 Washington St., Yountville
Richard Reddington’s Redd Wood is sort of the classic embodiment of what some call the "new Napa." The fresh-feeling, casual Yountville spot was decorated by Erin Martin (she has a shop in St. Helena and is one of the area's best decorators) and is famous for its spot-on pizzas.
The city gave Garcia's a permit to set up in the parking lot of Pancha's, which is one of our favorite little local bars, and you'll find them there most evenings. Tacos like the well-loved fish and el pastor will only set you back between one and two dollars, which is a major blessing when your wallet is starting to feel the strain of too many big, wine-heavy dinners.
6510 Washington St., Yountville
French Chef Philippe Jeanty first came to the US back in the '70s to work in the first Moët & Chandon restaurant in Napa, and he's been in the valley ever since. His eponymous bistro in downtown St. Helena is French country in the best, most quaint way—sit on the idyllic outdoor patio.