Answers from Our Experts (2)
Napa is synonymous with fine wine and impeccable restaurants. Leading the way is Thomas Keller's Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The French Laundry in Yountville. It's located in an 1880s-era cottage, and table settings include Limoges china, crystal stemware and floor-length linens. Keller creates two nine-course tastings menus every day and never uses the same ingredient twice throughout the meal. Service is impeccable and has helped the restaurant earn its reputation as one of the finest in the world. The atmosphere is a bit more casual at Five-Star The Restaurant at Meadowood, but the dining experience is equally stellar. Chef Christopher Kostow creates specific menus for each table based on the likes and dislikes of the group garnered by the reservations staff beforehand. Ingredients are sourced from both The Napa Valley Reserve Garden, at the entrance to the Meadowood property and the St. Helena Montessori school garden. Terra's chef-owner Hiro Sone has been impressing diners since 1988 with his flavorful mix of French, Asian and northern California cuisine. The Four-Star restaurant is located in a charming old building, with vintage red-tiled floors, exposed stone walls and wood-beam ceilings. Seasonal signature dishes include red wine-braised veal cheeks, lobster tortellini and stone fruit tarte tatin. French-born San Francisco restaurateur Claude Rouas opened his Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Auberge du Soleil in 1981, and four years later added rooms for overnight guests on the 33-acre hillside olive grove in Rutherford. The seasonal French and California fusion menu features artisanal ingredients and products from local farms, and the six-course tasting menu comes with wine pairings. Finally, Four-Star Lucy Restaurant and Bar at Bardessono Hotel and Spa in Yountville offers ingredient-driven cuisine from the onsite garden. Chef Victor Scargle’s dishes focus on seasonal flavors and elements, and the wine list is excellent and includes more than 30 by the glass.
All I can say is, it's The French Laundry and everything that comes close to The French Laundry. But The French Laundry is, of course, amazing. A good secret one — not secret, but not as known as The French Laundry — is Redd. [Richard] Reddington, the great chef. Martini House is also quite good. [Michael] Chiarello's new place, Bottega, is excellent — really good.