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Aurora

Napa Area Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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I am planning a trip to Napa Valley in appoximately one year. I am seeking suggestions on places to dine, vineyards to visit, places to stay, farmers who are using sustainable methods, rent-a-car vs. tour bus, etc. My list already includes visits to Berringer, Beaulieu Vineyard, The French Laundry, Mustard's Grill, and Tra Vigne. I would like to find lodging in Yountville. Any help that can be provided will be welcomed.

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You might check out Petit Logis. It's right down the street from Bistro Jeanty, a restaurant you will want to experience. Cheers.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Thank you, Hollywood. Petit Logis and Bistro Jeanty are now on the list. Can you tell me why this is on your list?

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Chef jeanty was formally of Chandons high end restaurant, he went back to his roots with Bistro jeanty..very comfortable and unpretentiuos restaurant, I remember his oxtail terrine beirg excellent. When in St Helena (beringers home) check out Terra (I know i'll spell his name wrong) Hiroshima shon? and his American wife have been doing elegant east meets west for a dozen years in this small place off of highway 29. Lunch at Greystone (wine spectator restaurant) should be good,Todd humphries was there chef last time I dined there (2000) and has opened his own place..I think it's called something like the Martini bar..he was sous chef at Lespanisse with gray Kunz and later took over lark creek from Bradly ogdon before getting the CIA gig. I took a class from him at the former Christian Brothers (cia greystone) and love his style. Jochiam Splichial (sorry about my spelling)has a nice place in I think oakville or St Helena..had a great warm goat cheese and baby beet salad with micros and a kenwood Sauvignon Blanc. Off the Silverado Trail we had Champange (ok, sparkling wine) Auberge de Solia.No meal..but beautiful view over looking the valley.If you can..call Ch Montelana..pack a picnic lunch and see if you can eat in there Gazebo..very romantic and fantastic views...head up north to Fetzer Vineyards to check out there gardens..outstanding and "what's his name?" prepares wonderful food.

I'll try to remember some more places we went to aftr I check my notes

have fun

CC


Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

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Hello Caped Chef,

I have seen your ID all over the place. It is a pleasure to hear from you, and I thank you for your well-informed input and thoughtful suggestions.

It should be a wonderful trip. It is an equal mixture of pleasure and education (which is also pleasure for me). I am attempting to intergrate my love of food and cooking with my public relations work. I would like to handle marketing and PR for restaurants. My interests have pulled me in that direction for some time. I am just now beginning to pursue it fully. As a result, I am also contemplating cooking school, but that remains to be seen.

While in Napa Valley, I am also trying to arrange meetings with chefs, sommeliers, servers, publicists, vintners, etc. I'm just at the beginning, and every bit of information is helpful to me. I am reading more than ever. All of it serves to increase my knowledge, and that will only make me more connected to whomever I will work with and able to represent them well.

You could probably be very helpful to Howie, another member who is planning a wine tour throuh Napa Valley. Reading the responses to his posts has also been helpful. From there, I discovered that Chateau Motelena no longer allows visitors to picnic.

To follow up on your information, I did a little digging around. Joachim Splichal is the chef/owner of Pinot Blanc in St. Helena. As I told Hollywood, it is "on my list". I did not even think of Fetzer, so I must thank you for that as well. Is John Ash the chef "what's his name?" that you are speaking of (that isn't you, is it?)?

Anyway, thanks again for the information. I am eager to hear more after you have consulted your notes.

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Yes, John Ash was whom I was refering to at Fetzer. To bad about Montalena, what a beautiful Vineyard.

Tell me a little bit about what it's all about to do PR for the Restaurant/Hospitality industry.

What are Chefs and Owners missing in regards to self promotion?

(I know off topic)

Thanks

CC


Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

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For an excellent link to Napa Valley restaurants go to:

http://www.woodsidehotels.com/napa/napa_co...ncier.htm#terra

Here they will list most of the good restaurants and give you a link to their web site if they have one.

Of the places listed we have eaten at Bistro Jeanty, Bouchon, Domaine Chandon (many years ago when Jeanty was the chef), French Laundry, La Toque, Martini House, and Terra. We have also eaten at Auberge du Soleil, Catahoula Restaurant, Gordan's Cafe and Wine Bar, Silverado and The restaurant at Meadowood.

I would skip Auberge du Soleil and The restaurant at Meadowood . Auberge is beautiful, but the food just doesn't match the surroundings. Meadowood is a wonderful place to stay, but the food is mediocre. Under no conditions do the Napa Valley Wine Train - it really is horrible food.

I have not been to Catahoula in a number of years so don't feel comfortable giving any type of review. However, in Calistoga there is a wonderful wine store called All Seasons. Amazingly, there is a large inventory of French Burgundy and smaller, less known French Champagnes. It is definitely a place to search out, although not so much for the food.

The Oakville Grocery Store is an institution and another must stop. You will be overwhelmed by the oils, vinegars, jellies, cheese, wine, condiments etc.

La Toque, Ken Frank's restaurant, I will refrain from reviewing. I have very mixed emotions about this one.

Martini House is a Pat Kuleto restaurant where Todd Humphrey's is now the chef. The decor is gorgeous. ( They have a web site and the above link will take you there). We have not been for dinner, but have had some wonderful lunches. Dishes we have particularly liked were Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with Sorrel Puree, Shaved Apples and Frisee Salad, Ahi Tuna Carpaccio with Lemon Creme Fraiche, Shaved Celery and Spring Radishes, Smoked Salmon and American Caviar Open Faced Club with Dill-Caper Cream Cheese, Grilled Sour Dough and Curly Cress Salad and a Grilled Prime Flat Iron with Roasted Artichokes, Glazed New carrots, Sauce Bordelaise and Creamed Nettles.

Terra in Yountville is a wonderful restaurant. The ambiance is welcoming and warm; it is in an old converted house near the railroad tracks. Hiro Sone, the chef and Lissa Doumani (the pastry chef and front of the house) both started their careers at Spago in Los Angeles. The cuisine is in Lisa's own words "southern French and northern Italian in style with a Japanese sensibility." Some of the stand-out items we have had in the past are: Fricassee of Miyagi Oysters and Chanterelle in a Chardonnay Cream sauce, Hamachi Sashimi with Mushroom Salad and Truffle Soy Vinaigrette, Salmon and Tuna Tartar with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette served with a Sesame Tuile, Peeky Toe Crab in Cauliflower "Vichyssoise" with Caviar, Grilled Filet of Salmon with Thai Red Curry sauce and Basmati rice, Crispy "noix" of Sweetbreads, Asparagus, Shitake Mushrooms and Green Lentils, Spaghettini with a Stew of Tripe, Tomatoes and White Beans, Grilled Lamb T-Bones with Potato Ricotta Gnocchi, Peas, Pancetta and Mint.

Bistro Jeanty is like being back in Paris. It is a favorite of ours and one we always go to each trip.

This is a copy of the review I wrote for e-gullet on June 9th for Bistro Jeanty and his new restaurant in San Francisco, Jeanty at Jacks.

Phillipe Jeanty was the chef at Domaine Chandon in its hey-day. It was fine dining - a leisurely lengthy tasting menu with first class wines. Philip decided to do his own thing and opened Bistro Jeanty - a casual, typical French bistro in Yountville - right down the street from the French Laundry. Every time we go to Napa Valley we always have a meal there and it is always good - a perfect balance after eating at The French Laundry. He has now opened a restaurant in San Francisco called Jeanty at Jacks in a space that housed a once famous San Francisco restaurant institution known as Jacks since 1864. It is essentially the same type of restaurant as his bistro in Yountville.

Below is not the full menu, but a sampling of some of his best dishes:

Duck "foie Blond" Pate

Pieds de Cochons persilles (pigs feet and haricot verts salad)

Terrine de Lapin (rabbit pate with celery root apple salad)

Petit sale (cured pork belly. Lentil ragout with 1/8" cubes of foie gras)

Foie Gras Torchon with Brioche and Sauterne Jelly

Lamb Tongue and Potato Salad

Phillipe's Smoked Salmon Carpaccio style

Escargots

Quenelles de Brochet (Pike dumplings with lobster sauce)

At one time or another, we have eaten all of the above and they match any very, very good bistro in Paris. Especially remarkable is the Petit Sale, the Lamb Tongue and the Rabbit Pate.

Entrees

Steak Tartare (the real thing)

Coq au Vin

Mussels, steamed in pinot Noir with Bay Leaves

Monkfish and Clams in a saffron Broth

Steak Frites (ribeye with fries served in a paper cone with béarnaise)

Daub de Boeuf

Cassoulet

From the above we have had the Mussels, the Cassoulet and the Steak. Particularly the steak also brings back memories of France. Softly in the background is a CD playing plaintive songs in French. Of course there is cheese: goat cheese with honey, Fourme d'Ambert, epoisse de Bourgogne.

I have not eaten their desserts but they also are traditional French fare: chocolate mousse, apple tarte tatin, creme caramel, rice pudding, lemon meringue tart. I can't comment on the quality as I have never ordered one.

All in all both Bistro Jeanty and Jeanty at Jacks is a perfect spot for us, particularly for Sunday lunch.

For a complete discussion of The French Laundry go to

http://forums.egullet.org/ibf/index.php?s=...=french+laundry

I will not reproduce the entire review here - just do one evening:

The ambiance/decor at The French Laundry is stark minimalist.  All of the excitement comes from your plate - it is a food-focused restaurant. However, it is not a temple - the feeling is casual, friendly and warm. The service team is exceptional. A good part of the staff has been here from day one and each and every one will tell you that they love working there.

Dining at The French Laundry is an all-evening affair. We got there at 7:30 PM and ended up in our Taxi Cabernet (that's the name of the best cab company in the valley) around 1:00 am.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE MENU:

The menu is composed of a chef's tasting menu, a vegetarian menu and an a la carte menu.  Since we have been there so often we don't look at the menu or even order; we just let Thomas and the staff cook.  For us, this involves a series of about 15 courses with my husband getting one preparation and I another. We each eat half of a dish and then pass so we are actually tasting over 25 different dishes. (We call this over/under - he passes under and I go over.)

Menu Meal # 1

1. Cornets of Atlantic Salmon Tartar with red onion creme fraiche (this is a signature dish and always begins the meal.)

2. Broth served in a demitasse cup perched on a stack of 4 plates - each a bit smaller than the next.

Curry infused Broth

Langoustine Broth

3. Sorbet

Fennel sorbet with nicoise olive tapenade

Red pepper sorbet with picholine olive tapenade

What I found interesting was the placement of a sorbet dish, normally a palate cleanser, at the beginning of a meal.

4. Potato Blini

Potato blini topped with eggplant caviar, underneath roasted red pepper confit dotted with a balsamic reduction

Potato blini topped with grated botarga, underneath tomato confit

5. Caviar

Signature Dish of Oysters and Pearls - "Sabayon" of pearl tapioca with malpeque oysters and osetra caviar

Another signature dish of cauliflower panna cotta topped with osetra caviar

6. Fish

We both had what Thomas labeled "Jelly Belly" - grilled cod belly, with piquillo peppers and seaweed jelly.

7. Fish

Atlantic Salmon chop with russet potato gnocchi (in looks the salmon resembles a lamb chop and the gnocchi white beans)

Gougouettes of spotted Skate Wing with orange infused water and cilantro oil - very aromatic

8. Egg

White truffle custard with ragout of Perigord truffles with veal stock presented in a hallowed out egg

Coddled hen egg with perigord truffle beurre noisette

9. Foie Gras

We both had a terrine of Moulard Duck Foie Gras with frisee salad and grilled pain de campagia

10. Fish

Crispy skin Black Bass with Grey Morel mushrooms and red wine essence

Turbot collar with fennel and Meyer lemon beurre blanc (had a flashback taste to the turbot with Hollandaise from La Caravelle in the 1960's)

11. Lobster

Maine Lobster tail with "Ham of the Woods " mushrooms and braised fennel

"Peas and Carrots" - Butter-poached Maine Lobster with Carrot-Ginger sauce and Pea Shoot salad (each carrot in the dish was about 1/8" of an inch and "turned")

12. First Meat

Pan-roasted rabbit sirloin with Tellicherry pepper shortbread and cherry and fennel bulb relish

Duck breast with peas and glazed turnips

13. Second Meat

We both had Prime Kentucky Beef Ribeye with summer vegetables, crispy bone marrow and sauce Bordelaise

14. Cheese

Valencay with Penne Compote and Argula Salad

Fourme d'Ambert with Cherries

15. Dessert

Thomas does an entire flight of desserts, but there is no way that I can handle 4 or 5 desserts plus petit fours after this type of meal. My husband's favorite is another signature dish - Doughnuts with cappuccino semifreddo with cinnamon sugar and we usually end with this.

The wines for the evening  were

M.V. Laurent Perrier, "Grand Siecle" Champagne

'97 F. Raveneau, Chablis, "Blanchots"

2000 Knoll Gruner Veltliner Beerenauslese (with the foie gras)

'97 Querciabella "Batar" Tuscany

'99 Vernay "Challets de L'Enter" Condrieu

'99 Roumier "Bonnes Mares" Burgundy

'67 Chateau D'Yquem, Sauternes

Bobby Stuckey and Kevin Fergel, the two sommeliers are wonderful. Not only are they knowledgeable, but they are eager to steer you to those hidden gems/exceptional values. The entire staff from the food runners to Laura Cunningham, the GM are tremendous. They sincerely try to make a perfect evening.

What is also amazing about the French Laundry is that given the amount of food, each dish is not only unique, but also works as part of the whole, perfectly orchestrated meal. There is rarely a wrong note.

Hope this helps.

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Aurora,

I think you can see why Jeanty is worth checking out. Petit Logis is a convenient, relatively inexpensive place to stay close to Jeanty.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Martini house has one of the best wine lists I've ever seen. While it doesn't have the breadth and depth of first growths, it has plenty of trophies, but more importantly, many significant choices in all price ranges, going down to $25 and under.

Furthermore, it's a greatly organized list, so even though it has over 500 entries, it's not a difficult read. One page of wines from restauranteurs, one of women winemakers and plenty of organization around varietals. A superb selection of half bottles.

I ate there last night, the food was very good, service and hospitality completely outstanding.

I ate at Terra tonight, where the food was outstanding, the service a notch below. You should enjoy either of them.


beachfan

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Aorora,

There's been some mention of La Toque. I have no reservations in recommending this one. Ken Frank does wonderful food & wine pairings. The wine you may taste with the food may well be otherwise not available being from small sold out vineyards. Frank and his brigade have been doing wonderful things with french food for years. If you like foie gras, go.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Hollywood - Do I like foie gras? YES.

Caped Chef - you are keeping me on my toes especially with the wine and the specific info. You are owed a reply on your PR question. Because it is off topic, I will send it as a PM.

Lizziee - that was incredible! That over under manuver will serve me well, I think. Thank you for the links.

Beachfan - Thank you for also including opinions about the quality of the service you have received.

Thank you so much for all this information. Until a few days ago, I did not consider myself to be at the beginning of planning the trip. That has changed. I was planning to keep a journal, I have started the journal now. It includes all of your suggestions and recommendations and what I have discovered when following up. I will be there for about ten days, perhaps longer if time permits.

If you have more, I want to hear it. With food, there is no such thing as too much information.

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Tell me a little bit about what it's all about to do PR for the Restaurant/Hospitality industry.

What are Chefs and Owners missing in regards to self promotion?

(I know off topic)

Thanks

CC

Aurora-

Nothing is ever off topic. I really would be interested in hearing your answer.

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Be sure to call the Robert Mondavi winery in late March/early April as they announce their "Summer Festival Series"...music in vineyards on assorted weekends...traditionally they begin with the Preservation Hall Band (Jazz from NOLA) the weekend closest to the 4th of July...followed by fireworks overhead. I am going for the 10th time this July 6th and will give you an update on a few of the aforementioned restaurants...Bistro Jeanty, Martini House, Pinot Blanc.

You might want to check out Rancho Caymus for a place to stay...It shares a courtyard with La Toque...or if you don't mind driving...stay in Calistoga at the Silver Rose Inn...or if you want to be in near downtown Napa...the Beazley House...a B&B...but, only in the Carriage House rooms behind the main house. If you want to spend a lot...Meadowood or Auberge du Soliel )personally I just go up and have oysters and champagne on the patio in the late afternoon and savor the view while saving beacoup bucks!

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Tell me a little bit about what it's all about to do PR for the Restaurant/Hospitality industry.

What are Chefs and Owners missing in regards to self promotion?

(I know off topic)

Thanks

CC

Aurora-

Nothing is ever off topic. I really would be interested in hearing your answer.

I know, I know. I am long overdue with a reply to this question. Please forgive the delay. I want to give it my full attention and there has not been enough time for much in the last three days.

Southern Girl - I had also overlooked Mondavi in the same way that I had overlooked Fetzer. I will await the reviews of your July 6 visit.

Steve Klc - Thanks again. I have been lurking in that thread. It is also tremendously helpful and I'm taking lots of notes, but as should be expected, it is a full-tilt toward wine. In planning this trip, my thought process is one very comfortable, relaxed, centrally located place to stay, and a balance between food and wine with a heavy favoritism toward food.

The Napa Valley Novice is assembling quite a compendium. I'm happier than a pig in slop, I am! Condensing the most compelling bits into ten days makes the planner/organizer in me come alive.

Anyway, back to that question...

What is it like to do PR for the Restaurant/Hospitality industry?

First, so you understand my thinking, I must draw a few distinctions. There is a definite difference of style and approach to PR in the restaurant industry and PR in the hospitality or hotel industry. The only commonalties in the discipline of public relations, as practiced in any industry, are the defined, ethical approaches and methods that guide it. That is pretty much where it ends. After that, the differences are vast. The specific practices and methods that are utilized and rejected, the style and tone of the approach, entire strategies--all of those things are defined and shaped by the business that one works for, and it occurs on several levels. In this way, even Restaurant/Hospitality is a huge umbrella. Their relationship as service industries is obvious, but they really are separate categories.

Hospitality--I have already unfairly generalized and said "hotel" but I'm still going to leave it there. I could go on at length about it, and I don't even work in that direction. Restaurant--For my purpose, it is public relations exclusively for one restaurant.

So, what's it like? From this unique position, it is all of the positive aspects of PR with none--none of the distasteful, negative points mixed in. There is tremendous latitude for imagination and creativity. It is vital that I know as much as I can about every aspect of what goes on and why, and the work demands a passionate interest and knowledge of food, cooking and fine dining. PR appeals to me because I love to communicate, interact with people, advance ideas and persuade. My love of food makes restaurant PR an ideal combination. I get to write, read, organize events, travel, meet people, eat, talk--a lot--and speak on occasion. Remove the need for tactics or a focus on "spin," "damage control" and "troubleshooting," and what remains is something that is very lively, lots of fun, rewarding and I get to call it work.

The other question was "what are chefs and owners missing in regard to self-promotion?"

It has become important for chefs and owners to understand self-promotion because of the shift in [public] perception that has occurred in food and dining in the last forty years. A true American cuisine has emerged. As a nation, that has changed how we cook and what we eat. Chefs and restaurateurs have been the driving force. We are far more aware of who they are because the media takes notice. Attention to self-promotion allows the chef and owner to take more control of determining how the message of what they do is communicated to the public. To not take advantage of it allows reviews and word-of-mouth be the sole carriers of the message. It is a little more traditional, but these days, that translates into less attention, slower growth and untapped customer bases.

The shift has also brought about the "celebrity chef." I think the negative connotations associated with the term, specifically from within the industry, are responsible not for what chefs and owners are "missing" but rejecting about self-promotion. Here, self-promotion is viewed as a template or a formula for getting attention. PR is taken to an extreme, and it lacks the subtlety and respect that the industry deserves. This is not to say that every chef who has a cookbook or a cooking show is representative of this example.

Most chefs--including the visible ones--get it, and they take an active approach to developing a strategy that evolves over time, balances timing with appropriateness and makes the cuisine the main attraction. Oh, and they hire the right people to help them.

If I missed anything, let me know, and please tell me what you think. Do we have the makings of a new thread here?

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Dear Auroro,

Thank you very much for detailing your work for us.


Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

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Dear Auroro,

Thank you very much for detailing your work for us.

Thank you for asking. It was a pleasure to discuss it. I enjoy it immensely, and I hope that is evident.

What are your thoughts on Copia? Is it worth a visit?

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Napa Valley Novice, How are you? My name is Kristyon, and I had lived in the Napa Valley for a couple of Years. The food can be outstanding. I used to work at TERRA with Hiro Sone ( Chef/ owner). I deeply recommend dining here. I also worked at Beringer at the Hudson House ( invitation only). The chef of Beringer was such a huge fan of Hiro. The food is beyond wonderful and the care that is taken to make each dish special is a constant in Hiro's kitchen.

I also worked for a shor time at Bouchon In Yountville. It is very simple, classic, and delicious French food. I recommend eating here during the relaxed lunch time. The (Oyster Bar is very nice with a selection of raw clams and oysters ( 6-9 varieties) staemed mussels and crab and lobster. The Skate wing is fantastic. If Sam is around, he should be your waiter!

Another place you may want to stop by is the Rutherford Grill. Simple presentations and great products are of the essence. Depending on the time of day however, you may have to wait for a table, but once you are seated, service is very neat and quick.

I have to agree with Caped Chef about Jeanty; It was easily one of my favorite spots in the Valley! Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa is yet another comfortable place where the food is superb, but service is hit and miss.

Back to Jeanty, My meals have always been top notch; I worked with one of the sous chefs from Jeanty at Beringer. It was quite the experience.One of my first meals in Napa was at Domaine Chandon. Chef Robert Curry is unbelieveably talented and he shows this in every dish that leaves his kitchen. From the smoked salmon tartare, to the quail confit; it is extacy!

Yet another option is Mustard's Grill. The Ahi sandwich with pickled ginger and wasabi aioli is very good :rolleyes:

If you want to talk or need anymore options please feel free :laugh:

GOOD LUCK! CHEERS! Bon apetit - Kristyon

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I haven't been yet Auroro,but I plan to visit it next time i'm out west

Here's their web page if you haven't seen it

http://www.copia.org/pages/home.asp

Enjoy

Sorry to interject, but I see that you guys are wondering about COPIA. It is a wonderful place that I almost wish I could live in. From the Art exhibits to the bookstore it is an enriching environment. Julia's Kitchen is a must; chef ( I believe) is from Jean Lois Palladin.

Enjoy-Cheers! Kristyon

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My name is Kristyon, and I had lived in the Napa Valley for a couple of Years.

Hello Kristyon:

I am quite wonderful. Today was great. I am currently working for a restaurant that received well-deserved, TASTEFUL, media attention. Generally, that is a blessing, but it can be a curse on occasion. Today was a blessing. How are you? Thank you so much for your imput. It is a plus to receive a resident's perspective, and I am eager to hear more.

Everyone has been wonderful. They have supplied me with recommendation after recommendation that has turned into pages of notes. A rough outline of a trip is beginning to surface. Now, I would also like to hear about the possible pitfalls that someone like me could potentially fall into? The Napa thread in the wine topic discusses traffic and crowding at length. Do you or any other members have any cautions that you would like to mention? Please don't hold back. What are good and bad times to be there?

Please tell me more about Copia's bookstore. The Web site does devote a page to the Gift Shop, but the brief mention of books could easily be omitted. So much so that I took the lack of elaboration to mean that the Gift Shop contained books, but there really wasn't enough to call it a bookstore. Books hold a special place in my heart, and books on gastronomy, cookbooks--well, I'll just say that l like them a lot.

Also, I would like to hear about any specialty food, wine and cooking stores in Napa Valley.

Thanks again.

:laugh:

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Auroro,

"However, in Calistoga there is a wonderful wine store called All Seasons. Amazingly, there is a large inventory of French Burgundy and smaller, less known French Champagnes. It is definitely a place to search out, although not so much for the food.

The Oakville Grocery Store is an institution and another must stop. You will be overwhelmed by the oils, vinegars, jellies, cheese, wine, condiments etc."

I posted this on June 23 and both All Seasons and Oakville are worth a stop. There is always Dean and Deluca which is just at the boundary of St Helena. A cute store to stop by is the Mosswood Collection in Yountville at 6550 Washington Street. They carry antique corkscrews as well as an extensive collection of things for the garden. Greystone, home of the CIA in Napa, is just up the road from St. Helena. It is a nice walk from the center of St Helena to Greystone and back, particularly after lunch to get you ready for dinner.

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If memory serves, Niebaum Coppola also has a nice upscale book, food & gizmo store. And lots of Coppola memorabilia to gander at.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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My name is Kristyon, and I had lived in the Napa Valley for a couple of Years.

Hello Kristyon:

I am quite wonderful. Today was great. I am currently working for a restaurant that received well-deserved, TASTEFUL, media attention. Generally, that is a blessing, but it can be a curse on occasion. Today was a blessing. How are you? Thank you so much for your imput. It is a plus to receive a resident's perspective, and I am eager to hear more.

Everyone has been wonderful. They have supplied me with recommendation after recommendation that has turned into pages of notes. A rough outline of a trip is beginning to surface. Now, I would also like to hear about the possible pitfalls that someone like me could potentially fall into? The Napa thread in the wine topic discusses traffic and crowding at length. Do you or any other members have any cautions that you would like to mention? Please don't hold back. What are good and bad times to be there?

Please tell me more about Copia's bookstore. The Web site does devote a page to the Gift Shop, but the brief mention of books could easily be omitted. So much so that I took the lack of elaboration to mean that the Gift Shop contained books, but there really wasn't enough to call it a bookstore. Books hold a special place in my heart, and books on gastronomy, cookbooks--well, I'll just say that l like them a lot.

Also, I would like to hear about any specialty food, wine and cooking stores in Napa Valley.

Thanks again.

:laugh:

Hello Aurora!

It's great to hear back from you. Well, I am very pleased to hear about your planning- watch out for the Main Highway 29! From about 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm take the side roads or the Silverado Trail. The Silverado Trail runs parallel to 29 and there are a few side streets that connect the two. I actually prefer taking Silverado most of the time myself. The Valley, as you probably already know is going to be full of tourists. Come 4:00 pm, don't try to take 29 south. It used to resemble a parking lot!

Don't let the floods of people scare you. The Napa Valley Olive Oil Company is a cool little place to go to just to check it out; go early!

You have to go to Dean & Deluca. I used to work there in the cheese and charcuterie department. The selection of salamis from Molinari and Hobb's are exquisite! At Dean & Deluca you can find some great ingredients and supplies for our kitchen. If you need to talk some serious cheese, John Raymond should still be around- he was the department manager when I was there.

SunShine Market is another great market where you can get some sensational meats, duck, fish, and pork. The little Sushi stand they have there is actually pretty good too if you are having a sushi withdrawl.

Speaking of Sushi, If you can, check out HANA in Rohnert Park. This is a must for a divine sushi experience. Ken Hana is an artisan that works magic.

Just a quick suggestion on wineries ( there are so many so if I leave one out, please don't shoot) Shramsburg is incredible. It is located in Calistoga on the Main Highway 29.

Rutherford Hill

Domaine Chandon

Stags Leap

Robert Sinskey

Joseph Phelps

Rombauer

Duckhorn Winery

Chateau Montelena

Elyse

These are just a few that flew out of my head. They are all over the valley, so I would get a map so you can see what is going to best for you so you can see these wonderful places.

I am actually going to Napa for 9 days! I can't wait. I am leaving here on July 9. I will be staging with Hiro for a couple of days. Hopefully I can get into Gary Danko's or Masa's. When are you going to be there?

Oh! I also meant to recommend Roux if I have not already. It is on Main Street in St Helena, around the corner from TERRA. La Toque is also a great recommendation. I myself have not been there, but A buddy of mine works there now; he vowed that the food is strikingly wonderful :biggrin:

If you have anymore questions at all, or you just want to talk food, do not hesitate.

Look forward to talking with you soon,

Chez Kristyon ( Maison)

P.S. My new name is Maison :biggrin:

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One more store that just came to mind is SHACKFORD'S in Downtown Napa. It is a really nice, privately owned store with cutlery, cookware, and gadgets. :biggrin:

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