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Napa Area Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


Aurora
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You'll also be happy to know that Thomas Keller once cited in an interview that HE enjoyed chowing down on In n' Out Burgers from time to time.

I've heard this a hundred times and I suspect that's why certain folks like it.

He may like Britney Spears singing the Kurt Weil Songbook but that doesn't mean it's good!

From Bombdog, my old neighbor who has deserted us for the Deep South:

Steve, you really need to quit sugar coating these things....just let it out. You'll feel better.

Well, if you really think I should....

Edited by rancho_gordo (log)

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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From Bombdog, my old neighbor who has deserted us for the Deep South:

Hey, I need some beans....do you deliver?

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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Robert have a fantastic time, we stayed in Yountville last month and ate at both FL and Bouchon (twice it was so good!) and of course the Bouchon bakery daily for breakfast.

We flew home out of Oakland and there is an In & Out burger right off the freeway before you enter the airport grounds- we loved it!

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Robert have a fantastic time, we stayed in Yountville last month and ate at both FL and Bouchon (twice it was so good!) and of course the Bouchon bakery daily for breakfast.

We flew home out of Oakland and there is an In & Out burger right off the freeway before you enter the airport grounds- we loved it!

Thank you Wendy. I truely am counting the hours at this point. :raz:

Robert R

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I'm going to be in Napa soon as well, but for the first time I'm going to try calling each morning to see if The French Laundry has any openings that evening. Will also be dining at La Toque. Other than that, we're keeping the week open.

As for In-and-Out burger, order the burgers animal style and ask for the fries well done.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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We talked to one of the chefs at Le Toque, he was pouring our wine at Miner Winery!! He was very interested in our lunch at TFL and said they were doing really great things with foie gras. I'll be really interested in reading your review of them.

There were 2 tables empty during our recent lunch at TFL

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You'll also be happy to know that Thomas Keller once cited in an interview that HE enjoyed chowing down on In n' Out Burgers from time to time.

I've heard this a hundred times and I suspect that's why certain folks like it.

He may like Britney Spears singing the Kurt Weil Songbook but that doesn't mean it's good!

From Bombdog, my old neighbor who has deserted us for the Deep South:

Steve, you really need to quit sugar coating these things....just let it out. You'll feel better.

Well, if you really think I should....

Keller also said he had a fondness for Burger King Whoppers before moving to Southern California and finding In-n-Out.

Hey, whattaya know… maybe there’s more to life than heirloom beans.

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robert- FWIW, I'm on the NNOUT band wagon as well. The big deal? All fresh, all beef, all real. Not F** soy fillers and not McD's mystery meat either.

Fries: always dry in my estimation: overcooked? you can order them "light fry" and they will only fry once and not dry them out. Limp, yes, but they have flavor.

Shakes: thick, creamy, real milk and ice cream

Burgers: Repeat after me: Double Double Animal/Protien Style. Translation: Double burger, double cheese, with fried onions and no bun- it comes wrapped in lettuce.

Oh, and burgers/fries/shakes are all they do. No chicken, no salads, no soups, no tacos. Focus on one thing and do it right. They do get some guff though: right wing christian ownership. They've been smacked for discriminatory hiring practices. Look at the bottom of your NNOUT cup: Johns #:#? don't remember the verse cited.

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  • 1 year later...

Looks like I'll have one night in Rutherford -- three, really, but two will be working -- and would much appreciate any suggestions anywhere in nearby both for dinner or for wineries to pop into. I've seen other friends pop back to DC with wines I know we can get here, so onscure is appreciated. And, as the anti-Miles, I bring years of prejudice against Cali Pinots with my baggage (though either they are improving or my palate is :wink:) and will happily drink Merlot (or whatever). Will be travlleing w/ co-workers, so ability to drive six hours for one great meal/vineyard/view is limited by their common sense.

Thanks.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I have a coffee roaster friend in the Santa Rosa CA area whose background (prior to his entry into coffee) was in the culinary arts. A NY based friend of mine has a son who is currently a CIA student and did a six month internship at Terra - in St. Helena - just a few miles from Rutherford.

When I asked my CA based buddy about Terra he insisted on any given day it can be as good - food wise - as the French Laundry. He admits to being biased and I haven't personally eaten there but it may be worth looking into if reservations are available.

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Terra is great. If the weather is nice, lunch at Rutherford Grill is a great outdoor experience. Starting Feb 5 La Toque has a truffle menu. Rutherford is also close to Yountville. If we had only one dinner out I certainly would consider Redd or Ad Hoc.

The area is so full of great wine tasting I can only give a couple of suggestions. We had a great tour of Kuleto Estate (they are only alowed something like 20 a day) It’s about 20 minutes from Rutherford and worth the trip. Allow a couple hours.

Rubicon is right there is Rutherford. It’s pricey to some for a wine tasting ($25) but they do sit on some of the best Cab vines in the world.

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I have to disagree on Rutherford Grill -- the Napa valley has an injunction against chain restaurants so this one is nothing other than a renamed Houston's with a slightly tweaked menu. There are infinitely better throughout the valley worthy of one's money.

The possibilities are truly endless for extraordinary meals:

Pilar

Terra

Martini House

For fabulous meals:

Bistro Don Giovanni

Zuzu

Ad Hoc

Bouchon

Bistro Jeanty

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I have to disagree on Rutherford Grill -- the Napa valley has an injunction against chain restaurants so this one is nothing other than a renamed Houston's with a slightly tweaked menu. There are infinitely better throughout the valley worthy of one's money.

And I have to disagree again. Please keep in mind that they are a customer so maybe I am a little protective. They are part of the Houstons family but they have a a lot of independence as well. And locals love it. I've seen them change the menu based on what is available and good.

Another thing is that during the market seasons, you see the chef (McFeely) and his staff in both St Helena and Napa markets every week buying produce, something you don't see from the more reknowned, psuedo-green chefs in the valley. Buy me a drink and I can tell you who buys local and who would like to but is too busy waiting for the Sysco truck!

I think Carrie is right in that if you have limited time, this might not make the top 3 but if you make friends with a local, you're just as likely to end up at Rutherford Grill as the bar at Martini House or Pizza Azzuro.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Okay, I'll grant Rancho Gordo is right that it can be a local's hangout -- during the off season (I DID have my share of grilled artichokes there). Try getting a table at the height of the tourist season and you'd be hard-pressed to find a single local. But definitely, if you only have one meal in Napa, there are much more memorable places to dine.

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...and I should add that Miss Tillie dines out a lot more than I do.

While I'm there, can you send a couple of pounds of tarbais over to my hotel COD? I got some cassoulet cooking coming up... :wink:

Local places are good because I always like to hang with locals. (A particularly interesting experience ion Puerto Vaillarta from where I just returned. Not many other Americans at the cockfights). And because sometimes you just want to have a comfortable lunch and not a nine-course feast.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Terra and Bistro Jeanty are both very good. You may want to consider Auberge du Soleil for a meal, we have had a couple of very nice lunches there out on the back terrace with the gorgeous views. We have also enjoyed nice lunches at Domaine Chandon in Yountville on their back patio.

We will soon be in the wine country, we usually stay in Sonoma but I'm leaning towards Napa Valley/Healdsburg this trip. I still haven't made it to Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen where I would like to go for lunch, Ad Hoc sounds very interesting also. A must this trip will be Cyrus in Healdsburg. Cheers! :)

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ad hoc, auberge, or terra for food

duckhorn or pride mountain for merlot

say hi at the bakery if you've got time

read about me here: http://www.sthelenastar.com/articles/2007/...df196851955.txt

edit: i'm making some bread for pride tonight; i'd be happy to facilitate a tasting for you. i'm on the list.

Edited by artisanbaker (log)
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When I lived in Napa, Terra was my absolute favorite place. And yes, I have eaten at the French Laundry.

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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(I DID have my share of grilled artichokes there).

I was cooking artichokes when I posted about Rutherford Grill. People do need lunch too. I don't rember seeing them on DC menus so I thought they would be a good California item. In my book they are in the grey area of chains. I'm sure some might make the same claim about Martini House.

It is tough choosing one place in the Valley. It's not like trying to find a cosy bistro in Barstow.

Edited by StanSherman (log)
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We've eaten a lot throughout the area and for me it really boils down to one place: Bouchon. I absolutely adore Jeanty (more than PJ Steak), Redd is amazing, Terra and Cindy's Backstreet are favs, we've had fun and memorable meals at Martini House and have eaten snacks from Sunshine Market and Dean & Deluca more times than I can count. When I take all that into consideration my mind goes right back to Bouchon and the Boudin Blanc with Potato Puree, French Prunes, and Browned Butter. With a simple starter of Bibb Lettuce with Herbs & Vinaigrette and a finish of Sorbet, I can't really imagine a meal better in the Valley.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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We've eaten a lot throughout the area and for me it really boils down to one place: Bouchon.  I absolutely adore Jeanty (more than PJ Steak), Redd is amazing, Terra and Cindy's Backstreet are favs, we've had fun and memorable meals at Martini House and have eaten snacks from Sunshine Market and Dean & Deluca more times than I can count.  When I take all that into consideration my mind goes right back to Bouchon and the Boudin Blanc with Potato Puree, French Prunes, and Browned Butter.  With a simple starter of Bibb Lettuce with Herbs & Vinaigrette and a finish of Sorbet, I can't really imagine a meal better in the Valley.

Yeah, Bouchon has been a thought but, on the other hand I cook that stuff at home -- often from the Bouchon cookbook -- and my "regular" is a French Bistro (and I've been to a couple in France). Not that I don't believe that Bouchon is better than all those places (though our home-cooked stuff is quite swell) but it might be fun to get a little further off the reservation.

Speaking of reservations, is Bouchon already so booked up that contemplating a res for next Saturday night is absurd, anyway?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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We've eaten a lot throughout the area and for me it really boils down to one place: Bouchon.  I absolutely adore Jeanty (more than PJ Steak), Redd is amazing, Terra and Cindy's Backstreet are favs, we've had fun and memorable meals at Martini House and have eaten snacks from Sunshine Market and Dean & Deluca more times than I can count.  When I take all that into consideration my mind goes right back to Bouchon and the Boudin Blanc with Potato Puree, French Prunes, and Browned Butter.  With a simple starter of Bibb Lettuce with Herbs & Vinaigrette and a finish of Sorbet, I can't really imagine a meal better in the Valley.

Yeah, Bouchon has been a thought but, on the other hand I cook that stuff at home -- often from the Bouchon cookbook -- and my "regular" is a French Bistro (and I've been to a couple in France). Not that I don't believe that Bouchon is better than all those places (though our home-cooked stuff is quite swell) but it might be fun to get a little further off the reservation.

Speaking of reservations, is Bouchon already so booked up that contemplating a res for next Saturday night is absurd, anyway?

i'd call RIGHT now... or check opentable

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