Bistro Don Giovanni

This Tuscan-style, couple-run establishment is a favorite for locals as well as tourists who may seek alternatives to Napa’s heavy emphasis on French and California cuisine. Sit on the terrace overlooking a stretch of vineyards below and catch ambient whiffs from the restaurant’s herb garden; the interior is brightly lit with a wood-burning hearth inside. For souvenirs or gifts, owners Donna and Giovanni Scala also offer jars of house-cured olives grown directly outside the terrace.

Exterior View - Bottega, Napa Valley, California - Photo by Sarah Girner


Reservations are hard to secure at celeb chef Michael Chiarello's Bottega, but locals and visitors agree that this elegant Italian eatery is well worth the effort. Much of the menu is farm-to-table, and dining on the terrace is wonderful in warm weather.

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Food at Evangeline, Napa Valley, California


Enjoy well-prepared French Bistro fare, with a hint of New Orleans, outdoors on Evangeline’s inviting terraced garden. Chefs Brandon Sharp, executive chef of Solbar in the Solage Calistoga, and Gustavo Rios bring a deft touch to uncomplicated classic dishes. Craft beers and a thoughtful and moderately priced wine list round out the pleasant experience.

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Lucy Restaurant & Bar

From the street the buildings of this eco-hotel look like the kind of hard-edged construction featured in Dwell magazine, not exactly conducive to cozy meals. But once you step through the entrance, made of stone and reclaimed wood, and find your way onto the shaded patio surrounded by pebble-filled reflecting pools, you feel like you’ve stumbled into an oasis. The menu might include a vibrant beet salad with burrata cheese and pistachios tossed with sherry vinegar or a juicy natural-beef burger with pickled vegetables and a trio of homemade condiments—the mayo made with organic olive oil and fresh eggs is an indulgence you should definitely permit yourself. Fellow diners are a mix of hip twenty- and thirty-somethings.

Mustards Grill

Since Mustard Grill’s inception a quarter century ago, Cindy Pawlcyn has captured the heart of casual. Pawlcyn’s menu depends on the two acres of farmed gardens that surround it. It’s hearty but healthy fare, made with fresh thinking and classic style.
Restaurant at Solbar, Napa Valley, California


Solbar is the restaurant at Solage, a serene spa resort in the Calistoga hills where guests come to cleanse the body and spirit. Yet Solbar is also a restaurant where diners come to satisfy their appetites. Chef Brandon Sharp, who has had top jobs in the kitchens of Gary Danko and the French Laundry, offers a menu with a clear distinction: on one side you’ll find lighter dishes designed to “nourish your soul,” while those alongside them are meant to “comfort your body.”

On a recent visit, a tangle of seasonal vegetables with Greek yogurt ranch dressing was offered as a starter on the “soul” side of the menu, but so was a dish of bacon-wrapped sardines with fennel and sunflower seeds.

Despite the Michelin-starred menu, children are also welcome at Solbar and even have their own menu and adjacent bocce ball courts for entertainment while parents finish a good bottle of wine.

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