Thomas Keller has added an even more casual eatery to the Yountville culinary scene. Addendum, a little wooden house behind Ad Hoc, serves up barbecue fare and unbelievable buttermilk fried chicken, but only at lunchtime Thursday through Saturday. You can order to go or eat it at the nearby picnic table.
From the Rouas family, creators of the exceptional Auberge du Soleil, comes this warm and wood-lined take on a refined French brasserie. The space is a refurbished boathouse with high, vaulted wood beams and views overlooking the Napa River. The staff is family-friendly, but as always, well versed on the wines.
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.
This relaxed, family-friendly restaurant at Oxbow Market has long communal tables and holiday lights draped along the ceilings. Ordering at the counter from the eclectic menu can be off-putting, but the cuisine is of the level you’d expect in wine country. Chef Todd Humphries, who earned his stripes at top New York, San Francisco and Napa restaurants, has created such tempting brunch items as strawberry pancakes with lemon curd. The wood-burning grill and rotisserie produce Korean style short ribs, roasted chicken and other crowd pleasers.
This casual Italian eatery in Napa has excellent pizzas and pastas as well as a seasonally driven menu that changes daily. Locals love the reasonably priced menu and neighborhood vibe.
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.
This restored bakery is a great place to hang out in the morning. True to its name, the store is piled with cupcakes, pastries and other sugary confections. With Napa’s robust wedding industry, it’s also a choice spot for wedding and specialty cakes. Sweetie Pies also has a café, serving soups, salads, sandwiches and mini pizzas.