Foodies from all over the world flock this romantic jewel in the Napa Valley, considered to be one of the most outstanding restaurants in the world. The exquisite American-French food defies description or convention. Chef Thomas Keller takes care to use as much produce from the restaurant's own private garden as possible, as well as making sure no ingredient is repeated anywhere on the nine-course daily tasting menus. The French Laundry's extraordinary food is exceeded only by its excellent service. Patrons are always impressed by the breath and depth of knowledge of Master Sommelier Paul Roberts, whose recommendations are as tasteful as they are informative. A table at the French Laundry is a heavily coveted prize, so make sure to reserve far in advance.
The Carpe Diem Wine Bar serves delicious local Californian cuisine paired with a variety of the finest wines from around the world. Established by three friends in June 2010, this venue has quickly become renowned as the go-to spot in Napa for local singles, friends, and anyone who enjoys a relaxed dining experience. Although the restaurant section of this establishment closes earlier, depending on the day, the bar remains open and active well into the night.
If a walk in a vineyard is not on your 'to-do' list, add it immediately. Vintner's tours are amazing. Take a walk through Napa's fine vineyards, barrel-tasting sessions and exceptional views. 18 fantastic wineries charter space at Vintner's Collective, so don't miss their spring and summer tours. If you want to cut to the chase and just sip on wine, then go for their wine tasting sessions. And these sessions own names too—try The Pfeiffer Tasting, The Luxe Tasting or the Intermediate. With 18 wineries all around, this place will definitely leave you happy.
Locals and tourists alike flock to Brix Restaurant to watch the chef concoct his excellent dishes. With a panoramic view of the Napa hillside and a decor of warm Impressionist tones, the award-winning Brix Restaurant makes for an elegant night out. Featuring classic Californian delicacies with a twist of French-influence, the food severed here is always a delight to the palate. You can order a five-course tasting dinner that comes Japanese-style in a bento box. The on-site wine store offers an extensive and eclectic variety, running the gamut in price.
Bottega is located in the food mecca of Yountville, in the heart of the Napa Valley. Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello puts together a seasonally changing menu featuring authentic Italian dishes (following the traditional Italian menu progression) made with local, organic and artisinal ingredients. Almost anything they can make themselves in house, they do. And then there's dessert, which is a whole different story featuring the popular sweet fritto misto with chocolate arancini and crispy fried cream. The ambiance is cozy and elegant, featuring warm colors, a fireplace and a covered outdoor lounge perfect for enjoying warm Napa nights. Bottega is truly one of the Napa Valley's culinary crowned jewels.
The Restaurant at Meadowood is one of the most renowned restaurants in the famed Napa Valley. In 2011 the restaurant, which serves up seasonal and contemporary New American cuisine, was awarded its precious third Michelin star. The light and sophisticated dining room and patio serves as the perfect setting for prix fixe menus featuring dishes like Cobia in Kale Ash or Whipped Sweet Potato. For diners who want to have a truly California Napa dining experience, you can't go wrong with the Restaurant at Meadowood.
One of the more cleaner dive and sports bars in the Napa County, the Stone's Sports Bar & Lounge is located in a strip-mall location. It breaks the clutter with its flat-screen television screens and friendly service. Head over to the bar and chat up with Chris the bartender, who is known to make a rocking Bloody Mary. If you are feeling peckish, check with Stone's and they might let you order pizza from a nearby pizza place and eat at the bar.
Billco's Billiards and Darts is known for offering an extensive beverage list with over 60 beers on tap and 120 bottled varieties to choose from. You can enjoy a game of billiards with your friends at this pub or practice your aim with the dart boards, Billco's Billiards and Darts doesn't have a single dull moment. After an exciting game of billiards, you can devour the scrumptious American delicacies offered at this pub. Check their happy hours or live music performances, ladies nights and other such exciting events and be sure of not missing out on all the fun.
A new approach to Italian cuisine is seen in the earnest efforts of Oenotri as it whips up home-made pastas and pizzas for hungry diners. The ingredients used for the various dishes are sourced locally. The food closely resembles the flavors of Italy, such that one is easily reminded of the diners that line the streets of Naples. A friendly venue, the service is helpful, making the meal a joyous occasion. Try the Napoletana pizza or the salumi platter that will lave a indelible mark on the palate. The decor exudes a warmth that is infectious and makes one want to keep coming back.
The John Anthony Lounge has a friendly and trendy atmosphere that keeps customers and connoisseurs flocking back. A variety of foods are offered to compliment the finest local and international wines. Finally, rather than closing before dinner like most tasting lounges, this venue is open until 2a. It's a little on the expensive side, but the experience and tastes are worth every cent. -Sam Cooper