Napa was truly amazing. Everything from the wine to the food to the people and atmosphere. I was in pure wino and foodie heaven. All the restaurants I went to were fabulous, but here is some of the best food I ate.
I had a really delicious impromptu meal at Angele my first night, and I’m so glad I did. I started with the Clear Conscience cocktail which was Muddled Cucumber, Ginger, Orange and Vodka over ice with Ginger Ale which was out of this world. Tart and refreshing, it was exactly what I wanted. I ordered the Loup de Mer – Mediterranean Sea Bass, White Corn, Epazote, Charred Escarole, Garbanzo Hazelnut Pesto, and loved the texture, flavor, and the crunchy skin. It was really tasty. To add to the experience, the atmosphere is lovely and the service is fantastic.
The House Fries with harissa, parmesan, fresh herbs, & lemon garlic aioli along with the Truffled Popcorn at Carpe Diem were pretty fantastic bar food.
Especially in preparation for the crazy wine filled night I had ahead of me.
My appetizer and drinks at Press were definitely one of my favorite meal memories. We ordered The Bacon Bar Platter with Tomato and Mozzarella Salad. To drink I started with a Basil Beauty-Gin shaken with muddled Fresh Basil, Fresh Lime Juice, with a Splash of Cane Syrup. followed by a Some Like it Hot!-Gin shaken with muddled Fresh Basil, Fresh Lime Juice, Splash of Cane Syrup. Served Up. Let’s just say..Press knows how to do cocktails…and bacon.
We were pretty much on a food crawl at this point so while at Press we were given recommendations on the best dishes to order at Cook. Going with those recommendation we ordered all of them. Cook is a tiny little restaurant in St. Helena that came highly recommended, and I’m so glad I tried it out because it was the cutest cosy little restaurant with incredible food. Every dish we ordered was unbelievable and better than the last.
Mussels & Clams with house made sausage in a spicy tomato broth topped with grilled ciabatta
Gnocchi with this decadent Gorgonzola cream and toasted walnuts
Braised Short ribs with scallion whipped potatoes and natural jus
And the Risotto of the day, which I can’t remember what it was now, but I remember my mouthwatering and not being able to put my fork down.
The cheese platter at French Blue was really nice. I loved the atmosphere of this restaurant as well- rustic, feminine, chic- but we only stopped there for a quick bite and a glass of wine.
Our next big meal out was hands down one of the best meals I had in Napa, and maybe some of the best food I’ve had in my life. The crispy prawns stole the show. We dined at Goose and Gander, a fairly new restaurant in St. Helena, and worth every.single.penny.
We started with the spicy skillet roasted whole prawns with shallot garlic butter, rosemary, chilis, and polenta. While eating the prawns, I’m pretty sure I had an out of body experience.
For my entree I ordered the Scottish Loch Duarte salmon served atop wild dandelion spaetzle, mushrooms, roasted California chestnuts and curry roasted cauliflower puree, and crowned with crispy fried salsify and Jill ordered the Bucatini with Berkshire Pork Sugo that was served with Parmesan cream, Kabocha squash, and wine stewed onions and tomatoes. Everything about this meal was incredible.
The salmon was the best salmon I’ve ever had..ever. All the flavors went so well together, and the Bucatini with Pork Sugo was so incredibly satisfying. The noodles were soft, the pork was tender, and it was all rounded out by this crunchy, cheesy Parmesan crisp. I have not been able to stop thinking about this meal since I ate it. So good!
I even loved our other appetizers-scallops on top of fried green tomatoes crispy pancetta in a jalapeno cilantro sauce and smoked corn croquettes with the most amazing roasted heirloom pepper coulis dipping sauce. These melted in your mouth. You can find croquettes anywhere, but these were the best I’ve ever had.
Goose and Gander is definitely a place worth checking out if you are in Napa Valley.
The calamari pizza at Redd Wood was a great way to start our last night in Napa. Located in downtown Yountville, Redd Wood is an upscale pizzeria, so of course we needed to try the pizza. This calamari pizza was delicious-the calamari tasted fresh, the sauce was spicy, the arugula added a nice freshness, the aoili gave it a very smooth and savory touch, and the crust was the perfect ‘wood fired oven’ consistency.
We were told about a tiny little Mexican Taqueria in a supermarket that we had to try. La Luna is one of those hidden hole in the wall type places. It was literally a little take out restaurant in the back of a Mexican supermarket. And definitely unforgettable. Fresh, homemade, and cheap as can be.
Our last dinner in Napa was at the famous Mustard’s Grill. This upscale yet very homey restaurant served us up a delicious last meal. I ordered the Mahi Mahi with root vegetables which was the perfect fall dish.
On our way out of Napa we stopped at the Rutherford Grill for a quick bite. Although the Rutherford Grill is owned by the Hillstone Restaurant Group (the same people that own Houston’s), they have some really great small plates and appetizers. On our last day, Jill and I stopped there for lunch and ordered an array of small plates. The corn bread was out of this world. It was buttery, sweet, and savory with this beautiful crunchy top layer. It was melt in your mouth good. So good we took the extra with us to munch on the rest of the day…because that is just how we roll. Their grilled artichokes are pretty awesome as well.
And that concludes the Best Food in Napa post! Just writing this post made me want to go back and do it all over again. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life. And now I’m officially hungry. If you ever take a trip to Napa-you must check out these places.