Favorites - Food, wine and restaurant links

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List of my Napa favorites: foods, wines and restaurants

Favorite Restaurants

  • Angele, Napa - Nestled along the Napa river this French bistro cooks up French food with California accents.
  • Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford - Great views and wonderful chefs tasting menu. Michelin one-star.
  • Bistro Don Giovanni, Napa - One of my favorite Italian restaurants. It consistently serves excellent Italian food.
  • Bistro Jeanty, Yountville - The food here will transport you to France. It is my favorite French food in the valley. Michelin one-star.
  • Bottega Restaurant, Yountville - Yountville's newest restaurant and it is Michael Chiarello's latest restaurant. I love the Brussels sprout and asparagus salad with sieved eggs and the burrata with fried and stewed artichokes. We shared several small plates and didn't order any meat; I'll save it for next time.
  • C Casa,First Street, Napa - I love the breakfast tacos... if you miss breakfast try any of their other tacos. They make the best tacos in Napa. Everything is freshly made including the white corn TACOS and that places them on the top.
  • Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, St. Helena - Enjoy comfort food with Cindy's personal twist to your favorites.
  • Fremont Diner, Sonoma - Farmhouse meets road house featuring homey American classics like fried chicken and waffles, salted caramel milk shakes and a killer Reuben. Need I say more?
  • French Laundry, Yountville - You should indulge yourself at least once in a lifetime at this Michelin three-star restaurant.
  • Kitchen Door, First Street, Napa - Located in the Oxbow Public Market Kitchen Door show cases the season's best from Napa, he has a knack for finding unique ingredients and a wonderful way with wild mushrooms. The beef carpaccio and candy cap mushroom bread pudding are worth a detour.
  • Market, St. Helena - Homemade comfort food.
  • Meadowood-The Restaurant, St. Helena - Chef Kostow's food in brilliant and inspiring. Don't miss this Michelin 3 star gem.
  • Mustards Grill, Yountville - A local favorite the menu uses produce from their own gardens.
  • Pizzeria Azzuro, Napa - Casual restaurant with some of the pizzas in Napa. Be sure to order their wedge salads or tasty seasonal pastas.
  • Redd, Yountville - Contemporary food using global flavors, the menu changes daily and has an elegant and sophisticated air.

    Foodie Favorites

    Atlas Peak Olive Oil - This is one of my favorite olive oils. This 100% extra virgin olive oil is made in small batches; retaining its fruity fresh flavor. The olive trees on their farm have been producing since 1882. Today, the 5th generation Hammond family (Jeff, Cathy and J.J.) still farms figs, apples, and olives. You can purchase on line or at the Napa Farmers Market (May - October).

    Calistoga Pottery - Jeff and Sally Manfredi have been making pottery together for more than 30 years. Sharing an affinity for food and cooking, they have specialized in useful, durable, everyday shapes in a variety of food-safe glazes. Their pots are lead-free, microwave and dishwasher safe. Don't worry about schelping your pottery home they will have your pottery shipped to you. Located in Calistoga on 29.

    Fatted Calf - Charcuterie sausage, pate and salumi. The tastiest confit of duck this side of Bordeaux. Great source for Italian provisions. Their shop is at Oxbow Public market.

    Five Dot Ranch - It's been ages since I've seen meat this beautifully marbled. So the taste is pure natural beef as it should be sweet, earthy, savory and rich. You can find them at Oxbow Public Market.

    Kollars Chocolates - When I'm in Yountville, I always stop by Kollar Chocolates. Naomi and Chris, the chocolatier, are usually there. Naomi can help with your selections and you can watch Chris create his unique chocolates. Chris' creations are very modern; he works with local farmers like Peter Jacobsen to source local ingredients for his chocolates like the one with fennel pollen and, in season, the gooseberry dipped in chocolate. Located in V Marketplace in Yountville.

    La Foret ChocolatesWendy Sherwood, a former pastry chef de partie at The French Laundry is the chocolatier and is usually working in her atelier creating beautiful chocolates that are familiar classics with a twist, such as almond turtles, dark chocolate honeycomb and pecan toffee cups. I love her peanut butter and gianduja-filled chocolate bars, and mallomars made with homemade graham crackers and marshmallow. Wendy's shop is located in Brown's Valley on Brown's Valley Road in Napa.

    Long Meadow Ranch - They produce excellent red wine, olive oil, 100% grass fed beef, eggs, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. You can visit them at the St. Helena farmers market, at their garden center in Rutherford or the Mayacamas mountains above Rutherford.

    Oxbow Public Market - Napa's newest market place for all things culinary. Located on First Street it has a wonderful cheese shop the Oxbow Cheese Merchant. Plus Whole Spice shop with some of my favorite places to browse the Kitchen Library, and Heritage Culinary Artifacts. 1st Street in Napa

    Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company - All things Italian can be found at Napa's "little Italy". You'll find this store at the end of Charter Oak Street in St. Helena and First Street in Napa.

    Model Bakery - They make the best English muffins, wonderful breads and pastries. There are 2 locations one in Napa at Oxbow and the other in St. Helena.

    Napa Grass Farmer - They are sustainable and beyond organic. Their pork and chicken have a wonderful flavor. It is so delicious you will savor every bite. The flavor of their meat products is so satisfying all by it self, it only needs salt and pepper. Join their meat CSA located in Fairfield and make deliveries to members in Napa. NB: Try their gelato!

    Rancho Gordo - Their products make excellent gifts and souvenirs: all of the heirloom beans are fantastic my favorite are the cassoulet beans, another must try is the Mixteca salt for cooking beans, it makes them soft and silky grains, rice and spices.1924 Yajome Street, Napa CA 94559

    Talcott Olive Oil - This excellent Tuscan style olive oil from the Carneros region of Napa Valley.

    Whole Spice Company - Spices, salts, peppers, chilies, herbs and more. I'm there at once a week as Shuli always has something new...Black Cypress Sea Salt , beet powder or the wonderful Urfa chili from Turkey.

    Favorite Wineries

    Back Room Wines - Dan has an excellent selection of wines from mostly small Californian and some European wineries. He is my go to guy for food and wine pairing. Every Thursday he has a unique tasting designed to educate your palate. You'll find Dan's shop in downtown Napa on First Street.

    Bourassa Vineyards - One of Napa's distinguished boutique wineries thanks to the passionate winemaker and owner Vic Bourassa. He was born into a family with a strong tradition of wine making. His wines are lovingly hand-crafted in small lots.

    Chanticleer Estate Wines - This boutique winery produces one of my favorite wines it is soft and sophisticated blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. Don't miss Chanticleer's pinot grigio. These coveted award winning wines sell out quickly year after year.

    Groth Vineyards - This family owned and operated winery was established in 1982 and produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from Napa Valley's Oakville AVA. While I adore their Cabernet Sauvignon, I'm never without their Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in the summer. In special years, they make a "Reserve" bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon from a small lot in their 121 acre Oakville Estate this wine is pure velvet and perfectly balanced. Located in Oakville on Oakville Cross Road.

    Hill Family Estate Vineyards - Hill Family Estate is a family run winery. They have a great tasting room in Yountville with excellent wines and a knowledgeable staff. Their Alberino is a can't miss with seafood. I also love their syrah with grilled lamb. Their tasting room is in Yountville next to Bistro Jeanty.

    Other Favorites

    Kelly Burgoyne Photography - Original and inspirational food photography.

    L'Academie de Cuisine - My favorite cooking school, also my alma mater. You will find professional and recreational classes here. They have 2 locations in Maryland.

    LocalHarvest.org - locate CSA's, real farmers and real food!

    CulinaryForum.com - for great food ideas and information.

    The Vanilla Company - for all the most excellent things vanilla–beans, extract, powder, paste and recipes.

    Penzeys Spices - delicious and fragrant spices.

    LocalWineEvents.com - calendar of food and drink events is where all the world's food, wine, beer and spirits events are listed in one place.

    Nat Decants FREE Wine E-Newsletter - Wine picks, articles and humor from Natalie MacLean, named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia. Natalie is also the author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. For more details on this book and to sign up for the newsletter, visit www.nataliemaclean.com.

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