Picking restaurants to eat at in Napa Valley is almost as daunting as picking which wineries to visit. The area is known for farm to table dining, and there is no shortage of amazing places to eat. After extensive research (thanks friends!) here were our favorite places to at in Napa.
Located in the picturesque town of Yountville is Redd, which was one of the culinary highlights of our trip. Yountville is a quaint but beautiful little town and is where the famed French Laundry restaurant is. It is all but impossible toget a reservation at French Laundry, so we opted for Redd and were not displeased. The restaurant has two seating areas, and being that it was a beautiful sunny day, we decided to sit outside on the patio.
The food at Redd is delicious and they take a lot of care in the presentation. We had a pork belly appetizer to start, followed by an apple and goat cheese salad with chicken and duck confit with lentil puree (both pictured above). We found the price points for lunch to be very reasonable. Be sure to make a reservation.
One of the best dinners we had while in Napa was at Auberge du Soleil. Arrive early for pre-dinner drinks, as the view here is spectacular. We did a three-course tasting menu, and it was very clear that the menu changes often to incorporate seasonal flavors. At the time of our visit, pumpkin was a main ingredient in many of the dishes. I ordered a pumpkin soup that was really rich and tasty, followed by prime beef and a pumpkin dessert that had a mousse texture (pictured above). The boyfriend started with the pork belly, which he said was the best he’s ever had. He also ordered the spiced local lamb with medjool dates followed by a chocolate dessert.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch is the definition of farm to table dining. This restaurant grows everything on its premises — from the kale salad to the beef. The result is an amazingly fresh meal that was perfect for lunch after a long morning of wine tasting. I opted for the salad pictured above, while the boyfriend dug into their burger. Make a reservation ahead of time on Opentable, as the restaurant tends to get packed.
One of our favorite spots for lunch is Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, which is a great, open area with a number of casual restaurants, vendors and bakeries. It’s the perfect place to pick on great fare from a number of local spots in one area, while sipping local wines, of course. We wound up buying lunch from Five Dot, which is known for their meats, getting wine from the wine merchant there to drink with our meat, and then we topped off lunch with tiny desserts from Kara’s cupcakes (Pro tip: get the carrot cake cupcake)
There are fewer combinations better than red wine and steak. Press is the place to go in Napa for mouth-watering steak. The ambiance of the restaurant models a restored barn, and the steaks were well-seasoned and big. We paired them with large glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.
More on Napa: Our Favorite Vineyards