Tuesday, September 27, 2011


(does not include Mendocino Coast; includes Angwin, Bodega Bay, Calistoga, Middletown, Napa, Pope Valley, Rutherford, St. Helena & Yountville)

Outpost Wines – 2075 Summit Lake Drive; 707-965-1718; outpostwines.com; unprepossessing outside masks among best California vintner’s vineyards.

Sights & Sites
Sonoma Coast State Beach – 3799 Westshore Road; 707-875-3483; parks.ca.gov/?page_id=451; Campbell Cove.

Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa – 1880 Lincoln Avenue (Calistoga); 707-942-0991; calistogamotorlodgeandspa.com; bright boutique hotel with own hot springs (2 miles from Old Faithful Geyser & 11 from Robert Louis Stevenson State Park); bright, modern rooms feature rainfall shower-heads, Keurig coffeemakers & minifridges, plus flat-screen TVs & free Wi-Fi; suites add living rooms & pull-out sofas; complimentary continental breakfast & parking, plus onsite, natural mineral-water pools & mineral-water Jacuzzi.
Calistoga Ranch – 580 Lommel Road; 707-254-2800; aubergeresorts.com/calistogaranch; cedar bungalows nestled in woods with outdoor decks & showers; 157, redwood-filled acres of hiking trails; note that bedrooms & living areas are separated by open-air deck, which is not pleasant when weather bad.
Francis House – 1403 Myrtle Street (Calistoga); 707-341-3536; thefrancishouse.com; National Historic Landmark carefully been brought back to life after having been shuttered for more than 50 years; region’s only example of French 2nd Empire architecture, notable for its mansard-style roof; 5-room luxury inn; exposed stone walls are foils to modern furnishings, books & art; smart TVs hang above antique desks, king & queen beds swathed in plush premium linens; carrara marble covers spacious bathroom surfaces, as well as fireplace mantle in what is now living room (backdrop that once also served as set for Peyton Place, 1960s teen soap that helped launch Mia Farrow); outside, lounge by heated pool, or in infrared sauna & salt room; surrounding gardens are bedecked with gravel paths, citrus trees, fragrant flowering jasmine vines & two French limestone fountains; no restaurant, but Calistoga’s main drag, Lincoln Avenue, is just blocks away; can arrange reservations at Charter Oak, French Laundry, and/or Single Thread.
Solage Calistoga – 755 Silverado Trail North; 707-226-0800; aubergeresorts.com; upscale resort 4 miles from Castello di Amorosa castel & winery & 8 from Robert Louis Stevenson State Park; chic studio rooms & suites in wooden cottages with vaulted ceilings; free high-speed Internet & bicycles; some quarters feature fireplaces, patios & outdoor hot tubs; restaurant serves organic farm-to-table menu, along with patio lounge; yoga classes, mud baths & hot-springs mineral pool.
Puerto Vallarta Market – 1009 Foothill Boulevard; 707-942-8664; vallartamarket.net; counter at back serves great burritos, quesadillas & tacos al pastor.
Solbar – 755 Silverado Trail (at Solage Calistoga Hotel); 707-226-0850; aubergeresorts.com/solage/dine/solbar; lovely outdoor patio; hearty cuisine and healthy, lighter dishes.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs – 1006 Washington Street; 707-942-6269; calistogaspa.com.
Sights & Sites
Castello di Amorosa – 4045 North St. Helena Highway; 707-967-6272; castellodiamorosa.com; tours by appointment; 121K square foot replica of 13th Century castle; theme-parkish but worth visit.
Indian Springs – 1712 Lincoln Avenue; 707-942-4913; indianspringscalistoga.com; old-fashioned, no-frills volcanic mud bath.

Sights & Sites
Langtry Farms – 22000 Butts Canyon Road; 707-987-2772; langtryfarms.com; winery; largest private landholder in Northern California, this is 22K square acre estate.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Model Bakery – 644 1st Street, Building B; 707-259-1128; themodelbakery.com; 100 year-old Napa institution; giant English muffins.
Ritual Coffee Roasters – 610 1st Street, Suite 12; 707-253-1190; ritualroasters.com.

Bars & Nightclubs
Back Room Wines – 1000 Main Street; 707-226-1378; backroomwines.com; great place to discover what “cool kids” are drinking; is it $15 or $50 contests are riots.
Bounty Hunter – 975 1st Street; 707-226-3976; bountyhunterwinebar.com; “blind tastings” contest in which, if you guess country & varietal, you get glass for penny.
Carpe Diem Wine Bar – 1001 2nd Street; 707-224-0800; carpediemwinebar.com; housed in former Alexandria Hotel.
Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant – 1300 1st Street (Napa); 707-492-8150; complinewine.com.
Oenotri – 1425 1st Street; 707-252-1022; oenotri.com; best cocktails in town; try Tequila Blossom (tequila, Luxardo maraschino & grapefruit juice).

Andaz Napa – 1450 1st Street; 707-687-1234; napa.andaz.hyatt.com; 141 rooms; subdued and comfortable.
Archer Hotel – 1230 1st Street (Napa); 707-690-9800; archerhotel.com/napa; upscale hotel with polished rooms (flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, minibars, Wi-Fi, wine coolers & welcome sweets); chic suites feature furnished balconies, fireplaces and/or 4-poster beds; upgraded suites add living areas & wet bars; renowned steakhouse, rooftop bar & gym.
1801 1st Luxury Inn – 1801 1st Street; 707-224-3739; 1801first.com.
Milliken Creek Inn & Spa – 1815 Silverado Trail; 707-255-1197 or 800-835-6112; milikencreekinn.com; wooden shingled summer house on river for romantic getaways; no restaurant, gym, or pool.
Poetry Inn – 6380 Silverado Trail; 707-944-0646; poetryinn.com; stunning location; 5-room property.

Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ – 975 1st Street; 707-226-3976; bountyhunterwine.com.
Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant – 1300 1st Street (Napa); 707-492-8150; complinewine.com.
Gott’s Roadside Burgers – 644 1st Street; 707-224-6900; gotts.com; 21st Century version 1950s burger joint; self-serve; try ahi poke tacos; wine and traditional diner standards, too; relatively pricey.
Hog Island Oyster Bar – 610 1st Street; 707-251-8113; hogislandoysters.com/bars/napa; oyster bar.
Kitchen Door – Oxbow Market, 610 1st Street; 707-226-1560; kitchendoornapa.com; homey, simple food.
Miminashi – 821 Coombs Street (Napa); 707-254-9464; miminashi.com; buzzy izakaya with homemade ice cream.
Morimoto Napa – 610 Main Street; 707-252-1600; morimotonapa.com; contemporary sushi restaurant; large windows and water views (over river); try kakuni (pork-belly cooked for 10 hours and served over rice congee).
Norman Rose Tavern – 1401 1st Street; 707-258-1516; normanrosenapa.com; gastropub; try buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, mac & cheese, and/or lamb burgers.
Oenotri – 1425 1st Street; 707-252-1022; oenotri.com; Italian food.
Tannya’s Taqueria – 1601 Jefferson Street; 707-224-9000; walk-up window; try tacos al pastor.

Ashes & Diamonds – 4130 Howard Lane (Napa); 707-666-4777; ashesdiamonds.com; winery.
Fatted Calf – 644C 1st Street; 707-256-3684; fattedcalf.com; dried meats, as well as confits; good for outfitting picnics.
Oxbow Public Market – 610 and 644 1st Street; 707-226-6529; oxbowpublicmarket.com; covered marketplace with specialty food stalls, such as Kara’s Cupcakes and/or 3 Twins (ice cream).
Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food – 1924 Yajome Street; 707-259-1232; ranchogordo.com; heirloom legumes and related produce.

Sights & Sites
Darioush – 4240 Silverado Trail; 707-257-2345; darioush.com; flashy, namesake winery designed to evoke Persepolis by way of Vegas; travertine-clad villa with 3-story, indoor waterfall, and 16 uplit granite columns capped with double bullheads.
Hess Art Museum – 4411 Redwood Road (at Hess Collection Winery); 707-255-1144; hesscollection.com; contemporary art by Andy Goldsworthy, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Motherwell, etc., in 3-story gallery.
Odette Estate – 5998 Silverado Trail; 707-224-7533; odetteestate.com; in summer, has “Secret Cinema drive-in-movie-nights”; tickets include dinner & tasting flight, with food truck on-site.
River-to-Ridge Trail – 2295 Streblow Drive (Kennedy Memorial Park, trailhead); 707-257-9529 (Kennedy Memorial Park information); ridgetrail.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146&Itemid=146; 2.5 miles, one way; neighborhood bike, horseback ride, or walk from Napa River banks to Ridge Trail route in Skyline Wilderness Park hills.
Di Rosa Estate – 5200 Sonoma Highway; 707-226-5991; dirosaart.org; former winery, now museum to display art collection; tremendous grounds; arrange private tour for full effect.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards – 6320 Silverado Trail; 707-944-9090; robertsinskey.com; “flight attendants” help visitors pair estate’s food-friendly wines with almonds, bread, etc.; $50 farm-to-table tour lets guests pick fruits and vegetables from organic gardens.
Uptown Theater – 1350 3rd Street; 707-259-0123; uptowntheaternapa.com; Art Deco; recently renovated; live performances.

Aetna Springs – 1600 Aetna Springs Road; 707-965-2115; aetnasprings.com; under renovation.

Auberge du Soleil – 180 Rutherford Hill Road; 707-963-1211; aubergeresorts.com/aubergedusoleil; 3-acre sculpture garden; not family friendly; beautiful.
Sights & Sites
Hall Rutherford – 56 Auberge Road; 707-967-0700; hallwines.com; paintings and sculptures throughout vineyard grounds and wine caves.
Quintessa – 1601 Silverado Trail; 707-967-1601; quintessa.com; 1 of most scenic regional properties.

Harvest Inn – 1 Main Street; 707-963-9463; harvestinn.com; set on 8 acres of vineyards; country-chic rooms, suites & cottages with views of gardens, vineyards or Mayacamas Mountains; some have fireplaces, separate sitting areas, whirlpool tubs & private decks; 2 heated outdoor pools (1 is adults-only) & 2 hot tubs.
Inn at Southbridge – 1020 Main Street; 707-967-9400; southbridgenapavalley.com; upscale hotel in wine country; bright, sophisticated rooms have vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, down comforters & Juliet balconies; complimentary amenities include breakfast featuring pastries, seasonal fruit, juices & Napa Valley coffee.
Meadowood Napa Valley – 900 Meadowood Lane; 707-963-3646; meadowood.com; New England-looking, country club-ish, on 250 acres; 3 Michelin stars.

Charter Oak – 1050 Charter Oak Avenue; 707-302-6996; thecharteroak.com; casual, family-style Californian eatery that elevates seasonal salads & hearth-cooked mains; exposed brick, rustic wood, custom slab tables; inviting bar & some outdoor tables.
Farmstead – 738 Main Street; 707-963-9181; longmeadowranch.com/Farmstead-Restaurant; showcases seasonal, ingredient driven American farmhouse cooking; chef Seamus Feeley creates authentic farm-to-table menu; family-style and a la carte items; menu foraged entirely from local sources and feature Long Meadow Ranch’s all natural grass-fed beef, organic and sustainably produced eggs, fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and honey; also local artisan producers represented.
Gott’s Roadside Burgers – 933 Main Street; 707-963-3486; gottsroadside.com; 21st Century version 1950s burger joint; self-serve; try ahi poke tacos; wine and traditional diner standards, too; relatively pricey.
Restaurant at Meadowood – 900 Meadowood Lane; 707-967-1205; meadowood.com; elegant, simple, sophisticated restaurant; highly regarded.

Culinary Institute of America – 2555 Main Street (in 1888 Greystone Cellars building); 707-967-2320; ciachef.edu/california; cooking classes & tours; restaurants.

Flats – 1219-B Main Street; 707-967-0480; Jan Niemi’s ballet flats are handmade in Tuscany and come in vibrant colors.
Jan de Luz – 1219 Main Street; 707-963-1550; jandeluz.com; French antiques, soaps, linens, etc.
Martin Showroom – 1350 Main Street; 707-967-8787; martinshowroom.com; furniture and sculpture.
Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg. Co. – 835 Charter Oak Avenue; 707-863-4173; unassuming barn famous for EVOO, bottled on premises each morning.
St. Helena Olive Oil Co. – 1351 Main Street; 707-968-9260; sholiveoil.com; housed in former Bank of Italy building; extra-virgin olive oils from 7 Napa vineyards.
Sunshine Foods – 1115 Main Street; 707-963-7070; sunshinefoodsmarket.com.
Woodhouse Chocolate – 1367 Main Street; 707-963-8413; woodhousechocolate.com; chocolates and truffles.

Bars & Nightclubs
Pancha’s of Yountville – 6764 Washington Street; 707-944-2125; facebook.com/pages/Panchas-of-Yountville/101110929948886; dive bar that is family-owned & inside barn.

Bardessono – 6526 Yount Street; 707-204-6000; bardessono.com; weathered steel, polished concrete, reclaimed wood; in-room spa treatments; for eco-minded sybarites.
North Block Hotel – 6757 Washington Street; 707-944-8080; northblockhotel.com; fantasy version of Italian courtyard house; noisy courtyard dining is in rooms’ earshot.
Vintage House – 6541 Washington Street; 707-944-1112; vintagehouse.com.

Ad Hoc – 6476 Washington Street; 707-944-2487; adhocrestaurant.com; casual joint with perfect fried chicken every other Monday; boxed lunches available, too.
Bistro Jeanty – 6510 Washington Street; 707-944-0103; bistrojeanty.com; fine French bistro.
Bottega – 6525 Washington Street; 707-945-1050; botteganapavalley.com; Italian.
Bouchon – 6534 Washington Street; 707-944-8037; bouchonbistro.com; Michelin-starred; festive, closely packed tables & patio overlooking main drag; roasted lamb.
French Laundry – 6640 Washington Street; 707-944-2390; frenchlaundry.com; 3 Michelin stars; call 2 months to calendar day for reservations.

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