12 Wine Country Spots to Visit During Napa Valley Restaurant Week
There's arguably no better way to support the Wine Country businesses affected by the North Bay fires then by paying a visit to the area. The local businesses need our support more than ever and Napa Valley Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse. From January 21st to 28th, over 40 participating restaurants throughout Napa Valley will serve up prix-fixe menus at a total steal. To view the full list of participating restaurants, click here.
To help you plan your culinary strategy, I've narrowed it down to 12 Napa Valley Restaurant Week picks:
The Restaurant at CIA Copia
One of my favorite stops in Wine Country, the Culinary Institute of America does not disappoint. Situated in the institute’s new downtown Napa campus, The Restaurant at CIA Copia is throwing in a bonus course to both its lunch and dinner Restaurant Week menus. The $20 three-course lunch will feature a salad, house made pappardelle and tiramisu for dessert. The $46 four-course dinner gives you the option to choose each course. Bring a friend so you can try it all. The CIA trains some of the world's best chefs...you're gonna wanna come hungry!
Acacia House by Chris Cosentino
Chef Chris Cosentino (of SF’s Cockscomb) brings the new Acacia House to the Wine Country dining scene. He has designed seafood-inspired Restaurant Week menus with California winter vibes including lobster bisque and oxtail toast topped with house-made ricotta for lunch. For dinner ($46), you'll start off with a salt cod brandade, followed by Hokkaido scallop with mushroom risotto and then a tres leches cake with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. If you're in the mood to drop some extra paper, get the heavenly margarita topped with a salty pillow of seafoam.
Brasswood Bar + Bakery + Kitchen
Brasswood’s three-course dinner ($46) is worth it for the hand-pulled, made-to-order mozzarella appetizer alone. But, the french onion soup and duck bolognese are sure to be crowd pleasers too. Brasswood includes a pour for each course in the pre-fixe pricing (um, hello, total steal). One more bonus: If you’re staying in town another day, return to Brasswood’s tasting room with your Restaurant Week receipt and receive a complimentary tasting of their wines.
Auberge du Soleil, an Auberge Resort
One of the places on the top of my list every time I visit Napa, but during Restaurant Week you'll score a Michelin star lunch for $20 on the expansive terrace of Napa Valley’s first fine dining restaurant. The restaurant located inside the Auberge du Soleil offers a daily rotating menu and wine pairings at an additional cost. The one small catch? This deal is only available Monday-Friday, so you may want to start plotting your plan to play hooky from work.
If you crave a less posh, more cozy wine country casual setting than Charlie Palmer’s new steakhouse, make a reservation at Harvest Table (located at the Harvest Inn), the chef’s original Napa Valley digs. For both the $20 lunch and $36 dinner, you get to choose from a pair of tasty dishes for each course to curate a meal that might look like this: chicory and goat cheese salad, grilled beef tri-tip and a roasted pear tart. Wine pairings are also available for an additional cost.
The Charter Oak
The Charter Oak in St. Helena, is a significantly more approachable and elemental dining experience than chef Christopher Kostow's posh post at The Restaurant at Meadowood. The down-to-earth digs are a great spot for a semi-casual lunch with friends and during Restaurant Week, The Charter Oak is offering their Family Lunch—a rotating pre-set menu that’s meant to be shared with the entire table—for $20 per person ($10 off the usual price), with optional wine pairings.
New to the Wine Country restaurant scene, ALBA is one of Napa’s best-kept secrets. At the River Terrace Inn along the Napa River, dine by cozy fire pits on what’s arguably the best outdoor patio in all of Napa, featuring live music from top local bands on the weekends. For $36, ALBA’s three-course dinner will start with a choice of porcini mushroom bisque or a beet salad. Decide between a grilled pork chop with kabocha squash or a grilled veggie caponata (a Sicilian eggplant dish) for the main, and round it all out with something delightfully unexpected: homemade Key Lime Pie with a graham cracker and macadamia nut crust. For an extra $14, you’ll get two wine pairings, but their original craft cocktails are tough to pass by, like the Valley Heat (tequila, jalapeno, cucumber and pineapple).
Brix is the farm-to-table pioneer in Wine Country. For Restaurant Week lunch, $20 goes a super long way and will be satisfying enough to not leave you hungry. Enjoy lobster bisque and a truffle-roasted chicken carbonara fettuccine, with bacon and local egg. The same soup is instead paired with a Tuscan-braised lamb shank in a creamy polenta for the $46 dinner, which adds on a salted caramel chocolate tart with espresso ice cream for dessert. If the weather is nice, request a table outside looking out at Brix’ two-acres of stunning culinary gardens, with vineyards and views of the Mayacamas Mountains.
Sam's Social Club
Enjoy a Restaurant Week special lunch ($20) and dinner ($36) January 21-28. Named after resort founder and California’s first millionaire, Samuel Brannan, Sam’s Social Club is open to the public and serving Rustic American Cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a bucolic setting at the western foot of Mt. Lincoln.
Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant
Napa's newest and hottest wine bar is founded by two sommeliers. Compline (pronounced like Compton) goes beyond the customary cheese and charcuterie plates and operates as a full-fledged fine dining restaurant — plus a wine shop and wine education center. During Restaurant Week, Compline will offer both the lunch deal and a three-course dinner for $36, which will feature a squash soup starter with pumpkin seeds and sage, chef’s signature fried chicken and California chili braised beans for the main. For dessert, there’s a chocolate cookie with cream. And as a bonus, you have the option to pair your meal with a wine flight from local legend Steve Matthiasson. It’s an extra cost, but you’ll be hard pressed to find these cult wines elsewhere.
Any excuse to visit the gorgeous Solage resort, amirite?! The grounds are an experience in and of themselves. With a focus on flavor, elegance and simplicity, the seasons of Northern California come to life at Solbar. Executive Chef Massimo Falsini turns locally-sourced ingredients into unique, flavorful and surprising dishes that pair perfectly with the restaurant's energizing atmosphere and creative cocktail program.
Charlie Palmer Steak Napa
The first Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in California has landed in Napa, and since a three-course dinner for $46 is less than the cost of a steak off their usual menu, this is a great chance to beef up on a budget. For restaurant week, the steakhouse is also offering the $20 lunch deal (select a main with an appetizer or dessert), plus bottomless wine pairings for an extra $17. Choose from three options for each course, like American Wagyu beef meatballs for a starter, grilled tri-tip steak for the main and Earl Grey pannacotta for dessert. You might as well also book a room upstairs at the brand new Archer Hotel — they’ve got introductory rates as low as $199 — so that you can sleep off the ensuing food coma in style, with views of downtown Napa.