Going to Napa--need recommendations

We're going to Napa (St. Helena, to be exact) for business in July. We'll likely have a fair bit of down time and are interested in good, unpretentious food and wine. We'd love to visit some of the out of the way places. We're on a budget but can probably swing one nicer meal. Any recommendations?

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10 Comments

Nancy H. June 30, 2014
When I entertain visitors to Napa from other countries, I always take them to Taylor's Refresher (aka Gott's but locals still call it Taylor's) in St. Helena for a real introduction into American food at its best--burgers and shakes, but of a quality that is really outstanding. Another hit in St. Helena, the tasting bar in the shop at the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone campus. If you're interested in olive oil or chocolate, you can learn a lot from the CIA's experts with a guided tasting. And go on to purchase your own, if you wish.
 
petitbleu July 8, 2014
Thanks, Nancy! We have been to Taylor's Refresher and plan on going back this time around. We have not, however, made it to the tasting bar at the CIA--will certainly give that a try.
 
babytiger June 30, 2014
When in the area, I have to make a stop at Bouchon Bakery.
 
petitbleu July 8, 2014
Oh dear. That will easily be my weakness. I've only had the privilege of cooking from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, but I will have to check out the actual bakery.
 
Dave O. June 29, 2014
Just south of St Helena is a small restaurant called Rutherford Grill, with good inexpensive food and great outdoor seating to enjoy some great wine.
Also, make the drive to downtown Napa. It's really become a great little area with good restaurants and tasting rooms. For a great tasting w some very friendly people, try Uncorked across from the Oxbow Market. For dinner, try ZuZu or Uva. Stay away from the expensive Chain restaurants. Mostly though, ask the locals, they're more than happy to make suggestions. Napa isn't as pretentious as one thinks.
 
petitbleu July 8, 2014
Thanks, Dave. I'll definitely look into your suggestions.
 
bugbitten June 29, 2014
You're already aware of the CIA campus in Saint Helena?
 
petitbleu June 29, 2014
We visited the CIA campus last year. It's pretty impressive!
 
Diana B. June 28, 2014
I strongly recommend a visit to the Hess Winery for a look at their art collection there - mind-blowing! http://www.hesscollection.com/
 
petitbleu June 29, 2014
Thanks, Diana! That's exactly the sort of thing we're looking for!
 
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