With the transformation of downtown Napa comes some great food and dining options.
Oxbow Public Market: This was one of the highlights of my stay. I actually went twice. It is a new attractively designed artisanal food hall opened in 2008. Some of the stalls open early so you can catch breakfast before heading north to the vineyards.
Make sure to check out Model Bakery which has a breakfast and lunch menu in addition to bakery items. There’s also Oxbow Produce and Grocery, Whole Spice Company, Ritual Coffee Roasters and Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant. Restaurants include Hog Island Oyster Bar and the attractive Kitchen Door restaurant in the rear of the market.
Morimoto: I really like the vibe of Morimoto also along the river at 610 Main Street. The chef is Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame. The outstanding, sleek design was by Thomas Schoos who also designed the fun Hotel Vertigo in San Francisco. I found the sushi bar was the place to be. They also have a great outside patio.
Angele Restaurant & Bar: This is a well-known French bistro in downtown Napa. It has a warm, inviting interior decor in a 1890’s former ship chandlery for buying supplies. There is also a lovely patio for alfresco dining. I had a wonderful duck breast, with a baked apple and apple compote, spinach, rice with duck confit, a fried spinach ball and a small roulade with duck sausage. 540 Main St.
The Pear Southern Bistro: This is a southern restaurant located in the space vacated by Tyler Florence, at 720 Main Street, where I ate on my last trip. They feature shrimp and grits, gumbos, chicken and waffles and other southern fare.
Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company: Located at 948 Main St., this is a casual, local coffee roaster and cafe. Their larger store is in St. Helena.
Other restaurant choices to consider are Norman Rose Tavern at 1401 First. Their lamb burger is a favorite according to articles I have read. Celadon, at 500 Main, Suite G, in the historic Napa Mill adjacent to the Napa River Inn, looks great also. It has the perfect patio for outdoor dining. They specialize in global comfort food.