The Food Meccas of Yountville/St. Helena California

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Yountville is becoming a real food Mecca with the fame of Thomas Keller and the French Laundry. The restaurant is consistently in the top restaurants in the world and is a Michelin three star rated restaurant in its San Francisco Guide. Reservations are tough to come by, so book early! It is located at 6640 Washington St.

Keller has several other restaurants in Yountville. Bouchon at 6534 Washington St., with an emphasis on French bistro food, a great choice which I always enjoy.

His Bouchon Bakery is directly across from Bouchon, at 6528 Washington St. It started as a bakery just for the restaurants but is now open to the public.

On my last  trip I enjoyed his most recent addition to his Yountville Empire, ad Hoc. It is located at 6446 Washington St. They offer a three-course family style brunch and a four-course family style dinner menu. The menu changes daily and the server said they never serve the same menu twice. I thought the food was great and so fresh. My brunch of heirloom tomato salad was right out of the gardens of French Laundry! It started as a temporary restaurant but was soon opened permanently in January 2007. For take out box lunches, addendum is a small take out restaurant in the back where you can get box lunches to go from Thursdays to Sundays.

In Yountville, I also recommend Redd, where I have eaten in the past and had a great meal. It was opened in 2005 by well-known chef Richard Reddington at 6480 Washington St. Down the street, at 6510 Washington St., is the casual Bistro Jeanty which I also recommend.

Across the street, at 6525, is the Pacific Blues Cafe. It is one of my favorite breakfast spots in the area!

Behind Pacific Blues Cafe is the V Marketplace which has galleries and shops. If you have not eaten enough, stop by Kollar Chocolates also at 6525 Washington.

Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Napa Valley has also received great press. It is at 6525 Washington St.

St. Helena has some great restaurants also. My favorites include:

Brix Restaurant-Gardens-Wine Shop: I have had some great meals in this restaurant pairing contemporary French inspired California cuisine with a comprehensive collection of the valley’s finest wines.

Mustards Grill: 7399 St. Helena Highway. One of the first wine country restaurants that is still wonderful today!

Press: Another special St. Helena restaurant at 587 St. Helena Highway. It has a great design with outdoor seating. The menu is great and everything fresh. What can’t be sourced from their two private gardens, is purchased from local farmers, markets and neighboring purveyors.

Terra: A long time Napa restaurant in St. Helena, at 1345 Railroad Avenue. It has been a local institution since 1988. I will never forgot my first experience, with my parents, just after it opened. Bar Terra is attached to the restaurant for more casual dining and cocktails.

Model Bakery: At 1357 Main St., in downtown St. Helena, this is a great bakery with wonderful cookies, pastries and breads. You can also eat breakfast and lunch.

Goose & Gander: This is a gastro-pub offering American fare in a warm, pub-like setting. There is a bar downstairs and a lovely patio for outdoor dining as well. 1245 Spring St.

Gott’s Roadside: This is a drive-in restaurant known for its burgers and shakes. They also serve local wines and beers. 933 Main St.

Buehler Vineyards: One of my favorite wines is the Buehler zinfandel. You can set up a tour or a tasting by appointment from Monday through Friday. 820 Greenfield Rd. St. Helena.

Market, An American Restaurant, is also recommended in the Michelin Guide at 1347 Main St. in St. Helena.

In Oakville, don’t miss the Oakville Grocery. Stop in for a picnic-to-go or a great sandwich. It is located at 7856 St. Helena Highway.

The restaurant at Meadowood has a Michelin 3 Star rating and is always wonderful. Chef Christopher Kostow also won the James Bear Award for Best Chef: West in 2013. It is at 900 Meadowood Lane in St. Helena.

Other good options I have read about include Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena, French Blue with great design and Bottega Napa Valley in Yountville.

Just opened is Two Birds/One Stone at the Freemark Abbey Winery by two well-known chefs Douglas Keane and Sang Yoon. It is a California-inspired yakitori restaurant.

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