Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime epicurean experience? Yountville, which is nestled into Napa County with vineyards in every direction, is a treasure trove of gourmand greatness at every turn. Here is how to take a bite out of it all:
RH Yountville Restaurant
The flashy, splashy RH Yountville is hard to miss as it takes up nearly a full block along Yountville’s ultra-walkable downtown. The Restoration Hardware-owned property is a wine, food and shopping mecca comprised of five separate experiences: an indoor/outdoor restaurant with a glass roof surrounded by 100-year-old olive trees and adorned with dramatic crystal chandeliers; a two-story wine tasting space with its own share of crystal chandeliers and sleek limestone bar; a limited-production wine center; an espresso bar; and a boutique design gallery grander in scale than even its ever-so-lavish sister property at the Scottsdale Quarter.
Award-winning chef Brendan Sodikoff leads the kitchen, sourcing seasonal ingredients from nearby farms and using them as inspiration for both whimsical and shareable New American fare as well as twists on comfort-food classics. His team allows vegetables to shine right along with proteins, making it the perfect place for all diets. There are at least 40 wines by the glass on the menu at any given time, many from neighboring wineries. The expertly trained staff has pairing suggestions – be them wine, craft beer or craft cocktails – for each dish, offering recommendations based on guests’ palates and preferences over trends and their personal tastes. RH.com/Yountville/Restaurant
Tasting Room Treats
Yountville’s many wineries and vineyards toss out tradition – bellying up to a bar for a flight of wine with crackers to cleanse the palate or a basic meat and cheese board – in favor of interactive foodie fun when it comes to its tastings.
Handwritten Wines, for example, offers a Bread-and-Butter Experience. During the 90-minute seated event, guests will enjoy white truffle potato chips and Bouchon Bakery baguettes along with multiple mouthwatering artisan butters. The butters are hand-made to complement five of the winery’s most awarded varietals that are made on the Napa Valley hillside and most coveted vineyard blocks. HandwrittenWines.com
Priest Ranch, which is next door to Handwritten, boasts a Bacon and Wine Tasting. A must if traveling with a meat-loving man to wine country, the 90-minute experience marries four wines with its own bacon, each of which has been flavored with everything from honey to harissa to Italian herbs to bring out distinct notes in the wine. PriestRanchWines.com
Silver Trident Winery, a one-minute walk across the two-lane street from Priest Ranch and Handwritten, is home to the Potato Chip Extravaganza. True to its name, those who book this crunch-tastic tasting will be treated to five types of potato chips, each sourced from a small producer. Each chip comes with a glass of wine to accompany it. The combination will take your tastebuds on a magical mystery tour of flavor. SilverTridentWinery.com
JCB Tasting Salon, approximately 300 feet from Silver Trident, is home to a Caviar and Sparkling Wine Pairing. This dive into the ultimate in decadence pairs four high-end sparkling wines with four distinct artisanal caviars. Prepare for bubbly effervescence and over-the-top indulgence. JCBCollection.com
Chandon is nearly a mile from the others, but well-worth the three-minute drive. During its ambitious Epicurean Experience, chef Juan Cabrera highlights the beauty of bubbles by pairing his favorites with five precisely plated works of culinary art. Chandon.com
Baldacci Family Vineyards sits at the intersection of Yountville and Stag’s Leap, and its Perfect Pairings program is just that. The nibble-heavy experience explores the science of how wine and food amplify each other and even offers suggestions of what to pair with your personal favorite bites and sips. BaldacciVineyards.com
Romantic Resort Restaurants
As one might imagine, all the accommodations in the region drip luxury, but Hotel Yountville, Bardessono Hotel and Spa and North Block Hotel stand out, thanks in great part to their dining options.
Hotel Yountville, just steps from more than a dozen tasting rooms and boutiques and built using river rocks from the nearby Napa River, has elegance to spare, which extends to Heritage Oak, its signature eatery. Guests “in the know” always arrive prior to their reservations for killer craft cocktails (and adult popsicles!) at the Y Bar before being seated for elevated comfort food infused with wine country sophistication. HotelYountville.com
Bardessono Hotel and Spa is approximately two blocks from Hotel Yountville. The striking, sprawling LEED Platinum Certified property, situated within its own vineyard, is committed to providing a lavish experience for guests and diners within a sustainable environment. Its world-renowned Lucy Restaurant & Bar – named for the Bardessono family’s matriarch – serves up craveable farm-to-fork dishes with global flair using ingredients from the hotel’s orchards, onsite certified organic farming garden, and similarly minded farms and purveyors across the region. Bonus: the dog-friendly restaurant also has a menu for pups. Bardessono.com
North Block Hotel, which is nearly next door to RH Yountville, features all things wood-fired and wonderful at its primarily al fresco Restaurant at North Block. Beyond the gorgeous grilled main dishes, North Block is a happy hour hotspot thanks to its daily “Oyster Hour,” which features fresh oysters for just $1, as well as local craft beer selection and seasonally changing menu of scrumptious sourdough pizzas. NorthBlockHotel.com
Celeb Chef Supper Club
No gourmet guide to Yountville would be complete without some “star grazing.” Many of the world’s most celebrated celebrity chefs sharpen their knives and showcase their skills in Yountville.
French Laundry helped put the region on the map. The prix fixe spot – named by Anthony Bourdain as the best restaurant in the world – is one of the only restaurants to hold three Michelin Stars. Every dish tells a story, and every visit is unique. Founder Thomas Keller is a veteran of several Food Network shows, a staple of talk shows, and a guest judge on Top Chef. FrenchLaundry.com
Mustards Grill is a casual-yet-elegant spot is known for American fare and named to honor Napa’s yellow mustard flowers that provide vital nutrients to the vines. The restaurant is covered in them, save for the space carved out for its organic garden. Its founder is best-selling cookbook author and Top Chef: Masters contender Cynthia Pawlcyn. MustardsGrill.com
Bottega Napa Valley excels at bold Italian flavors in a dizzyingly delicious setting complete with dreamy stone fireplaces and glass chandeliers. Emmy® award-winning chef Michael Chiarello helms Bottega, always seeking to authentically connect guests with the flavors from his family’s roots in southern Italy. BottegaNapaValley.com
Bistro Jeanty brings the French countryside to Yountville. The brainchild of Michelin Star and James Beard award winner Philippe Jeanty, the bistro has been a Napa staple since 1998. Today, Philippe’s daughter Camille continues his legacy, creating each menu as homage to her father's favorite childhood food memories from his native France, and diners taste the love in every bite. BistroJeanty.com