Yountville, Napa Valley - Culinary Capital of the Valley
Napa Valley Wine Country is one of Northern California’s (if not one of the world’s) Top Culinary Destinations. Yountville has become known as the “Culinary Capital of the Valley.” And for good reason. For its size, there’s no other place in the world that competes with its fabulous gourmet restaurants, including Thomas Keller’s world-famous French Laundry and celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega… to name a few! Don’t miss a visit to this fun foodie haven next time you’re planning a visit to Napa Valley. Located just off Hwy 29 (about an hour north of San Francisco), Yountville is one of our favorite Napa Valley destinations. We love staying there because everything is within easy walking distance; no need to drive anywhere unless you want to 🙂
Celebrating a very special occasion or looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience? Try to get a reservation (not the easiest thing to do, but be persistent) at the Michelin-rated French Laundry. And prepare to be blown away as you savor each bite of what might possibly be one of the best meals of your life!
We recently had the pleasure of dining at the French Laundry (our second time) this summer with our cousins (foodies) who were visiting from New York. They were celebrating a “BIG” birthday and we were celebrating our anniversary. It was one of the most amazing 4-hour dining experiences of our lives.
From the outside, you might think that the French Laundry is someone’s home (previously it had no sign, but there is one now, although it’s subtle and partially covered by the bushes). Their cute little garden courtyard is a great place to stroll before dinner. It’s a lovely setting for taking pictures.
Inside, the dining areas are cozy and inviting. And the food – ahhh… words just don’t describe how heavenly everything looks and tastes. Each dish is a piece of art, and each bite, a gastronomic delight! Service is impeccable – as it should be for those prices! As you might expect, the French Laundry also offers a superb wine list (over 104 pages) – including a variety of fine wines from Napa Valley and around the world. The wines are extremely pricey, so be prepared. Don’t expect to find any wine under $100 – on the high end, wine runs $10,000+a bottle!
Food aficionados will love the French Laundry. Yes, it’s extremely pricey (especially in this economy), but worth every penny – we’re still smiling 🙂 Needless to say, we’ll be eating at home (or fast-food) for the rest of the year. Start saving up now!
Have you dined at the French Laundry? Tell us about your experiences.
Bottega is another fabulous Yountville restaurant not to be missed. Our cousins ate there three times during their week-long visit to Napa Valley. The brainchild of Emmy-award winning Food Network celebrity and cookbook author, Michael Chiarello (former chef of St. Helena’s Tra Vigne), Bottega is one of the hottest restaurants (and bars) in Yountville.
Bottega, meaning “an artist’s workshop or studio” in Italian, really lives up to its name. The restaurant’s warm colorful decor, outstanding food (showcasing big, bold Italian flavors) and its creative food presentation, are pure artistry. A spacious outdoor covered Terrazzo features two big wood-burning stone fireplaces with comfy lounge and table seating.
During our visit, we enjoyed a lovely lunch on the terrace overlooking the gardens. We can’t wait to go back again.
Have you eaten at Bottega yet? What did you think of it?