Each year our readers nominate and vote on some of Napa Valley’s best people, places and things that offer exceptional experiences for both visitors and locals alike. It is always challenging to include all that Napa has to offer in such a finite list, so the Editor’s Picks includes categories that were not included in the Peoples’ Choice ballot and are worth an honorable mention.
BEST New Restaurants
Napa Valley’s culinary scene welcomed some exciting new restaurants in 2019, some under the mantle of local veteran master chefs, and a few newcomers to the area. Here are our top two picks:
813 Main St, Napa
707-203-8900 • avownapa.com
After much anticipation, the famed three-level space on 813 Main Street, originally known as Fagianis, re-opened in August as AVOW, a contemporary restaurant and bar under the ownership of winery veteran Joe Wagner. AVOW’s “rustic luxury” menu offers an eclectic array of food and a cocktail menu with fun takes on the classics, which are most often enjoyed on the rooftop patio.
6539 Washington Street, Yountville
707-945-4522 • perrylangs.com
Veteran dry aged meat master and BBQ legend, Adam Perry Lang, launched the opening of his second eponymous restaurant with the September 2019 debut of Perry Lang’s as part of The Estate Yountville’s ongoing expansion. Offering diners an approachable chophouse experience in the heart of wine country, the new American restaurant features a menu of seasonally-driven and market-forward fare that complements Perry Lang’s one-of-a-kind dry-aged meat offerings.
BEST Party of the Year
Jean Charles Boisset’s 50th Birthday Bash
On September 7, Napa vintner, proprietor and entertainer extraordinaire, Jean Charles Boisset (JCB) took the Napa party scene to the next level as he celebrated his 50th birthday among thousands of his “closest friends.” Hosted at his Raymond Winery in St. Helena, the opulent 007 themed bash thrilled guests with over the top scenes recreated from the James Bond movie series. The evening began with a welcome toast from Jean Charles, who filled guests’ glasses with JCB bubbles while swinging from a 25’ high harness. It only got better from there.
Gary’s Napa Valley
607 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena
707-531-7660 • firstname.lastname@example.org
When Dean and Deluca closed its doors early in the year, Gary Fisch jumped on the opportunity to lease the space. Gary’s Napa Valley is Fisch’s fifth location and extension of his fine wine business he built in the New York area. Gary’s carries over 600 labels of wines, both local and imported. Guests can sample up to 24 wines offered by the glass and choose from hundreds of spirits and beer products, imported cheeses, charcuterie, fresh-baked breads, a full deli as well as hand- crafted platters and gift baskets.
BEST Unique Experience
Le Petit Chef 3D Dining Experience – The CIA at Copia
500 1st St., Napa
707-967-2555 • ciaatcopia.com
This whimsical “dinner and a show” dining experience at The CIA at Copia takes diners through a two-hour expedition with “Le Petit Chef” a thumb-sized 3D animated chef projected on their plates. The vibrant journey of the senses inspired by Marco Polo’s travels along the Silk Road includes a delicious spice trail-inspired six-course seasonal dinner with a wine pairing option which changes quarterly, prepared by the creative team of CIA chefs led by Chef Rodrigo Vazquez.
BEST Local Hang Outs
Local Farmers Markets
There is nowhere better to mix and mingle with the local community than at one of Napa Valley’s vibrant Farmers Markets. The bustling markets are always a welcome juxtaposition of local growers and vendors mingling with locals and tourists to share seasonal produce, fresh foods and merchandise in a casual setting. Our top three picks:
Saturdays and Tuesday mornings: 8:30am -1:00pm Year Round
Friday mornings: 7:30am-12:00pm
May – October
Saturday mornings: 9:00am-1:00pm Year Round
Beau Fleurs Flower Company
1508 Silverado Trail, Napa 707-224-7993
For over 25 years, Beau Fleurs proprietors John and Kellie Prittie have been creating beautiful, upscale arrangements of California-grown and imported cut flowers. Their fresh, natural ‘fresh from the garden’ style, attention to detail and creativity behind every arrangement. The family-owned operation caters to individuals, groups and events and prides themselves on their focused attention to customer satisfaction and white glove customer service.