Celebrating Wood-Fired Inspired Cuisine and the Calistoga Community

A few years ago, the iconic Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, located just to the left of the northernmost end of Silverado Trail, saw a major renovation, which brought a vibrant redesign, modern amenities, and resort feel to this mid-20th century hotel. “Designed by New York based design firm AvroKo and inspired by the Great American Road trip, we’re like a classic roadside boutique hotel, but even better,” affirms the website.

While the nostalgia and fun of yore remain, the hotel now boasts remodeled retro-inspired and pet-friendly camper rooms, upscale vista rooms, intimate meeting spaces, the MoonAcre Spa, and three geothermal mineral pools. It also offers a wide range of activities like board and lawn games, happy hour, wine tasting, group hikes, and nightly for the remainder of 2021, s’mores and Jiffy Pop at the fire pit.

The most recent addition is inside of the hotel’s new centerpiece building, a restaurant named Fleetwood, which opened in June 2021. It is designed to be a casual and comfortable community hub for Calistoga locals and a must-visit for guests to Napa Valley.

Chef Drew Glassell, whose MICHELIN-star pedigree includes Cyrus, Market, Jardinière, and Gary Danko, leads the restaurant’s culinary team. “I want to make simple, approachable dishes that will make guests happy while fulfilling my lifelong desire to cook Italian-inspired food,” he shared.

From his most recent project, St. Helena’s Roadhouse 29, Glassell brought traditional smoking techniques, which he has elevated at Fleetwood by employing different wood types, such as almond and post oak, which evoke different flavor profiles in the oven. His menu features Italian, Mediterranean, and wine country-inspired wood-fired foods, emphasizing seasonal and organic ingredients, including distinctive offerings such as Oak Grilled Hearts of Romaine, Spinach & Ricotta Agnolotti, and Oak Grilled Salmon.

A few of Fleetwood’s most popular items with guests are its wood-fired pizzas (Buffalo Mozzarella and Speck Ham), Wood Oven Roasted Meatballs, Striploin Steak (gnocchi, roasted garlic, king trumpets, baby peppers, and truffle balsamico), and Polenta Cake (oak-roasted strawberries, zabaglione, and amaretti crumbs).

Fleetwood will accommodate any dietary restrictions like gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. For example, gluten-free versions of the pastas, pizzas, and the Polenta Cake are available. However, to ensure the best dining experience possible, the staff encourages guests who require such accommodations to contact them at least 24 hours before their reservation.

A visit to Fleetwood would not be complete without a glass of local beer or wine or one of its craft cocktails like the Spritz Veneziano (Aperol, prosecco, soda, and orange), Mertillo (gin, huckleberry, honey, lime, and tonic), Liviero (vodka, Campari, and grapefruit), or Tuscarita (blanco tequila, Luxardo, Meyer lemon, and lime).

“Fleetwood’s vintage vibe embodies a sense of chill, like hanging out at a friend’s home, and the spacious, tree-lined courtyard and fire pit invite guests to relax. It is a great gathering place to cap off a day in the vineyards, for happy hour or a cozy meal,” said restaurant manager Neil Robinson, who also developed the bar program.


Story By: Elizabeth Smith // Photos By: Emma K. Morris