Food & Drink

How to Make the Most of a Visit to the French Laundry in Yountville, CA

The outside view of the French Laundry, including stonework, siding, and a balcony with green vines growing along it.

The French Laundry celebrated 25 years of bringing exquisite fine dining to Napa Valley earlier this year, and it shows no signs of stopping. In those years, it has become a world-renowned foodie destination and continues to show that simple, fresh ingredients and superb service is all it takes to make a magical, Michelin 3-star culinary experience.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to get a reservation at the French Laundry—don’t miss it! Reservations are difficult to get, and it is the only way you’ll be able to experience this top-notch culinary delight. Reservations become available 2 months in advance and are usually booked almost immediately. That’s why we joke that it’s the only place we won’t even try to get you a reservation!

Parking can be tricky at the French Laundry, so plan extra time in your travel plans for that. If you happen to find a good spot easily, use that time to take a walk across the street to their vegetable garden. You are welcome to meander through the plots and get a preview of the menu!

In many ways, it’s the service that stands out as much as the food does. You will want for nothing while you dine. The staff will anticipate your needs and seamlessly provide you with the care and attention you would expect with a Michelin 3-star restaurant. So just allow yourself to sit back, relax, and enjoy having your taste buds catered to. Plan on the 9-course meal to take anywhere from three to four hours.

Don’t be shy about asking the waitstaff to answer any questions you have about the menu, wine pairings, the cooking process or ingredients. You’re even welcome to ask for a chance to thank the chef and see a little bit behind the scenes of the meal-making process if you want.

If you’ve been thinking about making a pilgrimage to North America’s finest restaurant, don’t wait any longer! Book a stay with us at the Calistoga Wine Way Inn or Craftsman Inn and see what exquisite flavors await you!

Outside front of the Craftsman Inn in Calistoga, CA, located in the Wine Country in Napa Valley

Photo of the French Laundry by Peter MerholzFlickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Top 5 Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Napa Valley, CA

Reduce your carbon footprint by trying out these five amazing farm-to-table restaurants during your stay in the Napa Valley region! Our valley is known for its rich agricultural heritage, and eating with sustainability in mind means you can have the best culinary experience without all the harm to the environment. Not only is it good for the earth, but it means you’ll get a healthier, more nutritious meal for wherever your adventures take you. Read on for some excellent dining options!
A farmer stands facing the horizon, holding leafy green vegetables in his hand.

  • Calistoga Inn Restaurant, & Brewery—Outdoor seating, Napa River views, and mouth-watering micro-brews await you at this farm-to-table restaurant. Enjoy live music from May through October, and savor the fresh entrees such as the Seafood Fettuccine or the Country Paella.
  • Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch—American Farmhouse Cuisine takes center stage at this St. Helena restaurant that derives its dishes from their local ranch. You can also tour their wine cave, sample their estate-grown wines, and shop at the general store. They also host a farmer’s market from November through April.
  • Bottega—Make your way to Yountville for this unique farm-to-table experience that offers outdoor seating (with stone fireplaces for even the coolest of evenings). Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello infuses his Italian roots into every dish and offers exquisite flavors than can only come from the local ingredients they source.
  • Oxbow Public Market—This restaurant plus farmer’s market in the town of Napa is one-of-a-kind. Enjoy dining at one of several farm-to-table restaurants, or browse the many vendors offering their organic, sustainably grown produce.
  • All Seasons Bistro—Right here in Calistoga, the All Seasons Bistro offers seasonal fare inspired by local harvests and brought to you in a cozy, romantic atmosphere just down the street from our inns! Try their Scallop & Prawn Risotto or sip on one of their delectable wines from Napa Valley or around the world.

Stay with us!

We share the same concern for the environment at the Wine Way Inn and Craftsman Inns. We source our ingredients locally whenever possible and grow as much as we can in the garden on our grounds and our plot at the community garden nearby. What we can’t get from our own gardens, we source from heirloom vendors at the local farmers market. So you’ll always know you’re getting the very best ingredients, picked at the peak of their growth cycle. Book a room today and enjoy exquisite food at our inns and the greater Napa Valley area!

A plate of fresh, colorful vegetables on a table.

Napa Valley Truffle Festival Weekend 2020

Calling All Truffle Enthusiasts!A cross-section of a black truffle on a wooden surface.

The Napa Truffle Festival weekend is coming up on January 17-20, 2020. It will bring together truffle experts from around the world who will share their knowledge of these delicious delicacies. Whether you’re a foodie looking to enjoy the exquisite and unique flavors of black truffles, or you’re looking to learn about the art and science of cultivating morels, there will be something for you!

The Napa Truffle Festival was started in 2010 by the American Truffle Company who wanted to bring their enthusiasm for all things truffle to the American public. The goal is twofold—to educate truffle enthusiasts and cultivators, while also showcases the truly remarkable flavors these little delicacies are capable of adding to a dish. The festival also focuses on giving back to the community by donating its proceeds to the food bank of Community Action of Napa Valley among other places.

Several wineries will be hosting the event, and Michelin star chefs will be creating the menu. Ken Frank, a Michelin star chef recognized as America’s expert on truffles, is the master behind the menu. He is the only American chef that has been invited to the exclusive White Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy and holds the title of Knight of the Truffle and Wines of Alba. 

Experience the Complete Life Cycle of a Black Truffle

There is a broad range of activities being offered, from the scientific elements of growing truffles to cooking demonstrations and wine and food pairings. You can even choose to go on your own truffle hunt and learn about finding them in the wild. A truffle-hunting dog demonstration will be offered on Friday which will include wine tastings from Robert Sinsky Vineyards. Don’t miss the five-course dinner offered Saturday night by La Toque and the Michelin star chefs. To finish off a weekend of education and culinary delights, stop by the Oxbow Public Market to purchase fresh truffles to bring home and experiment for yourself.

Image Courtesy of Napa Truffle Festival

Make It a Long Weekend of Luxury

A stay at the Wine Way Inn or Craftsman Inn is the perfect way to experience this event. We are a quick drive from Napa and offer an incredible amount of amenities that will make your weekend perfect. Choose a room that suits your tastes and add on a decadent package of wine, cheese, or chocolates. Don’t miss your chance to experience this distinguished event in the heart of wine country! 

 

Top 10 Things to do in Napa Valley

View of the Napa Valley from Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, CA

Napa Valley Has Everything You Want in a Getaway

While Napa Valley is best known for its world-famous vineyards and its exquisite wines, there are more things to do in the area than you might expect. Take a look at these 10 must-see attractions and see why a getaway to our Calistoga Wine Way Inn and Craftsman Inn are perfect for an escape into wine country.

 

  1. Castello di Amarosa—This 13th century-inspired castle winery is a huge draw to the area. Book a package through our inns and enjoy a castle tour, premium wine tasting, and a complimentary shuttle ride!
  2. Visit a Michelin Three-Star Restaurant—Napa Valley is home to not one, but two, world-class restaurants that are worth including in your getaway plans:
  3. Pack a Picnic and Take a Hike—There is an incredible amount of spectacular hiking in the valley. Check out “7 Amazing Hikes Near Napa Valley” for a look at some of our favorites! A hiker walking along a fallen log in a green forest.
  4. Visit Wineries and Tasting Rooms—The beauty of Napa Valley is that there are SO many options for wine tastings and vineyard tours. We recommend using this guide to narrow down your options based on location, experience types, and wine flavors. We also offer a list of some of our favorites here.
  5. Mineral Springs—While Napa Valley is known for its vineyards, a lesser-known regional feature is the mineral springs. Spend a day at a luxury spa for a truly rejuvenating getaway.
  6. Take a Balloon Ride—Napa Valley makes for a truly remarkable birds-eye-view. Let out your inner thrill-seeker with a journey across the valley in a hot air balloon. Some options include:
  7. Take a Tour or a Ride on the Wine Train—Because there are so many options for restaurants, wineries, and vineyards, it can really take the guesswork out of planning your getaway by hopping on a tour bus, taking a ride on the famous Wine Train, or signing up for a food & wine walking tour.
  8. Ride a Horse—Connect with your inner cowboy/cowgirl with a horseback ride from Triple Creek Horse Outfit. There’s just nothing quite as peaceful as hitting the trail with these graceful creatures.
  9. Shopping—Napa Valley is a mecca for artists and artisans, so there is no shortage of fun shopping to experience. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for someone special or you would like to take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir, you’ll find it in Napa Valley. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  10. Stay with Us!—We are the premier place to stay in Napa Valley. Our two properties—the Wine Way Inn and Craftsman Inn—are consistently rated high for our beautifully appointed rooms, our delicious gourmet breakfasts, and our superior location. Come see why we have been given Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 8 years! Book a room today to create the getaway of your dreams!

Outside front view of the Craftsman Inn in Calistoga, CA, located in the Wine Country in Napa Valley


Wine and Dine in Calistoga, CA Package

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