Napa Valley Old School

Just recently a winemaker friend posted some photos from Napa Valley on Facebook . He said he was there for research but given the nature of his photos I suspect it was just a whole lot of food and drink experiences. It got me thinking about some of the great places to visit there. So I thought I might share some with you.



Mustards Grill  7399 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558  707.944.2424  Link

This restaurant on St Helena AKA Highway 29 has been around for over 30 years. Still a favourite of mine for its solid no nonsense cuisine ( I don’t think a single pair of tweezers is used in the kitchen) . Cindy Pawlcyn is a pioneer in wine country cuisine and a fantastic cookbook writer as well. The onion rings alone are worth the trip. It has an eclectic USA based wine list with some well chosen International wines added. There are sections called “not so common whites” and “not so common reds” If you are a value shopper you will find something interesting and very well priced. If you like the big dogs they are there in spades… Marcassin,

Sea Smoke, Sine Qua Non, Saxum, Melka , Dalla Valle, Araujo, Colgin, Bond, Harlan and the famous Screaming Eagle . Your credit card will give up before they do.



Gotts Roadside 933 Main Street. St. Helena, CA 94574 707-963-3486 Link

This is the original location for a diner style restaurant called Taylors refresher . It was leased out to the Gott family and later named Gotts Roadside. Think of it as a reverential take on old school diners serving hamburgers and Ahi burgers, salads, French fries and milkshakes, plus seasonal specials like the “Seoul” pork burger with kimchi and the B.L.T with heirloom tomatoes. If you are spending a significant amount of time in Napa Valley you will appreciate the low key flavour packed food as well as the ability to have a quick meal and move on to your next appointment . After all it’s about maximizing the time you spend trying wine.



All Seasons Cafe 1400 Lincoln Avenue Calistoga Ca 94515 707 942 9111 reservations Link

Long time Calistoga restaurant , the All Seasons Cafe was one of the first restaurants in the USA to receive a Wine Spectator Grand Award and the receive consistently great reviews from Yelp , Trip Advisor and Zagat. The wine list has some great older vintages from Napa , mid 90’s Turley single vineyard Zins in the $130 range would be interesting.

Here is your wild card stop for the hardcore foodie.



Rancho Gordo Beans 1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559, USA 707-259-1935 Link

If you are serious about your provisions this is a must stop for beans. Yes I said heirloom beans. Ranch Gordo has been at the cutting edge for the revival of heirloom beans in America. If you make your own Cassoulet or love Central American bean dishes this place will blow your brain. Tons of great quality properly sorted beans for all your culinary needs. Easy to transport and super hard to find in Canada. Open Monday through Saturday

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.


David Lancelot