When my best friend came to visit me from Chicago, I had a difficult time deciding where to take her for dinner for our only night in Napa. Then, I thought back on a great date I had 6 years ago in NYC where we restaurant hopped all over the meatpacking district. At that time, the meatpacking district was the spot to be and we managed to hit about 5 places before we called it a night. The system was simple: sit at the bar to avoid a wait and order a drink and dish at each. This is exactly the strategy I used when Carrie and I went to Yountville.
Before we drove into Yountville, we made a drink stop at Auberge de Soleil. I get tons and tons of emails from friends and colleagues asking for tips when they visit Napa and a drink at this place always makes the list. Auberge is a fantastic resort nestled up in the hills outside of Yountville with amazing views and great people watching. If you go in the late afternoon, you can get a table with little to no wait and enjoy a crisp glass of wine before heading to an early dinner. We both ordered a 2007 Foxen Chenin Blanc and soaked in the view before heading on our way.
Next stop was Bouchon for Salt Aire oysters and a glass of Domain Chandon. Bouchon is owned by world-renown chef, Thomas Keller (he also own 3 other spots within a 3 block radius). It celebrates his love for classic bistro fare and is very, very consistant. After pounding a dozen oysters or so, Carrie and I ventured off to our next stop, Redd.