If you’re ever visiting Napa Valley, make it a point to try out all of five of these incredible restaurants, definitely some of the best places to eat in Napa Valley!
Crisp on the outside, soft and fleshy on the inside. Everything a potato should be when cooked to perfection; the only similarity between the amazing potato dishes I found during my visit to the Napa Valley last month.
It didn’t start out as a hunt for the best potato dish in Napa Valley; I was supposed to be finding the best places to eat. I did that but along the way I realized that while everyone else was enjoying Napa’s incredible wine, I was eating my way through fields of potatoes that probably came from somewhere in nearby Idaho. And enjoying every second.
Every dish is different yet similar, similar because the flavors of each dish were so incredible that I would order them over and over again. But that’s where the similarities stopped. This hunt isn’t like a treasure hunt where an old crumpled up map leads to a X marked chest full of treasure. This hunt is one that comes with a prize at each turn and the ultimate prize, a memorable four days of eating amazing food in Napa, leaving my soul and my stomach fed and happy.
While we received complimentary meals at all of these locations, those complimentary meals had no bearing on these recommendations. All opinions are 100% honest and my own! And thanks to my great friends Rebecca and Heidi for these gorgeous photos and to Visit Napa Valley for partnering with us to make our Feed the Soul Retreat happen!
Our hunt started in St. Helena at the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, right off of 128, because well isn’t everything? Chef Michael and our server Nick wined and dined us with the most incredible tomato soup, made me a special onion-less appetizer, and even allowed us to try their freshly made cheddar biscuits; biscuits I continued to eat for breakfast throughout the weekend. But the star of the show at Long Meadow was for sure their entrees. The gnocchi. The lamb. And the crispy potatoes served alongside the lamb. They may have been the best crispy fried potatoes I’ve ever had in my life, and I eat a lot of potatoes. The lamb was a special that night but if it’s an option, don’t even think about getting anything else. Eat the lamb, a couple of the amazing potatoes, and send me the rest.
We continued our hunt the next afternoon with lunch at The Grill at the nearby Meadowood resort where the burger and fries came highly recommended. I’m not a big burger fan but oh my goodness, the fries. Perfectly salted, perfectly crisp, and nothing like the gross limp pieces of potato we had for lunch the previous day at In-N-Out. Even if you don’t get the burger, ask for fries with whatever else you order. You won’t be sorry.
Other honorable mentions at Meadowood include the delicious wild mushroom flatbread, the chicories and endives salad, the amazing array of fresh pressed juices, and the phenomenal view from the back porch. With a menu full of farm-to-table dishes, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Next up on our hunt brought us to Gott’s Roadside Grill, right in the middle of downtown Napa and on the corner of the beloved Oxbow Market. Gott’s has been a Napa Valley staple for years and the food is enough to show you why. Gourmet burgers that even the biggest foodie would enjoy, the most unique and delicious chicken tenders, and a menu so customizable that everyone is sure to go home happy. And three incredible fry options – regular fries, garlic fries, and sweet potato fries. The regular fries are good but the garlic fries are great. Just make sure to bring along some gum if you’re on a date. And I know they’re not technically a potato but the sweet potato fries were like none that I’ve ever had before – sweet, spicy, and delicious. I recommend just getting all three kinds and sharing but if you have to skip one, skip the regular fries and devour the others.
After a full night and morning of sleep, we made our way to the world famous Auberge du Soleil for the perfect girls’ getaway brunch. Views of the Napa scenery for miles, impeccable customer service, and flavorful food I have a hard time even writing about. Brunch begins with a basket of easing in muffins, house made pastries, and breads. And the best lemon curd I’ve ever tasted. I could’ve eaten one of their muffins spread with the lemon curd and left a happy woman. That was just the start.
In addition to the easing in menu, brunch comes with your choice of a beginnings appetizer, a sustenance entree, and a dessert. Get the gnocchi. Just listen to me, get it. From the moment I laid eyes on the foam filled dish, I knew it was going to be a dish to remember. Perfectly cooked gnocchi with a wild mushroom sauce and topped with large pieces of fresh parmesan. If all gnocchi tasted that good, I would never order anything else. The rest of our group ordered a variety of items off the menu, everything from the duck confit hash to the braised short rib, and raved about every little bite. Auberge is more than just somewhere to eat, it is an experience. And an amazing one at that.
We finished off our culinary journey at the new Heritage Eats, in the popular Bel Aire Plaza. As we drove into the plaza and by Whole Foods, Target, and World Market, we commented on how the plaza had everything we could ever need. I didn’t realize until after our visit to Heritage Eats how true that statement was; Heritage Eats is a place we could and would eat at weekly if it was closer to home. It’s a cafeteria style (build your own) restaurant for gourmet foodies that’s better branded than any other non-chain restaurant I’ve ever seen.
We had the privilege of meeting co-founders Ben and Jason and as they put it, the menu was created based on their global travels, and it shows. From a báhn mí to a chicken tikki masala wrap, their menu is as diverse as their travels have been. And that’s just the recommended eats menu. Most of our group went the custom route and made a wrap or a sandwich that mixed a little bit of this and that. And all that mixing and matching paid off with some delicious custom creations. Oh but wait, this is the hunt for the best potato dishes, good thing they have one of those too. My favorite waffle fries ever. Seasoned perfectly. Cooked perfectly. Potato perfection. So get whatever recommended eat or custom creation you want and get the waffle fries to go with it.
Next time you’re in Napa Valley, check out these five restaurants and their diverse menus. While I adore potatoes and ordered them everywhere, their menus are full of delicious and decadent fare for anyone and everyone. If their potatoes are this good, you know the rest of their dishes are even better.
Where to Eat in Napa Valley:
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch | 738 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574 | 707-963-4555
The Grill at Meadowood | 900 Meadowood Lane St. Helena, CA 94574 | (707) 968-3144
Gott’s Roadside Grill | 644 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 (and other locations) | (707) 224-6900
Auberge du Soleil | 180 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573 | (707) 963-1211
Heritage Eats | 3824 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa, CA 94558 | (707) 226-3287