Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wine tasting in Napa can
be deceptively tricky. Not the drinking part, of course, which awaits you
around every vineyard-strewn curve of Highway 29, at peach-hued palatial
estates. The art is in planning a day in which you can drink all the velvety
cabs and brut sparkling wines you want, without getting sloshed. This
means you need a good lunch in the middle of the day. Preferably one with
food as good as the wines, that doesn't cut into your precious imbibing time
with a lengthy formal service. We're ahead of you—and have already
created the perfect such list. Addendum, Yountville Those who worship
at the altar of French Laundry chef Thomas Keller can taste his famous cooking
without the equally famous wait, at Addendum. This is about as casual as it
gets in Wine Country. A single take-out window behind his Ad Hoc restaurant
serves crispy thyme-and-bay-leaf-infused buttermilk fried chicken with a slice
of corn bread, best consumed at a picnic table next to the restaurant's herb
garden. Evangeline, Calistoga This newcomer is bringing a French bistro
vibe to wine country, but with a noted Napa Valley spin—seen in the
"croque Marin," a croque madame made with millionaire's bacon. The chef
hails from nearby Solage Calistoga, at the property's Michelin-starred
Solbar  restaurant. Evangeline is landscaped with rosemary, lavender,
and lime trees, with a bit of French Quarter flair and offers mostly patio
seating in the garden.   Goose & Gander, St. Helena The lush
garden patio at this public house has been a popular mellow lunch spot for day
trippers since it opened a few years ago. But it got another boost this
summer, when it lured a Meadowood and French Laundry alum to head the kitchen.
Dishes here reflect the surrounding bounty of good, seasonal produce, like
shaved and grilled asparagus with salt cod fritters, a poached egg, and trout
roe. Ca' Momi, Downtown Napa By harvest season, the doors to Napa's
new Italian osteria will be open and serving perfectly blistered Neapolitan
pizzas from the wood-burning oven, imported from Italy. Expect traditional
Italian dishes, like fried ox tongue cutlets with balsamic glaze, and
antipasti platters with house-made burrata. Jenna Scatena is on the San
Francisco Bay Area beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter
at @Jenna_Scatena and Instagram at @Jenna_Scatena. More good reads from
T+L:
• Worlds Top 50 Hotels
• Food Worth Traveling For: What to Eat and Where to Eat It
• Best Places to Travel in 2015 Did you enjoy
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Read on for the best lunch places in Napa Valley.

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