Yountville - The Heart of the Napa Valley - offers so much to our visitors and at the top of that list is incredible culinary experiences and great restaurants. At the top of the list of Yountville restaurants are those that have been rated by the prestigious Michelin Guide and in the 2021 Guide there are seven restaurants listed. Let us take you on a journey of them below.
Since it opened in 1994 The French Laundry has received numerous honors and accolades and has retained its three stars from the Michelin Guide for a number of years now. Chef Thomas Keller is the only American-born chef to have two three-starred Michelin restaurants with his New York restaurant, Per Se, also holding the coveted stars. The menu at The French Laundry changes daily with the restaurant committing itself to creating classic French cuisine with the finest quality ingredients.
In addition there is a similarly intense focus on impeccable guest service. Enjoy a multi-course meal, fixed price along with outstanding service where portions are small but outstandingly prepared and presented. The wine list is extensive and has a depth and breadth of selections from Napa Valley and beyond. Prepare to be there at least 2 hours or more and make sure that you leave room for dessert. While reservations are notoriously difficult to come by, you can start the process of making one here.
Ciccio has been blending old-world style with new-world know-how for almost a decade now at their historic location at Yountville's northern end. As is the way with many of the Italian restaurants here in the Napa Valley, the culinary team at Cicco pays close attention to sourcing the finest of local, and seasonally fresh, ingredients. The dining room provides guests with a perfect view of their impressive wood-fired oven and adds great ambience to the dining experience.
The menu at Ciccio offers a diversity of choices with the wood-fired pizza a local favorite, with toppings that range from traditional to surprising, with additions like crispy fried sage or salsa verde. And it will not be a surprise to find that there is an excellent wine list at Ciccio's and don't forget to take advantage of the Negroni bar! Make a reservation for Cicco here.
The latest addition to Chef Thomas Keller's collection in Yountville, La Calenda, goes beyond traditional European culinary influence. The taqueria pays tribute to the hospitality of Oaxaca in Mexico, both in its cuisine and traditions. No detail is left to chance with the crockery in the restaurant sourced from artisans in Mexico, and Chef de Cuisine Kaelin Ulrich Trilling is an accomplished culinary professional who was raised in Oaxaca. He sources heirloom ingredients from different regions in Mexico, and also uses the French Laundry garden to add a variety of new herbs to supplement La Calenda's needs.
The atmosphere at La Calenda is celebratory. With a variety of small menu items like the Tacos de Barbacoa, or the Tamal de Calabaza, you can mix and match to sample bright flavors offset with fresh salsas. Or instead go for heartier, full plates featuring fresh seafood, pork, and beef dishes. Even if you stop by just to try one of the restaurant's thirty featured mezcals or a glass of Mexican wine, grab some Totopos y Salsas. Make your reservation here.
Opened in the fall of 2006, Ad Hoc is Chef Keller's casual dining venue for showcasing the comfort food of his childhood. Ad Hoc, literally meaning "for this purpose," and derives from the restaurant's original purpose: to fill a space temporarily while Chef Keller's team developed another restaurant concept. From its opening, Ad Hoc was loved by both locals and visitors to Napa Valley wine country alike, and so this "temporary" restaurant has now joined Chef's three other Yountville restaurants.
The daily changing four-course menu, featuring classic American dishes like fried chicken, pot roast and BBQ, is handwritten nightly on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. Everything is served family style which adds to the conviviality of the experience at Ad Hoc and is a nod to further recreating the comfort of home. Everyday there is a set menu and it's available online for those who like to know what they are committing to before coming in. The meal is complete with starter salad, main course with sides, after dinner cheese plate, and dessert. A great wine and cocktail list adds to the atmosphere at Ad Hoc. Make your reservation here.
Bouchon, offering authentic French bistro fare, opened in late 1998 and features a seasonal menu and raw bar selections that change throughout the year. The menu is renowned for its staples like roast chicken, leg of lamb, and trout amandine which have become year-round favorites. The Vin en Carafe program at Bouchon features selections made exclusively for the restaurant from top wineries in Napa Valley and France.
The restaurant is located just down the street from The French Laundry and Chef Keller created it's interior featuring a French zinc bar, a vibrant mosaic floor, antique light fixtures, and an expansive food centric mural. Guests may also dine outdoors on Bouchon's patio, which has a great view of Yountville's main drag, Washington Street. Some local advice is to not skip dessert, as if ice cream filled profiteroles aren't enough they're finished by pouring thick hot chocolate sauce over the top. Make your reservation here.
Chef Cindy Pawlcyn and her team have been nourishing the Napa Valley and its visitors for over 30 years at Mustards Grill. The restaurant on Highway 29 just north of Yountville is still considered the hub of the food and wine community where winemakers and grape growers lunch with visitors and where local chefs come to dine on their night off.
Renowned as a restaurant that consistently produces modern twists on classic American dishes, the menu at Mustards centers around locally grown produce with much of that sourced from their own garden. While noting that "everything is delicious" it's important that you leave room for brown sugar meringue topped which is appropriately on the menu as "ridiculously tall." Make your reservation here.
A relative newcomer to Yountville's culinary scene, the restaurant at North Block, you guessed it at the north end of Yountville, marries great local ingredients with Asian inspired spices and flavors.
While the menu features many items that you'd experience at other restaurants, there are items like the "made in house" sourdough bread and the Duck Sausage Pizza that are huge hits amongst those who dine at North Block. Their selection of desserts is the perfect way to round out an enjoyable culinary experience. Make your reservation here.