As the area recovers from the devastating North Bay fires, wine country restaurants are open for business and ready to provide world-class hospitality to locals and travelers alike. Owners and operators share their thoughts on their recent experiences – and what awaits you during your next visit.
Acacia House, St. Helena
Renowned chef Chris Cosentino, winner of Top Chef Masters, and his staff at Acacia House have been overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion as they were able to reopen last week with full operating hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Located in the Las Alcobas Hotel, the restaurant recently earned 3.5 stars from critic Michael Bauer for Cosentino’s bold-yet-luxe flavors, found notably in the Hamachi crudo and the Iberico pork schnitzel. As the team works together to help rebuild the community, they are offering a special three-course menu for $50 ($10 from each meal sold will directly benefit the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief). Make a reservation at Acacia House.
Café La Haye, Sonoma
Located in the heart of Sonoma, cozy Café La Haye is easy like a Sunday morning. The atmosphere is relaxed, the hospitality is warm, the menu is elegantly simple, and the food is superb. The beef carpaccio with fried oysters and the buttermilk-brined, crusted pork chop regularly win raves, and the chocolate silk cake is legendary. The wine list, which emphasizes local producers, is ample enough for oenophiles yet not overwhelming. “So many wonderful people are asking how they can help, and I’d like to say that there is still so much beauty here in Sonoma — and we’re open again and ready to welcome them back,” says owner Saul Gropman. Make a reservation at Café La Haye.
Compline is quintessential new Napa dining. You’ll find the best of the local bounty on its menu, which features refined seasonal dishes, both large and small, including grilled whole fish, a lamb duo, and mushroom confit – and there’s also a superb Wagyu burger and a brownie for dessert, mirroring the restaurant’s laid-back ambiance. “Dining out in Napa has always been centered around great wine, good food, locally sourced ingredients, and a close community. We’ve watched friends, neighbors, and visitors come to our valley to raise a glass together and enjoy a bite, even in a time of crisis,” says co-owner Matt Stamp. “Our kitchen is open late, the wine is always flowing, and we can’t wait to show off our downtown Napa hospitality,” adds Ryan Stetins, also a co-owner. Make a reservation at Compline.
The Girl & The Fig, Sonoma
You’ll find country food with a French passion at this homey spot in the Sonoma Hotel. The plat du jour menu (a thrifty $54 for three satisfying courses plus pairings) changes weekly, but you’re going to want to save room for cheese – in particular, the Fromage Tower, which includes six cheese selections, seasonal fruit, spiced nuts, olives, Mano Formate cured meats and charcuterie, FIG FOOD condiments, and baguette. Other dishes of note include the wild flounder meunière and the duck leg confit. Proprietor Sondra Bernstein says, “Our hearts remain with the many people who were affected by the California wildfires, and we do want our guests to know that our restaurants are open and we are trying to get the Fig Family back to work. The weather is beautiful in Sonoma, the skies are clear and blue, and our food is homegrown. Come visit us soon! We look forward to serving you.” Make a reservation at The Girl & The Fig.