Although the town of Napa may not be as chic as Yountville, lodging in downtown Napa offers the wine country visitor many options for activities and choices of restaurants. There are enough things to do in the downtown area to keep visitors busy for several days.
We booked two nights at the Blackbird Inn, a Four Sisters B&B. The Blackbird Inn is located on First Street and Jefferson in Napa. The B&B happens to be directly across the street from the very cool Craftsman home of the Wine Spectator’s Napa office. We supposedly got a winter/Internet special rate, if you stay two nights you get one free. Our tab came to $280 with tax for our two-night stay.
We were very grateful that we did not pay the normal $250 a night for the lodging, we think the $125 a night is just about right for this place on any night, including the summer and weekends. Things got off to a rocky start when they showed us to what was supposed to be our assigned room. It was a very nice room but once we looked around it was obvious that someone else was occupying the room.
5:00 pm is the food and wine hour in the living room that is nicely decorated and has a very cozy fireplace. The cheese consisted of small cubes of Monterey and Cheddar cheese. The wines, a white and a red, were served in those generic type carafes. No matter how good the wine, a carafe is not too appealing especially in the heart of wine country. Nonetheless, we had an open mind to the wine, but once we tasted the wine we know why it was served in a carafe. The wine was not very good. This is one of the most famous wine country regions of the world and this is what they serve for wine?
The first morning the breakfast was good. We had a choice of some fruit, English muffins, bagels, a couple of cereals, and a very nice quiche. The second day guess what, one less cereal and quiche again on the menu. How about adding a little variety to the main breakfast item.
On the positive side, the rooms are very nicely furnished and comfortable. Each room has a fireplace and wireless Internet service. Our room also had a nice balcony and with the morning sun provided us with a relaxing way to read the morning paper with our coffee.
We did walk to dinner both nights. It is about six blocks to the fringe of downtown and more if you walk to the far end of Main Street. We had two excellent dinners on both nights. Elements is a fairly new restaurant on the corner of Second and Franklin. Their specialty is small plates. The place also doubles as an enoteca with a wine list that is very diverse with a good choice of foreign wines. On Wednesday, the night we were there, no corkage fee. If you dine here, try the Pepino salad; it is excellent!
The second night we dined at Uva Trattoria on Clinton Street, just half a block up from Main Street. On most nights they have live music, mostly soft jazz. The food is excellent Italian cuisine. We had the pasta special of the week, with a very delicious Bolognese sauce. They also have a tasty list of pizzas. Overall, a good choice for dinner and comfy place to have a cocktail or glass of wine.