The first time we looked into the window at All Seasons Bistro in Calistoga, we thought this restaurant couldn’t be very good. There are no fancy tables and chairs and the dÃ©cor sort of gave us the impression that we shouldn’t expect too much. That was our mental picture five years ago. Since then we have dined at All Seasons Bistro several times and it remains today our favorite Calistoga restaurant by a wide margin. A couple of weeks ago we dined there again and we were not disappointed. Our meal and experience were perfect.
We dined on a Friday night and were surprised to find that the restaurant was not that busy, while on the opposite corner, Brannan’s restaurant was packed. We’d stopped at Brannan’s first for a glass of wine and to enjoy their beautiful mahogany bar and a jazz combo that plays on weekends. Brannan’s is cool but All Seasons Bistro has the food.
For dinner at the All Seasons Bistro, Janelle had the red wine braised beef ribs and Joe had the house made pappardella pasta with a bolognese meat sauce. For dessert we split the warm chocolate torte with strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce. What a delicious treat! Everything was prepared exquisitely by bistro chef Daniel Holt and pastry chef Summer Sebastiani. Another big plus for the restaurant is the wine list. It is huge. So big that All Seasons Bistro does their customers a favor by preparing two wine lists. There is a one-page list of the more recognized labels and there is also a binder with their complete list of wines. We chose to browse through the larger list and we were delighted to find a wine that we had tasted during our day of wine tasting in the Calistoga area. It was one of our favorites of the day. The wine was a Zinfandel from Summers Estate Winery. The wine was just perfect for our lovely dinner. Our total cost of the meal including tip was a reasonable $120.
We are not the only ones who think the All Seasons Bistro has good food. The Michelin Guide for 2008 gives it a one-star recommendation. That is quite an honor for this small, nondescript Calistoga restaurant. The restaurant also has a great reputation for its catering services and caters many of the weddings and events in the Napa Valley.
The Good: The food is excellent, terrific wine list
The Bad: Not open seven nights a week.