Too bad for visitors to Calistoga. Brannan’s Grill closed its doors in 2018.
Brannan’s Grill has been a tourist’s favorite spot and Calistoga fixture since 1998. The corner restaurant on Lincoln Avenue continues to attract the tourist trade, especially on weekends, where the bar is jammed and reservations can be tight.
We visited Brannan’s Grill on a Monday night. You can count on Brannan’s to be open every day for lunch and dinner. The first thing that catches the eye as you enter is the bar. The bar itself is a gleaming, beautiful mahogany structure made in Germany in 1880. The lighting is perfect making the bar atmosphere very inviting. The bar menu has some interesting cocktail specialties and a couple of wine flights that are reasonably priced and interesting to try.
We ate at Brannan’s several years ago and thought our meal was just so so. This time around we were much more delighted with our dinners. Janelle had the roasted chicken and Joe had the grilled rib eye steak. The chimichurri sauce on the ribeye was a wonderful sauce that complemented the steak. We rated our dinner a 4.5 on our Five-Point rating scale.
Our only disappointment was the wine list. It is quite extensive but there are not enough choices in the $30 to $40 range. We did find a bargain selection, and a great match especially for the steak with the chimichurri sauce, in a delicious Sebastopol Vineyards Three Blocks Syrah for $32. The corkage fee is $15 and waived if you buy a second bottle, even a half bottle, making for a better than average restaurant corkage policy. Our dinner bill came to $108 without tip, we did not have dessert.
Monday night is not one of the busiest nights in Calistoga yet Brannan’s was a busy spot that night. We were not rushed and we had a slow and relaxing dinner. Our overall experience was fun and enjoyable.
The Good: Terrific atmosphere, wonderful bar, very good food.
The Bad: Good wine list but need more choices in the $30 to $40 range.