The Calistoga Inn has been a landmark in the town of Calistoga for many a year. It still looks very much the same as it did when we first visited the town in the late 60’s.
It has been about a year since we last had dinner at the Calistoga Inn. We dined at the Calistoga Inn over a year ago at the annual Pauper’s Feast, an immensely popular and fun event featuring a fixed price meal at a ridiculously low price. We decided to try the restaurant again on a very cold Thursday evening this winter.
The restaurant at 7 pm just had a few customers and the atmosphere felt subdued. What a difference a good crowd can make. Too noisy a restaurant can be annoying, but deathly quiet is much worse. The restaurant looked and felt barren. The bar area just on the other side of the restaurant was a much different place. There was a large and cheerful crowd, probably enjoying the freshly brewed beer that the Calistoga Inn brewery is noted for.
Janelle ordered the flat iron steak and Joe had the Paella. We had high hopes but unfortunately our meals were mediocre. Dining in the Napa Valley should be an exciting experience and on this night the Calistoga Inn missed the mark. We had the feeling that the entire staff was just going through the motions. Maybe it was due to the effect of the small number of diners. We were done and out the door in about an hour’s time.
We will definitely try the Restaurant again and we expect the spring or summer months will bring out the best of the Calistoga Inn Restaurant.
The Good: Charming and a throwback to another era. Festive bar.
The Bad: Food was average, service sluggish