Our June 15th edition of the Wine Spectator arrived in our mailbox with a special wine country section focusing on five different California wine venues including the town of Yountville in the Napa Valley. We happened to have been there last week taking advantage of a $150 a night mid-week special at the Yountville Inn. After reading the Wine Spectator article we thought it would be a good idea to add our “two cents” to Wine Spectators take on Yountville.
One of the great things about staying in Yountville is having a great choice of restaurants within easy walking distance. No need to worry about a designated driver or calling a taxi. We have eaten at all the restaurants in the main part of town except the French Laundry and PJ Steak. At the top of our list is Ad Hoc and Bistro Jeanty. Ad Hoc is owned by Thomas Keller of Bouchon and the French Laundry fame, both also in Yountville. The menu at Ad Hoc is price fixed and it is a four-course meal that changes nightly. Whatever is on the menu for that night is that; there are no other selections. Bistro Jeanty serves up a fine French menu of comfortable food. What we like about both restaurants is the festive, casual, and not so serious atmosphere. Redd’s is our favorite spot for sitting at the bar and people watching.
Mustard’s Grill is a few miles away on Highway 29 and is a great choice for lunch or dinner. Famed chef and restaurateur, Cindy Pawlcyn, opened Mustard’s in 1984.
As far as wineries, there are some very close ones that were not mentioned in the Wine Spectator. It is possible to rent bikes and stay off Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail and see plenty of wineries. Bicycles can be rented at Napa Valley Bike Tours at 6488 Washington Street. Within easy riding distance is Domain Chandon, Elyse Winery, and Havens Wine Cellars, on the West side of the freeway. North on Washington Street in Yountville is Bell Wine Cellars.
Best winery for a picnic is Robert Sinskey on the Silverado Trail, just south of the Yountville Cross Road. The Bouchon Bakery has sandwiches prepared with their delicious breads that you carry out for a picnic lunch. If you are not staying at a B&B, Bouchon Bakery is a must for a morning cup of coffee and a pastry.
A few other fun things to do: Walk up and take at a look at the French Laundry’s vegetable garden. It is directly across the street from the French Laundry restaurant. Check out the boutique shops in the V Marketplace at Vintage 1870. For exercise, walk or bike ride on Yount Mill Road. It is a quiet road, where you can get some wonderful views of the vineyards and the Vaca Mountains to the east.
We have included all our suggestions on this Google Map.