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The "Ten Best" Restaurants in the Napa Valley

Destination(s): Napa Valley

Are there really 10 restaurants in the Napa valley the rise above the rest? Honestly, no -- there's such an incredible wealth of fine food and creative cookery in Napa that this really would have to be the "Top 25" to be anywhere near fair. And I'm afraid I have to admit my picks would change every six months, depending on who's arrived, who's departed, and who's just not quite on their juice. But just to get the conversation going, here are ten truly fine restaurants that every Napa food afficionado should try. Then please, add your own! read more about The "Ten Best" Restaurants in the Napa Valley

Toque (La)

Toque (La)

  • 1140 Rutherford Road
  • tel:707- 963 9770
  • Visit website
  • Napa, 94573
Ubuntu Restaurant

Ubuntu Restaurant

Ubuntu is an upscale vegetarian restaurant offering a delectable menu of greens no vegetarian should miss. While Ubuntu started out flying under the radar and attracting primarily a local crowd, this year's award of a Michelin star for 2010 should put an end to that. The decor may strike you as stark if you don't like lofty brick-lined spaces, but the food is anything but. Chef Jeremy Fox grows his own vegetables, grapes, and other fruit biodynamically in a two-acre garden and the result is freshness you can't get with produce off a truck. Fox, who trained at Manresa on the peninsula, has received numerous awards, including being named by NYT critic Frank Bruni one of the "ten best chefs outside New York."

Still, these dishes aren't going to please steak-and-potatoes folks, so come with an open mind. In fact, many of the ingredients are likely to be things you've never heard of. But if you are open to trying matsutakes, albino beets, vadouvan, and other mystery foods,  you're in for a treat. Imagine a soup made of caramelized sunchokes, coffee, and pears, or black rice cooked with Fuyu persimmons and pickled peppers. Wines are both local and international, selected for sustainable growing and harvesting practices.  After dinner if you're not too full, you can take a yoga class in the studio above. read more about Ubuntu Restaurant