thanks to everyone for their great postings....we stayed in napa for 2 days just before driving down the coast to l.a.....we wanted delicious, unique food that wouldn't break the bank and that's what we found.
ZUNI -napa: really, really good. they don't take reservations but it wasn't too busy. seated right away. sat upstairs. tapas style so we shared a bunch of stuff. lentil/tomato dish (really, really good -excellent mix of flavours and textures), lamb burger (proclaimed excellent by the b/f), cod/clams dish very tasty and well cooked. the hit of the night was their quinoa/mushroom dish -scrumptious -it was our 2nd last dish. if it was our first, i would have definitely ordered a second one...we were both licking the plate over this one....the only (major) miss were the shrimp. basically, surpisingly -yuck! bland, tasteless, over cooked. i never leave food on my plate but i did leave those....didn't have dessert or wine (drank wayyyyyy too much during the day)...it think the bill was around $60.00...would definitely go back (and not get the shrimp)
CINDY'S BACKSTREET KITCHEN -st.helena: delightful place. i love that cindy is hands on cleaning up tables, making sure everything is running smoothly. had to wait about 15-20min. for our reservation. clearly a lot of locals and regulars go here. good sign. decided to have cocktails instead of wine (again, waayyyyy too much wine during the day)...mojitos and capahrainas (brazilian drink) (sp?)both done really well.....we shared the mushroom tamales as our appetizers (it's listed as a main).....now- let me start by saying that i've eaten A LOT of great food at many unbelievable restaurants all over the world and it's RARE that i would acutally moan and groan over a dish....but this was it....b/f and i were fighting over the last bite, the last drip of the most unbelievable tomato sauce i've ever tasted (and i've been to italy :o)). we still talk about those tamales...had the halibut and meatloaf (another of their signature dishes & both were delicious...the desserts sounded fabulous but we were so full so we passed....would DEFINITELY go back there
TAYLOR'S REFRESHER -somewhere in napa valley: b/f had the burger....said it was one of the best burgers he's ever had
OAKVILLE GROCERS -s.a.a: gorgeous choice of stuff...definitely the stop to make for a picnic
GROCERY STORE IN CALISTOGA: can't remember the name but was very impressed by the quality of the food and the excellent selection....nice salad bar.
loved napa...can't wait to return.....