Wine and dine in small-town Napa Valley.
Situated between Calistoga and Rutherford, Napa Valley’s tiny St. Helena packs a significant punch when it comes to dining and drinking options.
Archetype is a must-visit for any gourmand looking for an exceptional meal at any time of the day. The upscale bistro serves breakfast/brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner and even boasts a kids’ menu. The centerpiece of the experience is the oak-fired oven and grill, where dishes like grilled asparagus with vegan green garlic aioli and crispy maitake mushrooms shine.
Down the road, the multifaceted Long Meadow Ranch features a general store, café, and wine-tasting room, but the crown jewel is its restaurant, Farmstead. Housed in a converted barn, Farmstead reflects the ethos of the Hall family, who own the property and lovingly restored it from ruin in 1989. The menu features seasonal dishes sourced solely from local waters, ranches, and farms. The vegetarian-friendly menu is approachable, with a distinct “wine country casual” style that permeates the region, with dishes like a grass-fed cheeseburger; Yukon potato gnocchi with wine forest mushrooms, English peas, and Bellwether ricotta; and California-grown Arborio rice with peas and carrots, toasted seeds, and parmesan.
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The key to Napa Valley is that not everything is as it seems — what looks like a regular old supermarket is in fact one of the region’s best specialty stores. Sunshine Foods Market, which has been open since 1975, is a mainstay of the area, serving everything from artisanal charcuterie and cheese trays to top-notch butcher meat and seafood and everything in between, including boxed to-go lunches.
St. Helena is smack-dab in the middle of California’s storied Napa Valley wine country, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other worthy drinks and drinking establishments to seek out. One of the most-loved by locals and visitors alike is Mad Fritz, a brewery started by winemaker turned brewer Nile Zacherle, who received his degree in fermentation science at University of California, Davis.
Despite also being a winemaker at St. Helena’s David Arthur Vineyards, Zacherle makes ales and lagers at Mad Fritz that are sourced from local aquifers, springs, and reservoirs and craft-malted single-variety barleys that are organically and bio-dynamically farmed. archetypenapa.com, longmeadowranch.com, sunshinefoodsmarket.com, madfritz.com, davidarthur.com
Photography: Courtesy Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
From the October 2019 issue