Gourmet food is amazing – and it’s certainly something Napa has to offer in leaps and bounds. But what about when you really want to break free from the norm and enjoy something scrumptious, yet a little off the beaten track? We have you covered with this list of the 3 most surprising “hidden gem” restaurants in the Valley.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
100 years ago, it was common for food to come right from a local farm to your table. Long Meadow Ranch capitalizes on this traditional outlook by serving food supported right on-site with organic and sustainable “full-circle farming” methods. Even the decor feels as if it’s been pulled from an earlier time, with a barn-like main restaurant lined with country-themed furnishings.
Farmstead’s restaurant is seasonal, so you should expect the menu to change based on when you arrive. Patrons rave about the “brick cooked” chicken with rancho gordo heirloom beans and their in-house cider, but you’ll find plenty of options to suit just about anyone’s tastes. It’s wholesome, healthy, and fun.
Tapas lovers won’t want to miss this iconic tapas bar nestled right in the heart of Napa’s Valley. Their menu constantly changes, but is always loaded with the most incredible gourmet offerings. Choose from delectable in-house gourmet soups, a daily ceviche, Gambas al Ajillo, tortillas, locally-sourced steaks, king salmon, seared octopus, or a to-die-for lamb T-Bone. We’re certain you’ll fall in love with at least one dish (if not all of them).
While ZuZus is premium, it’s also a busy spot – but it’s also one of the few restaurants that only accept walk-ins. Get there on time, and you’re certain to lock down a seat (at least on most days).
The Fatted Calf
If the name is a bit off-putting, that’s forgivable – because their selection of food is absolutely undeniably delicious. The Fatted Calf is technically a deli and speciality food market, so don’t expect fine dining, but don’t miss out on this golden opportunity, either. This is a location with some of Napa’s best charcuterie, sausage, meats, sandwiches, and cheese.
It’s true that the Fatted Calf is targeted to the true carnivore at heart, but oh, what an experience you’ll have. Try the Smoked Spare Ribs – they’re cooked to perfection. Or aim for something lighter with options like local lamb and fresh-roasted duck breast. Delectable sides like marinated olives, gourmet pate, and cowboy beans help you fuel up for adventure.
Don’t forget that The Fatted Calf is also a butcher. Buy and eat in-store, or collect items and head out for a picnic at Fuller or Kennedy Park – both have barbecue pits just waiting for you to try out your skills.
Spring is upon us, and that means it’s time to head to Napa for warm weather fun. Book your accommodations now with Napa Valley Hotel & Suites.