Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bauer's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants . . . look at the new additions!

UPDATE: We're proud to announce that TEN of the top 100 restaurants in the entire San Francisco Bay Area are within 15 minutes drive of the Napa Old World Inn-- and most of these are within a 10 minute walk!


If you've stayed at our Napa Bed and Breakfast in the past year or so, chances are pretty good that you've walked to one of Napa's world class restaurants at least one of the nights you were here.

San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer has just released his annual "Top 100" Bay Area restaurants. Most are based in San Francisco, but in a stunning surprise this year, FOUR of the 26 new additions are in the town of Napa!

Here's a link to his list:

The "new" restaurants that were added to his top 100 list:

Morimoto Napa
Morimoto Napa. No surprise here. We've raved about this amazing place since the first week it was open. Their Omakase (taster's) menu is not only creative, tasty, and fun—but the chefs keep track of each Omakase you have, and will always give you something new. If you haven't stayed with us and walked there, it really makes for a special evening. Try the rock shrimp tempura with wasabi aoli-- it's addictive!

Ubuntu. Another welcome addition. Truly creative and innovative food, in a wholistic farm-to-table approach. 


Our favorite thing to say about Ubuntu is that it's for vegetarians—but it's the *meat* eaters who walk out amazed! Veteran foodies say that Ubuntu gives French Laundry's vegetarian tasting menu a serious challenge. The first year it was open, the New York Times named Ubuntu one of the top three new restaurants in the entire US!

Oenotri. We were delighted to read this, as this is by far one of our favorite Napa restaurants (and we were fortunate enough to have their food featured at our annual B&B Holiday Tour last year). Keep your fingers crossed-- Chefs Curtis and Tyler have promised to come back for the 2011 Holiday Tour! Fortunately our review of Oenotri came out a few days before Micheal Bauer's original review—our review and his had so many similarities that we would have been too shy to publish it had Bauer's review come out first!

Angele. A beautiful French-style Bistro on the Napa River. And an easy walk from the Napa Old World Inns.


-The Innkeepers
Napa Old World Inn

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Napa Valley Wineries/Weather update- March/April 2011

As innkeepers of this Napa Bed and Breakfast Hotel, one of our greatest pleasures is seeing, smelling and hearing the change of seasons in the Napa Valley. The green of the valley is breathtaking. The smells of the blossoms are everywhere. And, perhaps our favorite, the sweet song of newly hatched birds during the day is a perfect backdrop for the coming of spring.

The overall weather pattern changed from the cooler days of winter: Rains continue, but things get warmer. We see more sunny days. Mustard plants between the vines inject a vivid golden yellow everywhere. And the grape vines begin to wake up from their dormant winter slumber.

Napa Valley wineries get busy "caning" the vines (pruning them back) while they're still dormant, and get ready to plant new vines once the weather/time is right.

This is also a time when some Napa wineries begin bottling their precious nectar, removing the wine from the barrels and transferring it into bottles. After bottling, the bottles are "put down" for a bit, to let them rest and recover from "Bottle Shock" (and you thought this was just a cute name for a movie!). Bottle shock can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Soon, the leaves will start to appear, and after that-- bud break.

March and April are lovely, and a perfect time to visit the Napa Valley.

If you've never stayed at a Napa Valley B and B, why not give it a try? The environment feels more homey, and insider advice from local innkeepers is a great way to discover your new favorite wine, or restaurant!

-The Innkeepers
Napa Old World Inn