DiningCulinary Adventures

The Hottest New Restaurants & Culinary Experiences in Napa Valley

  • May 22, 2020
  • By Rebekah Stoltz Weeman

For the past ten years, Napa Valley has become one of the world's top culinary destinations, attracting celebrity chefs to share their passion with foodies from around the globe. Here's our list of the best new places to dine in Napa Valley this summer.

One of the best things Napa Valley has to offer, besides the wine of course, is incredible food and places to dine. If you have been to Napa Valley before, I am sure you already have a list of your favorite places to go. Napa Valley prides itself on its fine selection of Farm to Table or Farm to Fork establishments.

Most restaurants in Napa Valley have gardens of their own or source from local purveyors. The food is fresh and prepared by some of the best chefs in the country. If you haven't been here before, you should definitely check out our blog called The Best Places To Eat In Napa Valley. The list below is focused on some of the new additions to the already existing stellar repertoire.

Avow is one of the newer restaurants on the block. However, the essence of Avow is hardly a newcomer to our community. The hospitality is war, the food is farm-to-fork and the vibe is upbeat. Winery veteran, Joe Wagner, together with his brand Copper Cane & Provisions has brought new life to an old building (circa 1900) and infused the walls with aromas cooked up by a native-born California chef. How can you go wrong when Chef Mike Williams creates dishes that feed the heart and the soul? You can’t. In his own words, Chef says, “When you’re happy, nervous or sad, you eat. Real life revolves around the table.”

What distinguishes Avow from the rest are the dishes, which are approachable and fun for everyday life. The restaurant has a bar on the first floor, dining and kitchen on the second and a lounge on the top floor that has a new bar and outside seating overlooking the Veterans Memorial Park. You can order food including main courses on all three floors. I love the fun new take-out kits for evenings when I don't want to cook.

 In 2016, Kenzo opened Kenzo Napa, in downtown Napa. In Napa it's difficult to find diversity in the restaurant scene and Kenzo Restaurant definitely has something to offer that you won't find anywhere else. While 2016 may not seem new, the menu changes regularly and each time you visit, you will have a different experience. Pre-fixe, pricey and unique in every way, this is a place that you might choose for that special occasion. The restaurant seats a modest 27 people and was designed by Kenzo’s wife, Natsuko. The dishes are Kaiseki style, which is a multi-course traditional Japanese cuisine.

The restaurant earned a well-deserved Michelin star in 2017 and has also received the Wine Spectator Restaurant Award of Excellence for several years in a row. Be prepared for a very special experience when you dine at Kenzo Restaurant. Please note that through July 2020, Bento boxes, wine and saki are available for take-out. In-house dining is expected to return in August 2020.

Perry Lang's Steakhouse is a welcomed newcomer to Yountville. Sandwiched between Vintage House and V Marketplace is a food & wine oasis that cannot be missed. The building, formerly called the Groezinger Estate House, was built in 1870 by German-born vintner Gottlieb Groezinger. The indoor space oozes with old world integrity, fused new world style. I love the floor to ceiling fireplace in the main dining room. Be sure to try the crabcakes, they are delicious! Of course, the dry aged steaks, sides and sauces are to die for too. From July through mid-August 2020, the indoor space is closed, but you will love the patio and the fun summer BBQ menu. Tables fill up quickly, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as you can.

We recently had the opportunity to meet friends in Napa and dine at Miminashi. What a treat to the senses!  My previous experience had only been once this year when Chef had been a guest at the Clif Family Food Truck - Street Food Wednesday. I was impressed then, but even more impressed with the selection at the restaurant. One of the girlfriends only eats vegetables. She had suggested the spot as Miminashi can modify almost every dish for vegetarians. Bonus! We splurged and ordered many of the apps and dishes.

Loved the Wok Fried Edamame, the Corn Fritter and the Little Gem Salad to start. After that, we ordered Vegetable Fried Rice, Duck, Steak, Gyoza and the Ribs. The perfect balance of umami flavors was a delight. Everything was amazing! We can't wait to go back and try the Ramen. Currently offering take-out and outside seating, this hip place is perfect for summer nights in Napa Valley.  

 Brix (newly remodeled) is not new per se, but it's newly hot! With new additions to the menu and a facelift, both inside and out, this fantastic restaurant is a must do. The Kelleher Family and Brix have been in the Napa Valley since 1998. We have been dining there ever since. Located just north of Yountville, this Napa Valley favorite continues to deliver. Set on 16 acres of gardens, the land is home to herbs, vegetables and many other delights. Pioneering in the farm-to fork concept, Brix uses most of its bounty on the menu at the restaurant. Seating is currently outside in cozy nooks within the garden and patio.

In summer, most folks prefer to sit outside as it's a perfect place to take in the essence of Napa Valley lifestyle. We love the Dungeness Crab Fondue, Garden Salad and Steak Fritte, but they have a lot of other items that are always a hit. For the younger diner, they have great options too! Be sure to try their house wine as they Kelleher’s have a vineyard in Oakville and make outstanding wine. 

Compline Wine Bar and Restaurant is a wine bar, restaurant, and wine retail shop. Ranked as one of America’s top 100 Wine Restaurants by Wine Spectator, Compline will impress. Storied by locals to be the hottest spot in the Napa Valley, you are certain to rub shoulders with hipsters, wine geeks and intellectuals. Consistently giving back to the community in various ways, owners Matt Stamp and Ryan Stetins are a conscientious duo. It's always inspiring to visit the restaurant and get inspired. The food at Compline is excellent. We love all the fun sides, like duck fat fries or anancini. The lobster and pork dumplings are another favorite and cannot be found anywhere else in Napa Valley. As for main courses there are plenty of options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

The patio is well equipped for summer dining and the service is outstanding. Be sure to pick up some fun wines or gift items at the retail store. According to Master Sommelier Matt Stamp and Ryan Stetins, “Along the coast of California and in old Europe, monks pioneered wine-growing. The hour of Compline signaled the end of the working day, when vineyards fell quiet and the lights went on. In this spirit, we invite friends (old and new) to join us for a bite to eat and a bottle of wine as the night settles in, surrounded by a warm kitchen’s glow and the bounty of Napa Valley.” Have a great time at Compline.

 For a more casual setting try Nick the Greek in Napa. Since opening in the summer of 2020, Nick The Greek has been very busy preparing the best authentic (if not the only) Greek food around. Located in the south part of Napa in a shopping mall, it's designed more for take-out. Despite the modest restaurant space, the food is fresh, flavorful, authentic and affordable. Locals rave about the Greek Fries and Lamb Souvlaki. The food menu however, is full of all the items you would expect to find on a Greek island. The spot on flavors will transport you immediately to the Mediterranean. Don't forget to order the baklava for dessert!

Make it a weekend to remember by booking one of our Top 10 Best Places to Stay in Napa Valley.


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