Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dining news from Yountville, Napa Valley

I love Yountville, California. It's close enough to San Francisco for a long weekend or even just a single exquisite daytrip. I've written about taking the Wine Train, about new lodging and the Mustard Festival, and about newest restaurant, Bottega. And now, my pal Kolleen emails me that the dining scene in Yountville is about to bubble over. In the next year, she notes, "Yountville expands its dining options from a simmer to a boil!" Here's what to look for:

-- Hotel Luca – The folks behind L’Auberge Carmel are set to open a 20-room luxury, Italian-style inn and restaurant sometime this fall. Like rustic, informal Italian dining? The inn's Luca Spa and Cantinetta Piero sounds like it will marry the best foods/styles of Italy and Napa Valley.
-- Vita –Laura Cunningham's new eatery is a Sicilian/southern Italian restaurant in the heart of Yountville that's named after her grandmother Vita Morrell. Remember, Ms. C. was the gal behind the service and key operations at Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Per Se in New York, so Vita should be something special. Scheduled to open next year, it's got a great pedigree: the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group is driving operations.
--Gordon’s Wine Bar & CafĂ© – This is set to be the new, improved version of a much loved local fave. Opening date is flexible: 2009/2010 (but hey, they're renovating a 19th century building, which can be tricky, so cut 'em some slack). Sally Gordon is still part of the project, which will debut with 50 seats and a similar cuisine.
Details: Yountville is 55 miles north of San Francisco, via Highway 101; contact the Yountville Chamber of Commerce at 707/944-0904.

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