The Gastro-Goth Lounge Napa Never Knew It Needed


Empire, a new lounge and restaurant in Downtown Napa next to Andaz Hotel (formerly Avia), ushered in its arrival with not one, not two, but three nights of grand opening festivities. Small plate bites were passed offering a peek at the small but eclectic menu (mashed potatoes, meatballs and mac and cheese on the “nostalgia” [...]

Classic Gin & Tonic from Fagiani’s

There is a classic style of gin known as “London Dry,” which is best categorized by famous household names such as Tanqueray, Gordon’s and Beefeater. The name, however, refers to the style of gin, since a London dry gin doesn’t actually have to be produced in London (ironically enough). In fact Beefeater is the last [...]

How To Make Pizza From Scratch (Yes, Even The Dough)

Ca'Momi pizza dough

“Set in a warm place to rise for 6-8 hours” is not a phrase from my new book “50 Shades of Yeast.” No, it is the most potentially derailing detail in the process of making dough at home for a delicious no-one-else’s-mouth-noises-must-be-heard pizza dinner in your own sanctuary. True, waiting 6-8 hours to even begin [...]

Make Gott’s Gazpacho


Around these parts (and by these parts we mean Rancho TTG) we get nearly as enthusiastic about the arrival of tomato season as we do Beaujolais day. Except shouting “The tomatoes are here! The tomatoes are here,” isn’t nearly as satisfying as yelling “est arrivé!” even when we try to be all like “Ze tomatoés [...]

Fagiani’s Fits Fabric of Napa with ‘Floating Glass Wine Cave’

Rendering of the restored Fagiani's

The latest details on the rising of Fagiani’s in downtown Napa, which we’d previously reported would reach three-stories and include a rooftop bar and dining area, were delivered in the form of a typically perfunctory Paolo Lucchesi missive. The redesign and operation of the long-shuttered restaurant is in the capable hands of NYC-based design troupe AvroKo, which is [...]

Fagiani’s Rising

Fagiani's Rising

Fagiani’s, the historic bar at 831 Main Street in Napa, is literally rising again. The figurative rising began in 2008, when the building’s new owner Steve Hasty cleared decades of dust from the old bar and opened the doors to a small group. The building had been sealed and its contents — cocktail glasses, cases [...]

Last Call For JV Wine & Spirits

JV Wine & Spirits

You’ve probably heard by now that JV Wine & Spirits, something of a Napa institution, is closing after 30 years of business. As of Friday the closeout sale went to 40 percent off, with all the furnishings — wine racks, shelving and even signs — priced to move. None of the shoppers have the giddy [...]

Napa Bike Fest’s High Wire Act

The BMX ariel show at Napa Bike Fest

The organizers of the first Napa Bike Fest, held this past Saturday, had a difficult balancing act to pull off (as does the Napa Bike Coalition): Advocate for the needs and safety of cyclists without alienating automobile drivers. Northern California is a community of drivers. Speeding, swerving, steering-with-their-knees-while-texting drivers. We live in our cars. We [...]

Middling Mediterranean Falls Prey To The Plague of Mediocrity


It can’t be easy to open a new restaurant in one of the most well-trod dining destinations in the world. But most restaurants that open in Napa Valley do not aspire to be crowned with Michelin stars or spawn series of cookbooks. Instead, restaurateurs hope to be consistent enough to attract a devoted local following [...]

Habit Forming Lines In Napa


The Habit Burger Grill added its fourth Bay Area location today when it opened in Napa (joining shops in Walnut Creek, Pleasanton and San Mateo) to much ballyhoo. And by ballyhoo we mean lines out the door like you would see at Bouchon on a Sunday if they were giving out free gold bars (and by gold [...]

Juicy Details: Oxbow’s New Juice Bar


You already know you can get farm-fresh local produce (and usually ferret out some interesting heirloom or uncommon varietals) at Oxbow Produce & Grocery in the Oxbow Public Market, but starting today you can also get fresh juice made from those self-same fruits and vegetables. Today the Oxbow Produce unveiled Juicy, its new juice and (soon) [...]

The Loneliness of the Occupy Napa Protester

There are no drum cir­cles at Occupy Napa. No skir­mishes with police (at least not yet). No dis­sen­sion among the ranks, which speak clearly and with a sin­gle voice. That the ranks total one exceed­ingly rea­son­able and polit­i­cally mod­er­ate 62-year-old man wear­ing jeans, a polo shirt, wire frame glasses and a gar­den­ing hat to shield his pale face from the sun prob­a­bly explains all of the above.