What Does ‘Keeping St. Helena St. Helena’ Mean?

There is an unfortunate tone to Mayor Del Britton’s campaign which makes it seem that keeping St. Helena St. Helena, means keeping some people “IN” and a lot of people “OUT” and that change is a bad thing. The picture of Mr. Galbraith that the Britton ads paint would be funny if it were not [...]

Are You Ready For Some BBQ?

pulled pork

Serious Texas style BBQ has come to St. Helena. Every Monday at least. Starting today and every week thereafter, smokey goodness will spill from the back of Ana’s Cantina from 11:30 a.m. until, according to the bar, “the meat runs out.” In theory this includes plenty of chow to see hungry football fans through to [...]

The Blue Marie, a Bloody Mary with a French Accent

French Blue patio

Three sweet little words: Now serving brunch. Few phrases bring more joy to our hearts here at TTG HQ in the brunch hinterlands of Napa. What was once a desert, devoid of benedicts and bloodies, has been shaping up of late. French Blue in St. Helena is the latest restaurant to begin full-on brunch service [...]

What’s in a Petiole?


Petioles, or the stems of leaves, can tell you a lot about the health of a vine. During flowering, vineyard managers collect petioles from throughout the vineyard and submit the tissue to lab for analysis. “Year after year these results influence our vineyard management decisions and give insight to vine status in terms of nutrient [...]

Grignolino: One Grape Oddity’s Journey From Piedmont to Napa

Heitz Grignolino

There is a little grape called grignolino that almost no one knows what to do with. Hailing from the northern Piedmont, where it is mostly consumed locally (and, even there production is declining) the grape is not widely known. I have heard it referred to as “the little strawberry,” a name it aquired not because [...]

The Secrets of the Red Room

Baccarat provides the light

When one of Burgundy’s most flamboyant, charismatic and charming vintners, Jean-Charles Boisset, purchased Raymond Vineyards, a storied Napa Valley estate, in 2009, there were bound to be changes. First, the most sustainably-minded playboy on the planet initiated a strict biodynamic farming regimen, starting the long, arduous process of restoring soil health and biodiversity to the [...]

The Sex Life of Grapes

Anther fully extended

Flowers are everywhere in the spring in Northern California. On the sides of roads, in the cracks of sidewalks, between the rows of vines, clutched between your teeth. Roses are in full blush, patches of wild poppies dutifully perform their open-close routines with the rising and setting of the sun and the slutty manzanita bushes [...]

Something Borrowed: Howard Backen’s French Blue Takes Shape

French Blue

The construction site in St. Helena, which come May 29th will boast Napa’s latest dining destination French Blue, is abuzz (literally) with saws and workmen fitting things, and amid the clatter, Howard Backen is energetic, but perfunctory when explaining where this will hang and that will go with a flutter of his fingers. Make no [...]

Inside Goose & Gander: Now Open

The tables are made from reclaimed redwood

Completely renovating a beloved local icon can be risky business. Judging from the reactions at a preview this weekend, Andy Florsheim and the team behind Goose & Gander can breath easy, though. The new crew has done right by the 90-year-old landmark. Let’s be honest: As great as The Martini House was under Todd Humphries and [...]

Bar Stars Beattie and Pazdon Bringing Classics, Hand-Cut Ice to Goose & Gander

Super Friends 1973

The old Martini House, empty more than a year now, will roar back to life next week as Andy Florsheim’s Goose & Gander. Florsheim has assembled a bar team supergroup of sorts (we are thinking more Super Friends or maybe the powers of Voltron uniting than Velvet Revolver, but you be the judge). Today, we [...]

Chasing Sheep At a Biodynamic Vineyard in Napa Valley

It’s probably true what they say: Chasing sheep is indeed best left to shepherds. You can see from the above that we had some trouble chasing the sheep at Joseph Phelps Vineyards — those fur balls can haul ass over the rows when they want, eh? — but Philippe Pessereau, director of vineyard operations at Joseph [...]

Brassica’s Wine Program Actually Interesting (But, Oh That Gingham)

Straight Outta Cabot: Brassica Dining Room

Cindy Pawlcyn’s recent attempt to reinvigorate the former Go Fish space by replacing light fixtures, ditching the table cloths and exchanging the epic seafood-centric menu for a more manageable variety of Mediterranean small plates is largely a failure. Renamed Brassica, the restaurant still feels awkwardly large and like a dated take on farmhouse chic. And [...]

Through A City Darkly

Artist Jeremy Mann

Artist Jeremy Mann’s Urban Realism at The Christopher Hill Gallery Perched above St. Helena’s quaint Main Street, The Christopher Hill Gallery has, for ten years, served as an oasis. For urban expats craving contemporary, international art and intelligent conversation, Hill’s gallery on the second floor (above a shop that somewhat inexplicably sells exclusively Kokopelli jewelry) [...]

More Goose & Gander Details

More details on Goose & Gander,  the highly anticipated restaurant filling the Martini House space in Saint Helena have rolled in. And from the sound of things the spot is going to be worth the wait. And a hearty affair. For starters, literally, you’ve got Chef Kelly McCown’s housemade charcuterie to whet your appetite for menu anchors [...]

New Restaurant Flips Martini House


What’s Good for the goose is good for the Gander — or in this case, what was good for The Martini House is good for the Goose & Gander. When the much-loved Martini House in Saint Helena closed in late fall of 2010, many up-valley locals attempted to drown themselves in the river. The rest [...]

Bud Breaking News: #notspringyet

They may have Punxsutawney Phil on the East Coast to let them know there’ll be six more weeks of winter, but here in Northern California we have Cathy Corison’s Twitter to set us straight:

Breakfast is Served: Gott’s Fills Napa Niche


Napa is a breakfast hinterland. You can easily find yourself crawling through the valley, literally tripping over tasting rooms serving wine at 10 a.m., but if you want a decent egg sandwich, you are out of luck (and we stress decent — sorry Model Bakery). But Gott’s Roadside has come to the rescue. Centrally located [...]