Harvest 2012 Begins With a Bang

Mumm staffers celebrating the first grape harvest or 2012

On Friday, Aug 10 at 11 a.m., a rubber-boot-clad army of eager employees gathered on the crush pad of Mumm in Napa Valley to welcome the arrival of the first grapes of 2012: pinot noir from the Gamefarm Vineyard in Yountville. Winemaker Ludovic Dervin celebrated the beginning of harvest by sabering a bottle of 2003 [...]

Fresh Lavender-Infused No. 209 Gin Cocktail

The Honey Bee's Knees

This week we are celebrating our good friend and devoted pollinator, the honey bee. If it weren’t for her hard work and dedication, this cocktail, made with fresh lavender, wouldn’t be possible. Vincent Lee, the equally dedicated barman at Lucy Restaurant and Bar at Bardessono, also played a hand. We are taking the liberty of [...]

Tacos Garcia Truck Rolls Back to Yountville

Tacos Garcia fence at Pancha's

Rejoice people of Yountville. The Tacos Garcia truck usually stationed outside Pancha’s on Washington Street in Yountville is back. The truck had been missing since a horrific fire tore through a shopping center in Napa and destroyed its parent restaurant. The sad stretch of broken fence in the Pancha’s parking lot where the truck usually [...]

Between the Sheets at The French Laundry


The clock above the kitchen door reads 10:30 a.m. The first wave of prep cooks — which have been here for more than five hours — are moving in accordance with Chef Thomas Keller’s simple reminder placard beneath the second-keeping clock: “A Sense of Urgency,” it reads. Which is exactly what is needed in order [...]

Cherries (And Gin and Absinthe) Jubilee: Toasting the Launch of TTG

Vincent Lee at the bar

Tasked with creating a special Distillery No. 209 cocktail for the Table To Grave launch party at Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono, barman Vincent Lee went all out. Taking into account both cherry season and perhaps our color scheme, Lee created a pink frothy libation using fresh cherry juice and an egg white. Without [...]

Fired Up: Ciccio’s Quest For The Perfect Pizza Crust

The wood-burning oven at Ciccio in Yountville

“I’m so over food that needs a pedigree. We’re just going to cook,” says Polly Lappetitio, the Chef at Frank Altamura’s (of Altamura Winery) soon-to-open pizzeria, Ciccio, in Yountville. Having spent 13 years at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone restaurant (the last five as Executive Chef) we can understand her need to simplify. For [...]

Guide to the Bathrooms of Yountville

If there is one thing that Yountville has more of than Michelin stars, Thomas Keller restaurants, and faux-Tuscan architecture — it is public restrooms. In fact, Yountville leads the world in public restrooms per capita. Once safely ensconced in downtown Yountville, the town’s target demo may throw their Depends undergarments to the wind and meander [...]

Sharp Shooter: Girls, Guns and the Semiotics of Gender

Alexandra and Truett

When I reached photographer Lindsay MCrum on the phone at her hotel room so we could have a conversation about her book Chicks With Guns she quipped, “I’m what you’d call a moving target these days.” Now, I don’t think she meant this as a specific self-referential gun metaphor necessarily, but it does speak to [...]

Farmers Market: Ciccio Bringing Fresh, Ingredient-Driven Italian To Yountville


Frank Altamura grew up frequenting the little Italian grocery in Yountville on Washington Street. Since those days, a lot has changed. All around the diminutive free-standing wooden building with the distinctive facade, the machinations of wine country boom and celebrity chef superstardom have proliferated, turning the sleepy town into something else. And though the building [...]

Check Out Coffee Caboose in Yountville’s New Crepe Menu

Hungry java junkies, wasted winos and famished Francophiles now have a new options amid Yountville’s scant but growing choices for a quick bite. Coffee Caboose, the coffee stand across from Bouchon houses in an old train car, has been serving up crepes both sweet savory for the past week. The classics — ham and cheese [...]

Why Thomas Keller Can Shill For American Express And It Not Be Bullshit

It’s easy to be cynical about Chef Thomas Keller getting all weepy and nostalgic for Yountville and his bay laurel tree while hawking for American Express, as he did in the above ad that aired during the Oscars last night. It’s easy because Yountville is a wine country theme park, and Keller is one of [...]

Lucy’s Lift: Bardessono’s Restaurant Gets Much More Than a Nip-n-Tuck

Lucy Table

Let’s face it. No one wants to eat in a hotel. Hotel restaurants far too often feel like an extension of the lobby — and anything that feels even remotely lobby-like is not exactly appetite inducing. The restaurant at Bardessono, a contemporary, well-designed hotel that opened in Yountville in 2009, had been cursed with the [...]

Breaking Bread: Bouchon Bakery Grand Reopens

Chef Thomas Keller at the grand re-opening of Bouchon Bakery in Yountville by Table To Grave.

They say man cannot live on bread alone. And that’s true even if the bread is from Bouchon and if by bread you also mean insanely rich pastries in addition to your baguettes and batards. Luckily Chef Thomas Keller’s bakery long ago added sandwiches and lunch snacks to its repertoire. Much of the Napa Valley [...]