Lucy Table

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

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 hotel-restaurant vibe. The food was good, but not good enough to overcome the vaguely depressing carpeted feel of the room, which seemed like an extension of the conference rooms down the hall. No longer.

This winter, the restaurant and bar got a major makeover. Not reconstructive surgery exactly, but certainly more than a nip and tuck. On Wednesday night, Bardessono swung open the brand-new walnut doors (a separate entryway to the restaurant was a much-needed addition) to friends, family and local businesses. Jeff Vandiver, one of the designers, told us they wanted to stay as far away from wine country kitch as possible. And they succeeded. Plenty of steel and blown glass modernize the space, while the many doors taht open to a patio, garden and reflecting pond take advantage of the friendly Napa climate (it was 70 degrees the night of the party — in February, mind you) making the border between outside and inside almost indistinguishable. The dining room itself, while more formal, is in keeping with the chic urban vibe.

Lucy Bar + Restaurant, as it has been renamed, is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Yes, breakfast. Seven days a week.) Much of the food is coming from the on-premise garden or from local purveyors (a commitment which makes sense given their LEED Platinum certification), so expect the menu to be fairly fluid.

We recommend getting a bottle of bubbly one warm afternoon and exploring the bar menu from one of the lounge tables outside: Oysters, cheese from Sonoma producers like Mt. Tam and Cowgirl Creamery and, of course, plenty of fresh salads have all the makings of the perfect late-afternoon intermezzo.

All photos John Capone