Elite Traveler Summer 2019


elite traveler SUMMER 2019 126

Clockwise Blue Note Napa; Auberge du Soleil Spa; The Charter Oak’s halibut crudo

Ricotta and basil anolini at The French Laundry

DINER’S DELIGHT THE FRENCH LAUNDRY For over 20 years, chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry has dazzled pilgrims from around the world. His daily pair of nine-course menus, one tasting and one vegetable-based, highlight French methodologies as well as the finest local ingredients. Keller’s prolific use of quotes around dishes like “bread and butter” (think bitter-cocoa-laminated brioche, for starters) means wonder overflows. Since 2007, The French Laundry has maintained its three-Michelin-star rating. Housed in a two-story, river-rock and timber cottage, the restaurant has expanded; a contemporary annex features The Board Room, a private dining space with a custom table (suitable for up to 12 guests) made from a 140-year-old tree. thomaskeller.com/tfl

Blue Note Napa Housed on the first floor of the historic Napa Valley Opera House, Blue Note Napa maintains the same sense of intimacy and attracts several performers from its famed sister venue in New York City’s Greenwich Village. With seating for only 150, you can reserve a cabaret-style table or, for larger groups, one of the six booths that runs along the back of the aptly indigo-tinted space. Skip the wine and sip on Choppe Blues, the floral pale ale brewed on-site, while drinking in the sounds of world-class jazz musicians. bluenotenapa.com Auberge du Soleil Spa Commit to the mantra: Pleasure is healing. Set among mature olive trees and three stone-basin fountains (in perfect alignment with Mount Veeder on the horizon), the spa is a place to experience red wine in a different way with Vineyard Déjà Vu, a body treatment that combines grape seeds and a local red vintage to buff and rejuvenate the skin. Or opt for the Best of Auberge facial, which applies Vintner’s Daughter Botanical Serum, created by former local winemaker April Gargiulo, along with a microcurrent and collagen mask. Lounge in the thermal soaking pools post-treatment for the full pampering experience. The spa is reserved for guests of the charming hotel, and well worth a visit. aubergeresorts.com The Culinary Institute of America at Copia Ground zero for all gastronomic endeavors, The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, with the breadth and depth of its offerings, is sure to excite all visitors. Baking and cooking classes abound; the store features custom Amanda Wright pottery pieces, cookery antiques and thoughtful children’s gifts. And the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum showcases essential European food history. Frequent guests like chef Alice Waters and farmer Bob Cannard round out Copia’s robust conversation series. ciaatcopia.com SENSORY TEMPTATIONS

THE CHARTER OAK With a hearth at its center, the intentions of The Charter Oak are clear: family-style dining, vegetables from its 2.5-acre farm and a charming array of seriously crafty cocktails (we are partial to the margarita with winter citrus and orange-flavored rum). The brainchild of chef Christopher Kostow of three-Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood, The Charter Oak offers a duet of distinct, curated-yet-relaxed spaces: an indoor dining room with wide wood-planked floors and a tree-filled brick patio. Enjoy the elemental, garnish-free dishes like the hearth-roasted ham with fresh horseradish and the rancho gordo lima beans in their own broth. thecharteroak.com

SKY & VINE ROOFTOP BAR Tall buildings are one thing Napa doesn’t produce. Head to the sixth-floor rooftop of the Archer Hotel at sunset for a panoramic view of the valley. Settle around one of the crackling stone fire pits and opt for the superb Bar Bites, like chef Frankie’s beef jerky or the lobster corn dogs, indulgent bites in the land of farm freshness. Linger over the ‘interesting whites’ and ‘interesting reds’ menus — they’re a delight. skyandvine.com

Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar

Photos Deborah Jones, Michael Grimm, Trinette + Chris, Kelly Puleio

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