Editor's note: This information was compiled in 2011 and may or may not still be accurate many years later. Please check with the restaurant or venue before making plans. Lucy restaurant at Bardessono reports receiving many calls about this article, but it is not planning a similar offering for Christmas 2015.
Many restaurants in Napa Valley either close or serve special meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Because so many close and the demand is high, reservations are vital at most places, especially Christmas Day. One sure bet is hotels and resorts, which must be open for their guests, and some in Napa Valley serve food of the highest quality.
Many bakeries will be offering specials, too. Sweetie Pies will sell its Buche de Noel, a flourless chocolate cake filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache and whipped cream. It is finished with fudge frosting to resemble a log complete with mushrooms, holly leaves, berries and a dusting of gold.
Open on Christmas Eve
Avia Kitchen (224-3900) serves a special meal from 5 to 9 p.m. featuring sweet potato bisque with maple and ginger glazed apples, Dungeness crab salad, West Coast black cod with red kale and house made lamb bacon, red wine–poached pea panna cotta with gingerbread streusel and sage milk chocolate bark. Cost is $70 plus $35 for wine pairing.
Bank Café and Bar (257-1800).
Barolo (942-9900) open at 4:30, last seating at 8 p.m.
Bistro Don Giovanni (224-3300), offering festive holiday specials.
Bistro Jeanty, open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Boon Fly Café (299-4870).
Brannan’s Grill (942-2233) is open at noon with the regular menu; last seating is at 8 p.m.
Brassica (963-0700) will serve “Christmas Eve in Spain,” featuring “Champinones al Ajillo” (garlicky mushrooms with Pedro Ximenez Sherry), lobster stew with tomatoes and aioli, and frozen walnut terrine with coffee syrup and nocello.
Brix Restaurant (944-2749).
Calistoga Inn (942-4101) serves from 5:30 p.m., featuring prime rib, filet mignon, lamb shanks, smoked pork loin chops, Sonoma duck breast, Atlantic salmon and whole cracked Dungeness crab.
Carpe Diem (224-0800) serves a holiday meal of wild mushroom puffed pastry stuffed with goat cheese and caramelized onions, potato leek soup, choice of grilled quail with roasted chestnuts or flat iron steak with truffle butter, plus choice of eggnog bread pudding or Mexican chocolate pot de creme. The cost is $38, $58 with wine pairings. First seating 6 p.m., second seating 8:30 p.m.
Checkers (942-9300) opens at noon, last seating at 8 p.m.
Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen (963-1200) features oyster stew with leeks, potatoes and chives, warm chicory salad with bacon lardons and fried duck egg, lobster spaghetti, sauteed sole with spinach, Meyer lemon, almond brown butter, crispy capers plus eggnog bread pudding with cranberry brandy caramel.
Cuvée (224-2330) has a special chef’s tasting menu for $55 and the full dinner menu will be available.
Farm at Carneros Inn (299-4880) serves a special meal for $65: garden broccoli soup with Gruyere cheese, Christmas goose with roasted chestnuts, and Manjari chocolate peppermint ice cream and candy cane crunch.
Fish Story (251-5600) is open 5 to 9:30 p.m. serving a three-course menu for $48 with specialties such as Nantucket Bay scallop salad with roasted duck breast, ancho cress, and Dijon dressing, bouillabaisse with scallops, mussels, mahi mahi, saffron and rouille and, for dessert, an apple tart with cinnamon ice cream and brandy glaze.
FlatIron Grill (942-1220 ) opens at 4:30 p.m. with the last seating at 8 p.m.
Hurley’s Restaurant (944-2345) is open for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The bar is open until midnight.
La Toque (257-5157) is open with regular hours.
Mustards Grill (944-2424) offers holiday dishes, including chestnut soup with Brussels sprouts leaves and brandy cream, prosciutto with grilled radicchio, blue cheese crostini and balsamic syrup, sole with wild mushrooms, leeks and truffle butter, quail with cornbread stuffing, garden cabbage and cranberry relish, smoked prime rib with potato-celery root gratin, horseradish and kale, plus eggnog bread pudding or peppermint mousse with chocolate.
Press (967-0550) opens its bar at 5 p.m. Dinner service is 5:30 to 9 p.m.
The Restaurant at Meadowood (963-3646) offers a tasting menu for $205, or $295 with wine pairings.
Silo’s (251-5833) features a performance at 7 p.m. by Wesla Whitfield with Mike Greensill for their fourth annual Christmas show.
Tra Vigne (963-4444) is open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Uva Trattoria (255-6646) is open from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
VINeleven (254-8600) at the Napa Valley Marriott is open.
Open on Christmas Day
Avia Kitchen (224-3900) serves a special meal from 5 to 9 p.m. The menu is the same as the one served Christmas Eve. The cost is $70, plus $35 for wine pairing.
Bank (257-1800) is open its regular hours of 7 a.m. to at least 11 p.m., and the regional French dinner will be available.
Bardessono (204-6000) serves a buffet in the ballroom with two seatings (12 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.). The menu includes butternut squash soup, roasted chestnuts and cranberry dressing, black pepper crusted prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, horseradish and creamed New Zealand spinach or lemon thyme roasted rack of lamb with Lucy’s cauliflower gratin, garden kale, roasted fingerling potatoes, peppermint jus or albacore tuna en croute with wild mushrooms, rainbow chard and potato purée, plus assorted holiday pastry selections. The cost is $65 ($35 for children 12 and under).
Barolo (942-9900) opens at 4:30 p.m. with last seating at 8 p.m.
Boon Fly Café (299-4870) offers a special four-course Christmas dinner for $55 along with the full menu.
Brannan’s Grill (942-2233) opens at noon with last seating at 8 p.m., serving a limited dinner menu all day and lunch/brunch specials.
Brix (944-2749) will serve a special dinner from 2 to 8 p.m. Starters include a celery root and heirloom apple soup and boudin blanc sausage with main courses including items like a wild flounder fillet and sautéed duck breast. Holiday classics and favorites like gingerbread cake and milk chocolate crème brulee will be featured on the dessert menu. Price is $60, or $30 for children ages 7 to 12, and an optional wine flight is $35. Reservations are required.
Calistoga Inn (942-4101) serves, from 1 p.m., the same menu as Christmas Eve.
Checkers (942-9300) opens at noon and the last seating is at 8 p.m.
Farm at Carneros Inn (299-4880), serves the same special menu as Christmas Eve.
The Grill at Meadowood (963-3646) offers a prix fixe menu: hamachi crudo with avocado, radish, micro shiso; Kabocha pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds, cinnamon; roasted ribeye with truffled robiola potatoes, spinach, glazed baby vegetables; caramel flan with winter spices. Cost is $75, or $110 with wines paired. An a la carte menu will also be available.
Siena at the Meritage Resort (251-1917), serves a special menu. First course choices include roasted pumpkin bisque with apple dumplings, Bibb lettuce wedge with Point Reyes blue cheese, crispy pancetta and walnut crostini; or open-faced ravioli of duck confit, foie gras and quail, organic mushroom ragout, ginger chianti jus. Main course options are slow-roasted bone-in prime rib of beef with roasted garlic Yukon mashed potatoes, jumbo asparagus and natural jus; Sicilian-style “cioppino” with Monterey Bay calamari, Dungeness crab, Pacific prawns, clams and local catch, spicy saffron tomato broth; braised pork osso bucco with creamy herb risotto, baby vegetables and merlot reduction; or hazelnut-crusted Alaskan halibut with minted cranberry pilaf, pan-roasted acorn squash and Champagne brown butter. Dessert choices include roasted pumpkin bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream, chocolate pecan torte with espresso crème anglaise and “spingies,” Sicilian-style doughnuts with raspberry mascarpone dipping sauce crème anglaise. Cost is $55 per person.
Silverado Resort (257-5431) offers a special Christmas Day buffet from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the resort’s Grand Ballroom, featuring an array of dishes such as roast chestnut soup, Dixon Farm lamb loin, Caggiano ham, heirloom carrots and broccoli, and a variety of traditional holiday desserts. Adults are $56 and children ages 4 to 12 are $25. Children under 3 admitted free.
Silverado Resort Grill will serve a three-course holiday menu from 3 to 9 p.m. for $36.
Silverado Resort Royal Oak will serve its regular dinner menu from 6 to 9 p.m.
VINeleven (254-8600) at the Napa Valley Marriott will be open.