EmpressM, a new, fine-dining dim sum and Chinese restaurant, offers traditional dishes that celebrate the “eight regional cuisines,” including Peking Duck, Sichuan Spicy Fish, and Mongolian Lamb Chops. Dim sum plates include vegetarian options like spinach, snow pea, and mushroom dumplings, seafood, and more adventurous bites, like chicken feet.
EmpressM is just down the way from La Cheve, a Mexican bakery, brewery, and restaurant that opened this past summer inside Napa’s oldest building, an adobe that dates back to 1845. The beer is brewed in-house by owner Cinthya Cisneros, and her mother, Mama Juana, makes all of the pastries, including ones with booze in them.
For a quick, yet fulfilling bite between tastings, grab some authentic, Argentine empanadas from El Porteño in flavors like Carne, La Maradona (tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella), and Esparragos (asparagus, roasted red peppers, Gouda). El Porteño built up a loyal following at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and is now the newest vendor at the Oxbow Public Market with its second brick and mortar.
While Napa Valley is known to be sleepy and limited on nightlife, a new card room and restaurant is opening to kick-off 2021 with a little more action. Operating outside (for now), Ace & Vine will stay open until 2 a.m. and feature Blackjack, Texas Holdem, and Baccarat tables. Food and drinks can be ordered from The Deck, serving up Asian and comfort food fusion dishes like lobster fish and chips, a dim sum-style steamed salmon basket, and the Nam Tok Burger with spicy pork belly and papaya slaw.
In the spring, the Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa will open its new restaurant called Fleetwood, specializing in original craft cocktails and farm-to-table, wood-fired pizzas — which hotel guests can even order poolside — like Potato Leek with taleggio, bacon, chili flake, and parmesan or the Roasted Chicken with garlic cream, asparagus, pepperoncini, lemon, and herbs. For dessert, there’s even a 9-inch wood fire cookie.