Michelin Star-Studded Restaurants in Wine Country

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Wine Country can be a foodie’s haven, if for no other reason that the Napa Valley and Sonoma County are chock-a-block with fine dining establishments like you wouldn’t believe. From the high-end heavyweight champions such as The Restaurant at Meadowood and The French Laundry, to Michelin newcomers like Single Thread and Kenzo, there’s plenty of top-notch food to put the cherry on top of a fantastic time in Wine Country. If you love food, snagging a reservation at a few of these places might be the experience of a lifetime.

1
Restaurants / St Helena

The Restaurant at Meadowood

Three Michelin Stars — The Restaurant at Meadowood is tucked into the hills of St. Helena, on the expansive Meadowood property. Helmed by Chef Christopher Kostow, the establishment has kept its coveted three Michelin star status for years. The Restaurant at Meadowood is a modern American restaurant intended to speak to and positively impact the Napa Valley. The dishes showcase the relationship between artisans, growers, and forgers, as the team attempts to cook in service to Wine Country. It goes without saying that the each and every dish is an edible work of art, and while we don’t want to give too much away (part of the fun of a tasting menu is the surprised as each dish comes out, after all), but keep an eye out for delights such as the eggplant foster and the ‘foievacado’, a halved and cored avocado with a generous pat of foie gras torchon in the middle.

Image courtesy of The Restaurant at Meadowood and photographer Kelly Puleio.

Insider Tip

If you don’t have the time to sit for a dinner spanning several hours, a Three Course Menu is available to enjoy at The Restaurant Bar Lounge. Or grab some Fireside Snacks, featuring a series of smaller bites, to enjoy at the bar or in the Rotunda.

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2
Restaurants / Yountville

French Laundry

Three Michelin Stars — Blink and you just might breeze right past this Wine Country gem. Located on a quiet stretch of Yountville, The French Laundry from the outside looks like an unassuming but beautiful cottage, complete with romantic climbing ivy over brick. Head into the little courtyard to get into the restaurant via the iconic blue door. There are two tasting menus offered daily — the Chef’s Tasting Menu and the Tasting of Vegetables for those who prefer to stay away from meat. No matter which menu you choose, it’s sure to be an amazing meal, especially since The French Laundry was awarded three Michelin Stars for the sixth year in a row in 2018.

Insider Tip

No single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. The team at French Laundry wants you to experience that sense of surprise when you taste something so new and exciting and delicious, you think ‘wow’ — and it’s gone. You could probably try to keep an ingredient tally, but we recommend savoring each bite slowly instead.

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3
Restaurants / Healdsburg

Single Thread Restaurant

Two Michelin Stars — Singlethread Farms in Healdsburg is all about the experience. This Japanese-influenced, California-produce-informed establishment is a 3-in-1: a farm, a restaurant, and an inn. All embody the thoughtfulness and care of Kyle and Katina Connaughton, the husband and wife team behind the newly-awarded two Michelin star restaurant. Kyle (the chef) and Katina (the head farmer) were heavily influenced by their time in Japan, where they developed the hospitality and style of cooking that would become SingleThread. With an 11 course tasting menu customized to each guest’s dietary preferences and restrictions, SingleThread takes patrons on a journey that begins with produce grown on their own farm, located in the Russian River Valley, and ends on an artfully set table.

Insider Tip

Single Thread boasts its own on-site winery, but is zoned with its own address, which makes it one of the smallest wineries in the U.S. With a different Sonoma County winemaker featured at this tiny winery each year, it might be worth splurging on the wine pairing.

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4
Restaurants / Oakville Rutherford

Auberge du Soleil Restaurant

One Michelin Star — Founded over 35 years ago, the restaurant was one of the first fine-dining establishments in the area, paving the way for elevated Napa Valley cuisine. The dishes are vibrant and beautifully plated, each aesthetic bite competing with the picturesque beauty visible from the dining table, as diners enjoy the sweeping views of the valley from the terrace. Chef Robert Curry’s Mediterranean-inspired food showcases the rich seasonal produce of Napa Valley, and he has procured one of the most extensive wine cellars in the area.

Insider Tip

The six-course tasting menu will set you back a pretty penny, but you can also choose to dine a la carte at the restaurant for lunch or dinner and delight your palate at a much lower cost.

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5
Restaurants / Forestville And Graton

Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant

One Michelin Star — In its twelfth year of of being awarded one Michelin Star (that’s right — twelve), Farmhouse Inn Restaurant’s menus are ever-changing, with the freshest ingredients straight from the owners’ ranch. It might look like a charming farmhouse on a country road, but inside its walls is modern luxury in the form of gastronomy. Your experience there isn’t going to be the exact same as your dining partners’ — the menu isn’t set, so you get to choose what tickles your fancy from a variety of menu items. If you’re dining with friends, we recommend being strategic so that everyone is able to try a little of a lot.

Insider Tip

Farmhouse Inn Restaurant hosting a Winemaker Dinner series, in which the restaurant partners with five local wineries to showcase a dinner paired with exclusive wines from private wineries that are not open to the public. Delicious and exclusive. Be sure to check their website for details.

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6
Restaurants / Yountville

Bouchon

One Michelin Star — Just steps away from Michelin power-house The French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon can easily hold its own. With its traditional French bistro fare and a fantastic raw bar with select oysters on the half shell, there’s always a crowd at Bouchon. If you’re not fussy about a table though, one of our favorite things to do is grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the Moules au Safran, the Pommes Frites, and a half (or whole) bottle of wine. It can be a much more communal experience, as you’ll likely make friends with fellow patrons at the bar, as you swap stories about Wine Country shenanigans from that day.

Insider Tip

20 minute, pre-dinner power nap turned into a two hour REM cycle? No problem. Many places close early in Wine Country, but Bouchon serves delectable dishes late, with late night menu items such as pan-seared rib-eye, seared foie gras, Croque Madames, and sturgeon caviar. In our humble opinion, this is late night snacking done right.

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7
Restaurants / Napa

Kenzo

One Michelin Star — Kenzo Napa has only been open a paltry year and a half, but has already nabbed a Michelin star. Right in the heart of downtown Napa, it’s a short walk away from luxury hotels, shopping, and, of course, world class wines. The space inside Kenzo is minimal and almost futuristic, but the food is steeped in tradition, with fish flown in daily from the world-renowned Tsukiji fish market in Japan.

Insider Tip

The restaurant is intimate (like, 25 seats kind of intimate), so be sure to book early lest you miss out on this authentic Japanese kaiseki meal.

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8
Restaurants / Healdsburg

Madrona Manor Restaurant

One Michelin Star — In Healdsburg, Madrona Manor has more than a whiff of old-world luxury. Chef Mallgren’s ever-evolving tasting and ala carte menus are inspired by the estate’s vegetable gardens, orchards, and greenhouse, but also by his childhood spent watching to his mother, a professional folkloric storyteller, immerse herself in the culture by preparing its regional foods. His early exposure to new and interesting flavors has given way to such Madrona menu items as The Smoked Egg with watercress and prosciutto-sherry syrup, or the Charcoal Grilled Duck Yakitori with rosemary and a tare glaze.

Insider Tip

Take an afternoon stroll through the gardens and orchard. The orange grove smells heavenly when in bloom, and at the very least, it’s quite nice to talk a walk post-dinner. Nothing much better than a stroll through a beautiful garden on a balmy, summer evening to work off decadent dishes just consumed.

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9
Restaurants / Napa

La Toque

One Michelin Star — Chef Ken Frank’s La Toque has earned a Michelin Star every year they have been awarded in Wine Country. Choose from three distinct menus, all offered nightly: The Core Menu for a’la carte offerings of the savory and sweet kind, the Vegetable Tasting Menu for seven courses of meatless refinement, and the Chef’s Table Menu for nine courses of ultimate indulgence.

Insider Tip

Most fine dining establishments are closed on Mondays, but La Toque is happily opened for dinner nightly. If you’re staying in Wine Country longer than a weekend, it might be the perfect opportunity to indulge in a luxury (and schadenfreude) on a Monday, while the rest of the world is trudging home from work.

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