Where to Stay & Where to Dine
NAPA: ARCHER HOTEL
A boutique hotel located in the heart of Napa, Archer Hotel offers an urban modern vibe that includes large flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffee machines, and, in true wine country fashion, a wine cooler. There’s also a hip outdoor rooftop bar called Sky & Vine which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the valley with plush seating. The 7,000 square foot space features natural design elements of reclaimed wood, metal and stone, has hanging string lights, fruitless olive trees surrounding stone fire pits and lounge seating. It opens at 7:00am, so one can enjoy a cup of coffee before starting the day and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, with dishes like avocado toast with beet and horseradish-cured salmon, cucumber, watercress, and cured egg yolk or chilled artichoke salad with spring vegetables, watercress, and quinoa puffs.
Brunch features a spinning doughnut wheel and brioche French toast with spice battered, strawberry, basil, and whipped mascarpone.
Renowned steakhouse, Charlie Palmer Steak is located in the main floor of the hotel where celebrated chef Charlie Palmer shapes, what he calls, “Progressive American” cuisine inspired by the surrounding Napa Valley agricultural and viticulture regions. Steak lovers rejoice: this s the real deal. Opt to share 21-day dry-aged porterhouse or bone-on tomahawk steak for two and be sure to add on foie gras just because you can. But first, begin with the short rib pastrami or pig ear pad thai. Sides are plentiful and hard to stick to just one, so go for ordering several and sharing as well. Try the creamed spinach with garlic crumbs, assorted wild mushrooms with caramelized onions, and Yukon gold potato puree.
1230 1st St., Napa, CA 94559; 707-690-9800 https://archerhotel.com/napa
THE LODGE AT SONOMA RENAISSANCE SPA & INN
Located within walking distance of quaint Sonoma Plaza, a shopping and dining mecca, this recently updated rustic-chic property serves as the ideal springboard for exploring Sonoma wine country.
1325 Broadway at Leveroni and Napa Roads, Sonoma, CA 95476 707-935-6600; The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Spa & Inn
EL DORADO KITCHEN
Executive chef Armando Navarro prepares California-inspired local farm and ranch fresh fare in a straight-forward manner. Locals flock here, and understandably so. The communal table, large windows welcoming natural light, and casual ambiance are part of the appeal. A spectacular wine list and exquisite dishes like scallop and soy glazed pork belly, seafood paella, and Petaluma chicken, house made sausage, polenta, mole sauce, and sous vide egg keep folks coming back.