© Dan Mills
Renowned for spectacular weather, Napa Valley is beautiful essentially any time of year. But so-called Cabernet Season—when much of the region’s Cabernets are released and most of the area’s grapes have been harvested—might win first prize. It also happens to be the backdrop for Napa Valley Restaurant Month, which runs through January 31 and showcases the area’s best eateries.
The third annual event falls during a relaxed period in Napa (normally November through early April), when crowds have thinned, reservations are easy to nab and winemakers, done with the harvest, have more time to talk. Wild mustard flowers, crimson clover and other plants dot the vineyards, but tear away from the picturesque scenery to enjoy the special culinary offerings throughout the area.
Participants range from Michelin-starred gems to down-home favorites. Try the special three-course dinner menu at La Toque (1314 McKinstry St., Napa; 707-257-5157; latoque.com), chef Ken Frank’s heaven for truffle lovers; a two-course lunch or three-course dinner at Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar (641 Main St., St. Helena; 707-963-0700; cindypawlcynsgrill.com); and the French offerings at Bistro Jeanty (6510 Washington St., Yountville; 707-944-0103; bistrojeanty.com), a fixture of the Yountville food landscape. No matter the choice it is bound to be a treat. visitnapavalley.com