These gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Napa Valley will warm your belly more than wine on a chilly, rainy day.
(Courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Co.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
A seafood bar may be one of the last places you'd expect to find such a bougie grilled cheese sandwich, but Hog Island Oyster Co. at Oxbow Public Market packs theirs full with some serious dairy—fromage blanc, Vella mezzo secco, and cave-aged gruyere. It oozes between slices of Acme herbed loaf and comes with housemade pickled veggies. // Oxbow Public Market, 610 First St. (Napa), hogislandoysters.com
Don't be embarrassed to order off the kid's menu at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, where the $10 sammie makes mouths water with local cheeses from Sonoma's Vella Cheese Company on the inside, and a bonus of melted, crunchy goodness on the outside. If the soup of the day happens to be tomato, you have a meal made in heaven. // 738 Main St. (St. Helena), longmeadowranch.com
(Courtesy of The Corner)
Chef Dustin Falcon is known for his pretty twists on classic comfort foods, and his duck confit grilled cheese delivers. Succulent pieces of locally sourced meat and the distinctive, washed-rind Nicasio Square cheese are blended together between two slices of brioche from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery. Look for a side of melted onions and duck consommé. // 660 Main St. (Napa), cornerbarnapa.com
If you fancy a challenge, head to Melted and try choosing between 16 variations on the grilled cheese, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start the day with the Good Morning Captain (egg, smoked salmon, cream cheese, roasted red peppers, capers and chive aioli). Half orders are available for $5 if you can't choose just one, and all sandwiches are uniquely served on a white bread waffle, with a small side of tomato basil soup for dipping. // 966 Pearl St. (Napa), meltednapavalley.com
(Courtesy of Norman Rose Tavern)
Norman Rose Tavern
Cheddar and Jarlsberg cheeses ooze from the crusts of Model Bakery's fresh sourdough bread, begging to be dipped in a thick, smoky tomato sauce with grilled scallions, chipotle peppers, and sherry vinegar. Wash it down with a cold one; Norman Rose has one of the most extensive beer lists around town. // 1401 First St. (Napa), normanrosenapa.com
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
Cindy Pawlcyn (co-creator of San Francisco's Fog City Diner, Bix, and Betelnut) is known for serving sophisticated comfort fare—think rabbit tostada and Dungeness crab pasta—at her namesake St. Helena kitchen. Still, the adult grilled cheese deserves consideration. Made with manchego and wagon wheel cheeses from Petaluma's Cowgirl Creamery, the sando comes with piquillo pepper jam, and lemon aioli on bread from Napa's Model Bakery. Add a protein, like spicy chorizo, for an extra kick, and don't forget with a side of polenta fries. // 1327 Railroad Ave. (St. Helena), cindysbackstreetkitchen.com