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Wine and Dine: New Eats in Wine Country

Bangers and mash from 1226 Washington

New restaurants are popping up in the 707, with scores of fried treats at a Napa bar and grill that gives the gift of time by staying open late. In the Oxbow Public Market (“the Ox”), the dining scene has a new source for baked goods both savory and sweet—minus any gluten. Further north in Calistoga, we love the idea of an interesting and affordable wine list paired with a dish of bubble and squeak, which is for sure as fun to eat as it is to order. 

New year, new late night eats: Napkins Bar & Grill just opened in downtown Napa where Main meets Second. Cheese heads hankering for melty goods may take a hankering to the beer battered cheese curds here, and the Southern fried chicken sandwich may win its own share of fans—don’t forget a side of hot fries either way. The bar and grill is owned by Yusuf Topal and Ali Yildirim and open from 11 a.m. til 12 a.m. – a nice option at long last for those who like to get their grub and drink on the later side of things. Blackened bison sliders are another interesting offering here and a secret spice recipe is used for the Bloody Pirate, which is a kicky take on Sunday Bloody Mary tradition. Real estate watchers note this space did indeed house the Peking Palace restaurant and Napkins is in the same restaurant family as Tarla’s Mediterranean Grill, located around the corner on First Street. 1001 Second St., Napa; (707) 927-5333.

Santa did not neglect the gluten-free in our midst: in December, Cate & Co. moved into a space that housed a crepe vendor at the bustling Oxbow Public Market. Cate & Co. is now home to a display bounty of gluten-free baked goodies: pies, cakes, dark chocolate chewy cookies, seeded baguettes, tea bread, and even pecan pie—savory and sweet get full treatment here. The products are made with alternative natural sweeteners, and “lean and clean” ingredients such as clarified butter and local farm fresh eggs. While you could put the croutons on a soup or salad (which are part of the menu here), or nosh as a snack on their own. Catherine Bergen is running this shop, and is well known for her tacos, salad and addictive rotisserie dishes from her neighboring C Casa. Oxbow Public Market, 610 1st St., Napa; (310) 641-3958.

Calistoga has a new gastropub with a stellar and not too spendy wine list: 1226 Washington, in the space that formerly housed Wappo Restaurant. Take pub grub via cod cakes with lemon dill aioli or go light and bright with a starter of carrot ginger soup with buttery challah (dipping is a must). Bangers and mash get an elegant yet still tasty update and the atmosphere is decidedly non-stuffy. This may be the one spot in town where you can dig into the traditional fried British dish of bubble and squeak—for leftovers like no other. 1226 Washington, Calistoga; (707) 799-5889.

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