It takes a legendary jazz musician to properly celebrate a legendary jazz club. As such, the new Blue Note Napa debuts this week with a series of concerts from Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. Besides selling millions of records, Botti has performed at the original Blue Note in New York for more than a decade.
The Napa location is the latest satellite of what began as an indie venue in Manhattan in 1981, and now is an iconic institution operating locations in Washington D.C., Tokyo, Milan, Honolulu, and Beijing, with two more spots planned in China next year. Blue Note Napa occupies the historic Napa Valley Opera House, taking over the short-lived City Winery supper club and concert hall. The layout has significantly changed—the former ground floor restaurant has been converted to an intimate jazz club.
Still, there's food to be had. The new club offers seasonally inspired French food from chef Christophe Garard (Angéle, Francis Ford Coppola's Rubicon Estate, Farm Restaurant at the Carneros Inn).
Full menus aren't finished yet, but for opening week, guests can expect bites such as house-cured sea trout with fennel celery salad and crispy potato ($14), spiced butternut squash soup with Asian pear and hazelnut ($10), braised short rib with creamy potatoes ($33), and butter-poached Alaskan halibut with farro quinoa salad ($30).
The upstairs is now the Opera House Ballroom, hosting larger acts such as breakout U.K. band The Struts, playing November 4. The space will also be used for NapaShakes (interpretive Shakespeare theater), Sonoma's Transcendence Theater Company's Broadway shows, and Napa Valley Film Festival screenings. // 1030 Main Street (Napa), bluenotenapa.com