Honeymoon Dining

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NAPA--One of the questions I get asked a lot is, "Where should I go to eat in Napa?" I usually answer by stammering, hemming, hawing and saying, uhhhh..... for about 20 seconds before the mental Roladex starts turning. It's such a hard question to answer without knowing a price range, occasion, food likes and dislikes, etc.

Scanning through our bulletin boards for inspiration the other day, found a "Where to Eat?" post that seemed answerable:

"We will be visiting Napa for three nights in August for our honeymoon. Since we live on the east coast and have never been to Napa, we are at a lost as to which resturants are "must" visit places. We are looking to stay around $10-20 an entree.

Ahhhh, young love. Ahhhh, the post wedding-budget. A few thoughts...

Frankly, the best place for breakfast is your bed. Hopefully our honeymooners are staying at one of the local Bed and Breakfasts in Napa. I've found that many of the local proprietors are closet chefs, making amazing Wine Country food. For brunch, we've got it on good authority that Brix (7377 St. Helena Hwy., Yountville) has an amazing spread. A little more intimate is the Boon Fly Cafe(4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa). They've got really reasonable prices, dogs sitting on the porch, and a generally local clientele.

So, onto lunch. Grab a sandwich at the amazing Genova Delicatessen (1550 Trancas St., Napa). It's an authentic Italian deli with wonderfully fresh mozzarella, antipasti and the best homemde cannolis I've had since I left Brooklyn. Take a picnic out to the vineyards along Silverado Trail.

Dinner in Napa for under $20 a plate--at least at the "big" restaurants might be a stretch. If you really want to experience a top-tier restaurant like Redd, Pere Jeanty or Terra, sometimes making lunch reservations gets you in the door for an amazing experience for a lot less money.

Think about some of the less obvious choices for dinner. Places that are romantic and quiet...local...
Here are some of my favorites:

- Angele (540 Main St., Napa) has incredible outdoor seating in the summer
- Pilar (807 Main St., Napa) has amazing fresh, local ingredients in a bistro-like atmopshere
- Bouchon (6534 Washington, Yountville) comes up on my favorite list a lot. Amazing seafood.
- Martini House (1245 Spring St. St Helena, CA) is super romantic
- Julia's Kitchen (500 First St., Napa) I love Julia's, because its where you'll find the locals eating, along with many chefs. Classy, upscale food in the heart of COPIA.
- Zare (5091 Solano Ave, Napa) is also a lot of fun, with a focus on Mediterranean food.

What are some of your favorite romantic Napa restaurants? Tell us. Happy Eating!

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