2010 will go down in Napa history as The Year of the Restaurant. We saw no fewer than twelve new restaurants opening their doors within a half mile of each other, making the downtown region the new dining hot spot of the Valley. Each new arrival brought something special to the eating scene that is worthy of note. Here's my highly subjective take on what each new place has done for Napa, in roughly chronological order.
1. Grace's Table. Husband and wife team Mauro and Nancy transformed the modern Elements space into a comfortable neighborhood restaurant with neighborhood prices, satisfying global comfort food, and a warm welcome at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No one else in town pumps out the variety of housemade jams, breads, stews, burgers, tamales, gnocchi, and salads at accessible prices like these guys do.