Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Supporting Local.

As everyone is well aware, the Napa Valley was hit hard by a rockin' 6.0 earthquake this past month, leaving much of downtown Napa and its businesses in shambles. Over the recent few weeks, people have been working tremendously hard to regain strength, shelter and safety amongst the chaos of our crumbled tourist mecca. 

Restaurants, shops, services and staffing have all been affected by mother nature's furious rattling- some have closed completely, some are in limbo, some haven't even started to discover what lies ahead. Red, Yellow and Green tags stare back at your reflection in the windows of almost every downtown address. It's hard to comprehend until you see it in person, but I've settled on the idea that the streets and sagging buildings somehow resemble the leftover remnants of a once glamorous Hollywood sound stage.

And the wineries... Oh, the wineries. Of course not all were impacted by this whopper of wiggle, but so we've heard so many stories of crushed barrel rooms, wine flowing like rivers down the drain and simply impassable cellar doors being jammed shut by mountains of livelihood-- like Lincoln logs falling to the ground, gallons of precious wine have been lost. 

The hubbs and I feel extremely lucky to have came out relatively unscathed-- our apartment was tossed absolutely upside-down and we kissed goodbye to most of our breakable belongings. The days following were rough indeed, but in the end, we are safe and things are just things. Not all can be replaced, but we are hoping to move forward and replace the old memories with new ones. We have fallen absolutely in love with this magical valley and we continue to rebound, grow and live full lives amongst our many friends here.

Part of supporting our community mean getting out and supporting local businesses, especially in this crucial time of healing. Local folks need our help and love. Whether it is just a hug and a smile or laughing over lunch or a just an extra bill in a tip jar, we've been trying to spend as much of our free time as possible out and about our beloved town as we all regain our pre-earthquake confidence.

Don't stay away because you think we've fallen apart. Don't pass over wine tasting because you think the tasting rooms are closed. Don't cancel your reservations and say you'll come another time. Napa needs you. Napa needs some good, good lovin'. Come say hello.

I've put together a list of some of our favorite local spots, in case you'd like to visit...

3253 Browns Valley Road, Napa

Come for the excellent pizza, pasta and excellent breakfast. Bring friends, have a relaxed brunch, enjoy a beer out on the patio or a cocktail at their rustic bar. Smiling faces and great comfort food, not to mention some killer happy hour deals.

3383 Solano Avenue, Napa

Home of the famous "cheese skirt". Need I say more? Oh, and their deep-fried hotdogs are to die for. Super casual, fast and beyond tasty- you'll get addicted just like we have to their burgers, fries, dogs, sandwiches and beer specials just like we have. It's so unfair. I wake up on weekends absolutely craving a squeeze with cheese.

829 Main Street, Napa

Craving tapas? This is a must visit. Super authentic Spanish tapas & hard to find Spanish wines tucked into a small, cozy loft-like space. Sit at the bar and enjoy a snack or relax and have chat with friendly bartenders. Share a family-style table with friends upstairs and eat your way through the extensive menu. Beware, no reservations here but they'll do their best to get you in fast.

610 First Street, Napa

Specializing in truly authentic Napoletana pizzas, this place will ruin your for life. The hubbs and are obsessed with sitting on their patio for dinner and revel in the super fresh ingredients they use of their stunning pizzas. Pasta, antipasta, soups and selection of interesting wines await you at this small oxbow gem.

3425 Solano Avenue, Napa

Afraid to eat at a hotel bar/restaurant? Don't be. Located inside the Napa Valley Marriot, these guys know what they are doing. With everything from sliders to lettuce wraps to my favorite, the goat cheese stuffed peppers, they've got something for everyone. Local wine & beer list, super friendly staff and strong cocktails make this our home away from home.

4050 Byway East, Napa

As favorite spot for locals serving seafood, pasta and steak at a reasonable, tasty price. They have a great outdoor patio with fireplaces and are pet friendly! Awesome happy hour deals and darling little bar create a big draw on weeknights. Great local wine list and corkage is on them if the wine is from the valley.


I've run out of time for now, but believe me, I'll be back with more local favorites soon. There's a fresh batch of tacos on the stove calling my name... Stay tuned for our Yountville and Calistoga picks, as well as some secret winery spots that you'll definitely want to explore.