I want to share with you some of the exceptional places that I come across from time to time. These places are gems and not to be missed if you are in the area, or they could even be a destination. Most have a "garden thread" to them. "Places To Know" can be retail, restaurants, nurseries, and other. Whatever the place, expect the unusual. This is a first in a new category, "Places To Know"....
On a recent insider's trip to Napa with my garden gal's, The Farmstead Restaurant was a fabulous stop and restaurant on our itinerary. It is located at 738 Main Street in St. Helena, California 94574, (tel) 877-NAPA-OIL, or just south of St. Helena on the famous Highway 29 in Napa Valley.
The restaurant is in a former nursery barn, transformed into a 110-seat restaurant featuring a farm-to-table menu, comprised of seasonal local, sustainable, and organic ingredients. It is a lively and social atmosphere. It was packed with diners the night we were there. Entering the restaurant, an outside light fixture created with vintage chicken feeders luminously greets you. I often use chicken feeders in vintage container design, but I have never thought about turning them into hanging lights. More unusual chandelier lighting hangs in the center of the restaurant made from re-purposed vintage-salvaged hay hooks from the owner's family historic ranch.
If you come for lunch at the Farmstead Restaurant, you might enjoy intimate outdoor dining lined with living espaliered fruit trees, and an inviting nursery and demonstrating gardens, literally steps from your dining table. There is also on the grounds a wine and olive oil tasting room, too.
The Farmstead Restaurant is one part of a shining example of a vertical integration of a modern, organic, sustainable family farm which comprises Long Meadow Ranch. Long Meadow Ranch is owned by the dedicated Hall family. Their motto is "Excellence Through Responsible Farming." Long Meadow is a 650 acre historic ranch nestled high above Napa Valley in the Mayacamas Mountains. This property has old olive groves and vineyards originally planted in the 1870's. Thorough their sustainable philosophy and organic practices, Long Meadow Ranch make their own extra-virgin oil oil, world-class wines, raise their own grass-fed beef, grow their own heirloom vegetables, produce organic eggs, and more.
Long Meadow Ranch also includes LMR Rutherford Gardens, another historic property on the Napa Valley floor, and not far from The Farmstead Restaurant. Organic seasonal produce is grown for the the restaurant and the Friday St. Helen Farmer's Market. Soon, a farm stand featuring LMR's own produce, flowers, and eggs will be available each morning at The Farmstead Restaurant.
If you are visiting Napa Valley, I highly recommend stopping in for lunch or dinner at The Farmstead Restaurant. The food is delicious, the wines are lovely, and the atmosphere is inviting. Please comment if you are familiar with The Farmstead Restaurant and Long Meadow Ranch.