France lands in Napa at the Michelin-starred étoile

By Anne Zimmerman

étoile restaurant
Pristine dishes with distinctly California accents: Syrah grapes, wild mustard, pine nut purée. A garden full of birds. But enjoy this Michelin-starred French restaurant and its sweeping vineyard views as if it were yours alone. This is elegant wine country dining, with not a day-tripping tourist in sight. Thanks to the bubbly, your mind might start to wander. How many miles from home are you? We’ll never say.

the scene

Cosmopolitan. What’s with all the Frenchmen, we wondered as we glanced at a dining room also filled with tables of Germans and Japanese? Wait, are we the anomaly?

side dish

at your service
A reverent server is spot-on all evening but delivers the cheese plate with a bit of insider info: “This one is very special to us.” So special, we discover, that the Flora Nell Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery can only be found at étoile —and it’s specially driven all the way from Oregon to Northern California.

Low. So low that the soft murmur of conversation is the only thing you’ll hear.


Lunch: Thu–Mon 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
Dinner: Thu–Mon 6 PM–9 PM
closed Tuesday and Wednesday

price range

$18 (Idaho smoked trout rillettes) to $42 (roasted veal tenderloin and lobster)