Downtown Napa is getting some action in the new year, with three new restaurants who have opened their doors and are ready to be embraced by the locals.
Stats: Seats up to 60 guests for lunch. Breakfast and dinner hours are in the works.
Owners: Chef Mauro Pando and wife Nancy Lindaas-Pando
Back Story: The culinary couple has lived in Napa for three years. Their new eatery has taken over the space that was formerly Pizza Azzurro and later Elements.
Cuisine: Casual bistro selections like quiche, soups, salads, and entrees like risotto.
Location: Second and Franklin streets at 1400 Franklin St.
Norman Rose Tavern
Stats: The restaurant can seat about 70 inside and another 18 on the patio, and offers a private dining space for up to 20. On Monday, the tavern opens fully for both lunch and dinner.
Owners: Veteran restaurateurs Michael and Christina Gyetvan of Azzurro Pizzeria fame.
Back Story: Michael Gyetvan confided that part of the draw to open Norman Rose Tavern was the location across from the 141-room Avia Hotel.
Cuisine: Casual tavern-type menu items like Five Dot Ranch cheeseburgers.
Location: 1401 First St. in the Napa Square building, which takes up most of block of Napa Square.
Mini Mango Thai Bistro
Stats: Opened on December 6 for lunch and dinner.
Owners: Husband-and-wife team Mee and Cherry Pengchareon
Back Story: The Pengchareon’s background includes seven years at Signature Thai restaurant in San Rafael.
Cuisine: We think the name says it all, but here are some sample selections: Thai-style grilled skirt steak with mint and citrus vinaigrette, chicken coconut soup; ten tiger prawns with curry, kaffir lime, and cashews; and the “Eight Elements Wrap” house specialty with lemongrass marinated grilled shrimp combined with coconut, peanuts, lime and other ingredients wrapped in spinach.
Location: 1408 Clay St., which has seen tenents like Bleaux Magnolia, Posticino, and Cafe Lucy, across the street from Exertec.