As you head into the weekend and start thinking about what you’re going to do, here’s a haute suggestion: Solbar. We’re loving this spiffed up restaurant inside Solage Calistoga even more these days after a recent $1.1 million renovation. Pair that with new chef de cuisine Brad Cecchi, who joins Executive Chef Brandon Sharp, and you have a spectacular all-around dining experience. Here are six reasons why we think you’ll love the new Solbar too. That’s one reason for every year this restaurant has earned a Michelin star!
During our recent visit, we went gaga over the new Chef’s Atrium, a private, open-air dining room, lit with aged bronze lanterns and a custom wine bottle display wall that was installed within the dining room’s existing outdoor glass-walled enclosure. With seating for up to 10 with one seating nightly, this is the haute ticket for you and your crew. You’ll enjoy a custom five-course menu that starts at $95 per person. You’re in wine country so go ahead and add a Solbar sommelier selected wine pairing for an additional $35.
Main Dining Room
We particularly love what the woman behind the redesign, Shirley Robinson, principal of San Francisco and St. Helena-based Robinson Finishes, did with the main dining room. Now the interior lounge and dining areas are divided by custom-built partitions made from reclaimed wood and oversized multi-paned windows to create exclusive, intimate settings for both areas. The transformation features warm tones of mink brown and creamy gold, which echo the palette of the Napa countryside. Robinson’s design of globe-shaped chandeliers fashioned from willow vines hang throughout the dining room. An original Napa Valley landscape, painted by world-renown artist, Ira Yeager, serves as a focal point for this dining room.
If you’ve been here before, you’ll immediately notice that the bar has been moved. As you perch yourself on the new brass-studded leather bar stools you can now enjoy panoramic views of the majestic Palisades Mountains through the oversized windows flanked by rustic wooden bookshelves and striking antique mirrors. Or, enjoy your cocktails while lounging on banquette library sofas set with antique nail head detailing and plush marigold and maroon cushions. You’ll find 14 more seats in the indoor lounge, whose custom-built banquettes, tables, sofas and lounge furniture create a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.
One of the highlights of the Solbar experience is enjoying the inviting courtyard on a warm day. You’ll find 40 additional outdoor seats where you can watch the chic crowd that comes to see and be seen.
Food & Cocktails
The fare at Solbar has always been scrumptious; now that you can savor it in a comparable atmosphere, it’s going to seem all of the more enjoyable whether you choose to dine indoors or outside. Known for creating indulgent yet balanced dishes that comfort the soul and nourish the body, Solbar uses local and seasonal ingredients coupled with bold and bright flavors to deliver fresh farm-to-table cuisine. Some of our fave dishes are the crispy petrale sole tacos, spicy shrimp lettuce wraps and the burrata cheese with English peas. Be sure to save room for the simply decadent chocolate marquise for dessert. You’ll also want to sample the refreshing cocktails, perfect on a haute summer day. We think you’ll enjoy the Van Goh’s Garden, Blushing Bubble, Summer Mint Meadow and Napa Negroni. The names of these concoctions are as enticing as they are satisfying.
Solbar is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with brunch on Sunday and lounge service daily. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 707-226-0850 or visit www.solagecalistoga.com/dining.
Photos courtesy Solage Calistoga