Whats Haute: Napa Valley – Newton Wine Tasting Bar, The Ranch on Soda Rock, Étoile



While traditionally Ubuntu means “humanity towards others,” when one steps inside the doors of this Napa Valley restaurant, he or she will soon learn that it also means a taste explosion in your mouth of the best that nature has to offer. Executive Chef Jeremy Fox (Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chef 2008” and San Francisco Chronicle “Rising Star,” in 2008) employs a farm-to-plate approach, changing the menu on a daily basis, depending on which local farmers show up at his door that morning with bounty in hand. Some of the standouts of Fox’s earth-conscious cuisine include Four Butter in a Cast Iron Pot, roasted, puréed and raw with vadouvan spice and brown butter toast; Andante Dairy’s ‘Minuet’ stuffed with black truffles; and Hickory-Smoked Anson Mills Grits with apple-barbeque brussels sprouts and shaved rutabaga. The 19th-century dining room is outfitted with tables crafted from windfall trees that were blown over in a 2002 storm in Occidental. Decorating the garden patio are recycled chairs from the 1940s. While the organic entrées and the green décor are impressive, perhaps it is the upstairs yoga studio, offering 53 different classes each week, that earned Ubuntu the New York Times award of “No. 2 Most Intriguing Restaurant in the U.S.”

1140 Main Street
Cade Winery


It’s a venture that has had Napa Valley talking since development began in 2006. CADE Winery is slated to open in early March with the coveted LEED-certified status, and aspirations of achieving Gold level certification soon. Owned by PlumpJack Group (who also manages its sister property, PlumpJack Winery), CADE Winery is touted as a state-of-the-art “green” facility for its use of solar power, 30 percent fly ash concrete, 98 percent recycled material-steel, and Forest Stewardship Council-certified glass and wood. Under the direction of general manager John Conover, and with heavy-hitter investors like San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and composer Gordon Getty, the estate hovers over the wine country from its perch atop Howell Mountain, with a hillside swathed in Manzanita trees. In a command to take the road less traveled, CADE Winery invites guests up the hill for private tours and food and wine pairings of the estate’s three varietals, an Estate cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc as well as a cabernet sauvignon, under the direction of award-winning winemaker Tony Biagi. The recent appointment of Executive Chef Kent Nielsen ensures CADE’s emphasis on organic and sustainable cuisine. DJ Nielsen, the hospitality manager (and wife of Chef Nielsen) will lead guests on an enlightening trip though blending seminars, private cooking classes, and wine tutorials.

360 Howell Mountain Road S
Napa Valley