Food enthusiasts who flock to the Napa Valley tend to focus on Yountville, where Thomas Keller built an international name for the area thanks to his restaurants The French Laundry and Ad Hoc and his Bouchon Bakery, which are all strolling distance apart in the quaint town. But just 10 miles to the north, the town of St. Helena is also making a serious bid for food travelers, and the balance may be about to shift.
St. Helena is already home to The Restaurant at Meadowood, which, along with The French Laundry, are the Bay Area’s only restaurants to earn a coveted three stars from Michelin. There’s also a thriving, food-centric Main Street with destination-worthy stops like Woodhouse Chocolate, a confectioner that could be mistaken for a fine jewelry store.
According to SFGate, acclaimed California chefs Douglas Keane, Sang Yoon, and Chris Cosentino are all planning to open restaurants in St. Helena this year. Keane, who operates a restaurant and is building another in neighboring Sonoma County, has teamed up with Yoon (known for his Southern California restaurants) to open Two Birds One Stone, a Japanese yakitori restaurant which they hope will debut in June.
Meanwhile, Cosentino will expand from his San Francisco projects Cockscomb and Boccalone to create a restaurant in Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel opening on November 1. That’s perfect timing for those who want to book a Wine Country getaway for the holidays before the word that St. Helena is the new choice of Top Chef Masters champions really gets out.
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