The French Laundry isn't the only Michelin-blessed restaurant in wine country embarking on a significant remodel this winter. Up in Calistoga, Solbar at the Solage Calistoga, which has held a star since 2008, will be closing up shop to revamp its dining room and bar. The revamp is expected to clock in at a whopping $1.1 million, and will include an expansion of the restaurant's popular outdoor dining room, which will double in size. The new expansion will also include an open-air chef's tasting room, where chef Brandon Sharp will serve parties of eight for one seating per evening.
Other plans for the restaurant's new look include moving the bar to an area partitioned off from the main dining room, and updating the dining room with a more contemporary look from designer Shirley Robinson, including eight chandeliers handmade from elm branches. In the kitchen, Sharp is set to get a little more space and some new equipment. The current plan is for Solbar to close up on January 4 and reopen on January 23, which is pretty speedy by renovation standards. From there, the team will turn their attention to the former 1226 Washington space in downtown Calistoga, which they'll be revamping as a still-TBD second project called Evangeline that looks to be more casual.