Prolific chef-restaurateur-hotelier Charlie Palmer, who's already got SF's Mystic Hotel and Sonoma's Hotel Healdsburg under his belt, has scooped up a third Bay Area property with his recent purchase of St. Helena's Harvest Inn. Today, he announced forthcoming renovations that will transform the eight-acre boutique inn into a full-service resort, strategically located in the heart of tiny St. Helena.
Unsurprisingly, all of Palmer's hotel acquisitions are centered around a restaurant, and Harvest Table will be joining Mystic's Burritt Room + Tavern and Healdsburg's Dry Creek Kitchen at Hotel Healdsburg. It'll be a casual, but sizable, 110-seat restaurant with an open kitchen, massive indoor fireplace, and two outdoor dining terraces, surrounded by culinary gardens. It'll also be a draw for St. Helena, which boasts high-end spots like The Restaurant at Meadowood, but less in the way of casual dining. As Palmer told Inside Scoop: "If you were from New York or Dallas or somewhere on the East Coast coming to the Napa Valley, you’d say you were going to Napa, but in essence you were going to St. Helena. Now, with the rise of Yountville and what’s happening in the town of Napa, some of the focus has gone away from St. Helena. I want to be part of the resurgence of St. Helena."
Palmer's chef choice for Harvest Table is still TBD, but diners can expect farm-to-table cuisine, with lots of ingredients from local farms (including that culinary garden out back), Napa wines (obviously), Northern California beers, and American craft spirits.
As for the Harvest Inn itself, it'll receive four new guest rooms, a sleek reception area with a 12-seat bar, extensive landscaping, and a 24-piece sculpture garden. The renovation is set to be completed in three phases: phase one will include the reconfiguration of the reception area, bar and Harvest Table, and the restaurant should open its doors in mid-2015.