Money can't buy happiness, but it can certainly buy good looks, as the lovely renovation that debuts today at Calistoga's Solbar can attest. The restaurant in the Solage Calistoga, which has held a Michelin star since 2008, just debuted its new facelift, clocking in at a cool $1.1 million. The cash went towards building out a 40-seat courtyard for year-round outdoor dining, complete with a private, open-air dining room, the Chef's Atrium, which seats 10 people per night for a $95 tasting menu. The interior has gotten a refresh of its own, with a new color palette, reclaimed wood dividers, and an updated kitchen.
To get the revamp up and running, Solbar executive chef Brandon Sharp has brought on Brad Cecchi, most recently of Cleveland's Urban Farmer and Sacramento's Grange Restaurant & Bar, as Solbar's new chef de cuisine. And if that wasn't enough action on the Solbar front, Sharp is also gearing up to open a second restaurant, Evangeline, in downtown Calistoga. Led by chef de cuisine Gustavo Rios, it'll be a casual alternative to Solbar, featuring French food with some Cajun accents, as well as cocktails, wine on tap, and 90 outdoor seats in a trellised garden. Expect it to arrive next week.