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Meadowood Team Announces The Charter Oak as Name of New 'Less Formal' Restaurant

It's opening in late summer of 2016.

As Eater reported in the fall, the team behind three Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood is planning a casual less formal expansion in St. Helena. Now, the project has a name: The Charter Oak.

“Casual can sometimes mean that you don’t care. I prefer to say that this place will be elemental.”

Meadowood's chef Christopher Kostow and director Nathaniel Dorn are planning a restaurant, that they say "celebrates our commitment to hospitality, but also to the Napa Valley community." That means a lively, family-style dining room and a glowing hearth in the center of the room, which was home to wine country classic Tra Vigne for 28 years.

Additionally, the kitchen will ditch heavy sauces, and techniques like sous vide and complicated garnishes in favor of good old-fashioned steam and fire. Guests will also pour their own wine, and choose bourbons and dessert from carts rolled through the dining room. Dishes will be rustic, but refined. According to WSJ, diners can expect dishes like:

"...platters of toasts topped with a conserva of summer squash and grilled sardines; potatoes bathed in honeycomb olive oil and sea salt, wrapped in wet linen and revealed just after hitting the table; a rotisserie pork shoulder lightly dressed with a miso of acorns; and a bowl of house-cultured yogurt and cold tomatoes, laced with a tiny bit of their juices and umeboshi (Japanese salt plums)."

"I want this place to be Martha Stewart’s dream"

Given the fine dining, yet small town, atmosphere of St. Helena, it makes sense that Kostow would bring something more approachable to the neighborhood. (And he's not the only one, given the announcement of Cyrus' Douglas Keane and L.A. chef Sang Yoon's upcoming yakitori restaurant down the street.)

The team hopes to open the restaurant in late summer 2016, to stay tuned for more details in the coming months.