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Downtown Napa has seen a lot of restaurant activity this year, from the openings of Ninebark and Ca’Momi to the upcoming Miminashi. Right now it’s Basalt’s turn to contribute to the changing dining landscape, and the restaurant from Moana Restaurant Group (Corners Tavern, El Dorado Kitchen) fits right into the Valley’s favorite of cuisines: Californian. The menu may not be the most inventive out there, but it reads like a greatest hits album in the most pleasing of ways: little gem salad, grilled sardines, whole roasted chicken, whole fried branzino and more. Chef Esteban Escobar (Town Hall, Corners Tavern) is behind the food, which pulls ingredients from the restaurant’s garden, and bar manager Jason LoGrasso (Cotogna, Rich Table) created the drink menu, which is chockful of wine and beer, plus approachable cocktails. Rapt Studio designed the space, which is bright and airy and furnished from 80 percent local artisans. The outdoor area seats a whopping 70 people around a fire pit.

Next up in Napa is the highly anticipated arrival of Miminashi, the yakitori spot from Oenotri’s Curtis di Fede (not to mention Douglas Keane and Sang Yoon’s yakitori restaurant in St. Helena and Chris Cosentino’s forthcoming concept in the same town). For now, Basalt is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Lunch and brunch are soon to follow.


790 Main St, Napa, CA 94559 (707) 927-5265