The big news in Napa Valley this week: Chef Christopher Kostow of THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD will be opening a yet-to-be-named restaurant in the St. Helena space being vacated by TRA VIGNE. He will be joined by Meadowood’s restaurant director Nathaniel Dorn.
News broke last week that the legendary Italian restaurant will shutter on December 20th. Property owner Bill Harlan, of Harlan Estate, decided not to renew the restaurant’s lease. Harlan also owns Meadowood.
The new restaurant, according to Kostow, will be focused on more casual, celebratory dining experiences. He plans to continue his role at the three-starred Michelin restaurant, along with his wife, Martina. “We will continue our work here, unabated, at The Restaurant at Meadowood. We are looking at this new project first and foremost through the lens of St. Helena and then through that of the Napa Valley as a whole,” said Kostow. The new restaurant is slated for a 2016 opening.
In downtown Napa, Robert Mondavi’s long-empty food, wine, and art center Copia finally has a new resident, THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA. The 80,000-square-foot building includes a theater, two restaurants, a demonstration kitchen, classrooms, a library, and retail space, along with an outdoor theater and gardens. Though the details of what will stay at the CIA’s Greystone campus and what moves to Copia are still in flux, it sounds like the downtown Napa space may be used for public events and classes as well as the Vintners Hall of Fame and the CIA’s Food Business School. There’s plenty more to come in the months ahead, but the acquisition of this Napa Valley gem is great news for the culinary scene.
Another new ‘cue: Glen Ellen Star chef Ari Weiswasser spent nearly a month in Austin learning the fine art of barbecue. He’s brought that back to Sonoma’s ROSSI’S 1906 with a brand-new menu that debuted last week. Working with owner Max Young, they’re billing the new menu as “Texas barbecue in a California context,” featuring dishes like brisket and oysters. Appetizers on the menu include brown butter corn muffins, crispy pig’s ears with nacho cheese, chicken-fat fries with malt vinegar salt and lemon, and sausage links. Clearly not for the calorie-conscious. In addition, look for decidedly non-Texan pork ribs, turkey, veal-base barbecued baked beans, mac and cheese, and collards. For dessert, there are pecan hand pies and assorted ice cream flavors. Wed-Sun lunch and dinner. 401 Grove St., Sonoma, 707-343-0044.
Get ready for Korean fried chicken: DICK BLOMSTER’S KOREAN DINER in Santa Rosa has set an opening date of Friday November 13th. This second pop-up of the Korean BBQ-meets-pub grub (the original is in Guerneville) will be the nighttime alter ego of Don Taylor’s Omelette Express several evenings a week. Doors open at 5pm. 112 4th St., Santa Rosa.