Perhaps you’re still recovering from a mammoth Mother’s Day breakfast. The kitchen may still be in shambles from the kids doing their best to whip up an eye-opening feast.
Now, it’s time to turn to the experts, the restaurant professionals in Napa who know their way around an eggbeater and pastry oven, and have their own staff to clean up the plates when all is done.
In fact, one of our favorite ways to spend a day is in Napa, relaxing at one of the many excellent breakfast spots, then taking a leisurely hike in the beautiful mountainside parks before heading out for an afternoon of wine tasting. Mother’s Day or Memorial Day, this little adventure makes it feel like a holiday every day.
Here are a few suggestions for the finest morning in wondrous Wine Country.
Auberge du Soleil
Set in the rolling hills of Rutherford, the Michelin-starred Restaurant offers breakfast and brunch on its wrap-around balcony featuring stunning 360-degree views of the Valley below. Signatures include house-made breads and jams daily, and on weekends the Restaurant offers a three-course brunch. Besides classic American plates like brioche French toast, here is where to enjoy an international experience ranging from Japanese (steamed rice, miso soup, farm egg, roasted salmon, pickled cucumber) to Chinese (organic grain rice congee, slow cooked farm egg, crispy pork belly or shrimp, peanuts, cilantro) to Spanish (huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs, chorizo, black beans). At brunch, begin with a Mimosa, Bellini, Kir Royale or Bloody Mary, then save your appetite for heartier plates like duck confit hash with slow cooked farm eggs and mâche in red wine sauce or Maine lobster omelet with leeks, tarragon, ricotta and crispy potatoes.
180 Rutherford Hill, Rutherford, 707-963-1211, aubergedusoleil.com.
Boon Fly Cafe, Carneros
Tucked on the edge of southern Napa’s Carneros appellation, The Carneros Inn’s roadhouse-inspired café showcases homemade Boon Fly donuts, which are so addictive we often dream about them. And what better reason to get out of bed than Boon Fly’s famous bacon Bloody Mary, made with Smirnoff, house-made Bloody Mary mix, a strip of bacon and a celery salt rim? “Green Eggs and Ham” are a fun dish, bringing the poached farm fresh eggs wrapped in honey-cured ham, ladled in lemon-leek cream on crispy hash browns, while Poppa Joe’s Eggs in a Hole are a childhood classic updated for grown-up tastes in griddled artisan sourdough bread with two fried eggs in the center, and a side of hash browns. The bucolic, farm-style setting, meanwhile, invites lingering over another cup of fresh brewed coffee or Mighty Leaf teas.
4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, 707-299-4870, thecarnerosinn.com.
BANK Cafe, Napa
You might never realize this gem is hidden in the lobby of downtown Napa’s Westin Verasa, but there it is, in a sleek wood-trimmed bistro space with brunch menus designed by Michelin Star-rated chef Ken Frank, and ingredients sourced from the Chefs’ Edible Gardens at COPIA. Breakfast favorites include Huevos Benedictios, a poached egg served on a corn muffin with chorizo and chipotle hollandaise, while Sunday brunch tempts with a three-course repast that changes often for international/regional features like asparagus gribiche of peeled asparagus served chilled with aioli sauce topped in chopped egg. In this glorious weather, get a table by the windows, or on the patio with its fire pit and fountains.
1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, 707-257-5151, latoque.com.
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono, Yountville
This is one of the newest restaurants in Napa Valley, and crowds are converging for seasonal, ingredient-driven brunch fare including a Willie Bird Benedict with turkey bacon, avocado and smoked tomato served on a house-made whole wheat English muffin, and brioche French toast served with chantilly mascarpone. The duck confit hash is magnificent, dressed with spinach, root vegetables, crispy fingerling potatoes and a sunny side up duck egg, while locavores rave about the Napa Valley Breakfast, brimming with a selection of local and imported artisanal items including Straus organic yogurt, sliced and whole farm fresh fruit, cheese and house cured meats, oven-fresh pastries, house-made granola, breads and preserves French press coffee or tea, and a selection of juices.
6526 Yount St., Yountville, 707-204 6030, bardessono.com.
Tip: Enjoy your morning even more by leaving the driving to Pure Luxury Transportation. A limo or Town Car can pick you up at home, then whisk you to breakfast, your favorite hiking park, and then on to wine tasting.