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Evangeline is a Taste of France in Calistoga

Do you love eating French food in Wine Country? Of course you do. So here’s great news: hot on the heels of Solbar’s reopening this week in Solage Calistoga resort, culinary director Brandon Sharp is hard at work on another new restaurant.

Evangeline has debuted in the former 1226 Washington restaurant space on Washington and First streets, with a concept of casual French with a Creole accent. That means former Solage sous chef Gustavo Rios is crafting Gallic dishes like Poulet Grand-Mere, Gumbo Ya-Ya, Poisson Eau Fou and the Croque Marin (a Croque Madame with Millionaire’s Bacon, which is seasoned with brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper).

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Meals are served in the dining room housed in a little cottage, and on the courtyard patio, while an adjacent lounge and bar will focus on eight wines on tap, five draught beer from Northern California breweries, and a cocktail program featuring New Orleans classical liquors.

evangeline chicken

Over at Solbar, meanwhile, guests can soak up a $1.1 million renovation to the six-time Michelin star-rated restaurant. The transformation brings warm tones of mink brown and creamy gold, globe-shaped chandeliers fashioned from willow vines, and expanded seating areas in the dining room and on the patio.

A particular highlight is the new Chef's Atrium, a private, open-air dining room lit with aged bronze lanterns and a custom wine bottle display wall. With seating for just 10 people per night, the experience brings a custom five-course menu starting at $95 per person.

With Sharp as managing partner of the new eatery, he’s needing some back-up at Solbar, as well. So he has hired Brad Cecchi as Solbar's new chef de cuisine. Previously, Cecchi was executive chef at Urban Farmer in Cleveland, and before that, he was chef de cuisine at Grange Restaurant & Bar, and chef de cuisine at La Perla Bistro, both in Sacramento.

Details: Evangeline, 1226 Washington Street, Calistoga, 707-341-3131, evangelinenapa.com. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Solbar, 755 Silverado Trail North, Calistoga, 707-226-0800, solagecalistoga.com.

Tip: A special meal deserves a special ride. Reserve a private Pure Luxury limo or Town Car for door-to-door service.

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