100 Favorite Restaurants: Vintner's Canteen

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Robert Mondavi, Naoko Dalla Valle, Ann Colgin, and dozens of other winemakers are among the regulars at Redd in Yountville, Calif. They keep coming back to his restaurant, says owner Richard Reddington (above right), because it offers what Napa Valley otherwise lacks.

Reddington’s wide-ranging dinner menu includes Asian-style dishes such as sashimi of hamachi with sticky rice, edamame, and lime ginger sauce. “That’s what’s not really up here,” he says. His modestly priced bar menu, which features fish tacos and pizza, provides an alternative to the special-occasion restaurants that cluster in Napa Valley. (Redd is on the same street as the French Laundry.) And its sleek, modern decor contrasts with the rustic appearances of its competitors. “I wanted to do a city feel,” Reddington says. “So many restaurants here look wine country–friendly. But when you travel, you know where you are. You don’t need to be reminded of that.”

Also unlike many of its neighbors, Redd lacks a dress code. “Sometimes the tourists complain that the locals aren’t dressed up,” Reddington says. “But if [the winemakers] are coming in from harvest, they can wear whatever they want.”

That policy, plus the food, has endeared Redd to the locals. In our poll of winemakers, many of whom reside in Napa Valley, Redd was cited more often than any other restaurant. “I probably go about once a week when I’m in Napa,” says Randy Lewis of Lewis Cellars in Napa, Calif. “I really like Richard, and the staff, they’re friendly without being intrusive. I can have as fancy a meal there as anywhere. And after working a long day at harvest, I can pop by in jeans and a work shirt and not feel out of place.”

Redd, Yountville, Calif., 707.944.2222, www.reddnapavalley.com

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