Best of the Best 2016: Leisure | Dining: Ninebark

Matthew Lightner, a veteran of the Michelin two-star Atera in New York City, has brought more star power to Napa Valley. At his new restaurant, in a century-old brick building in downtown Napa, Lightner is earning raves for surprising combinations such as charred broccoli arranged over green goddess dressing and covered with a thick snowfall of smoked cheddar. He uses carrots in pimiento spread and adds numbing Sichuan peppercorns to crab toast. 

  • The pickle plate, made with about a dozen fruits and vegetables, summarizes the best of Napa produce. 

  • The restaurant features a bar on the first floor, the second-floor dining room, and a roof terrace overlooking the Napa River. 

  • Ninebark is named after an indigenous shrub. 

Ninebark, (main courses, $28–$38)

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