Two of the Bay Area's six Michelin three-star restaurants, The Restaurant at Meadowood and The French Laundry, were impacted by the wildfires last week and had to shut down as the entire Napa Valley filled with smoke. Both are now open again, and like the rest of wine country, they will be eagerly awaiting your business as the region slowly tries to return to some version of normal.
The Atlas Fire came frighteningly close to downtown Yountville, which is home to the French Laundry as well as a number of other notable restaurants and businesses like Redd, Bouchon Bakery, and Michael Chiarello's flagship, Bottega. As Eater reports, the French Laundry reopened Wednesday, and it's being joined by many other fine dining establishments in the area.
Whether because of cancellations or other factors, the notoriously hard-to-get-into restaurant actually has a number of tables for four available in the coming weeks a quick search on their reservation system just revealed a number of prime-time slots open for four next week and into November, though none for parties of two. So, if you have $310 per person to spend and you've never been, now's your chance.
Meanwhile up in St. Helena, Meadowood Resort reopened Thursday after a frightening brush with the Tubbs Fire which stands at 93 percent containment Friday morning, with some active burning still going on to the northwest of St. Helena, along a ridge west of Highway 29, north of 128.
The Restaurant at Meadowood is now open again, as is chef Christopher Kostow's new spinoff in downtown St. Helena, The Charter Oak, which was just named to Esquire's list of best new restaurants in the country.
Posting a link to this NBC Bay Area story about how wine country businesses need customers right now, not donations, the Meadowood team writes, "While our thoughts continue be with friends, colleagues and all of those affected, we are thankful that the majority of Napa Valley businesses are able to open their doors and allow their employees to return to work. Now all that's missing is you!"
Meanwhile, Sonoma County, which suffered more destruction from the combined wildfires that continue to smolder there, is going to have its work cut out for itself in drawing tourists back. As NBC News reported this week, Sonoma town square just got power back on Tuesday. Much more of the fires' path is visible from main routes like Highway 12, which remains closed to traffic and in the evacuation zone. For those on vacation who want an escape from the recent chaos of the world, it's going to be hard to avoid the fire zones, especially on the Sonoma side, for months to come.