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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Be My Valley Valentine


Be Bubbly Napa

By Kathleen Reynolds


With its picturesque mountains and tidy vineyards, we’re lucky to live in such a romantic place for Valentine’s Day. Add to that our vibrant Downtown Napa with bustling eateries, tasting rooms and cocktail lounges, and you’ve got a winning combination for a special Valentine’s evening.


The traditional Valentine’s present for your sweetheart is, of course, chocolate and Napa is fortunate to have two delectable candy purveyors.


Visit Anette’s Chocolates where you can find their special Valentine’s confections, classic boxed chocolates, salted caramels, truffles, brittles and a variety of chocolate sauces. If you have no time to stop by on the way to your dinner, Anette’s is available from GrubHub and DoorDash, too. Anette’s has two locations: 1321 1st Street and inside Oxbow Public Market, 610 1st Street, Napa. (707) 252-4228.


Vintage Sweet Shoppe pairs chocolates with wine, which you can sample at their tasting bar. You may have seen their unique chocolate-dipped wine bottles on the Food Network, the Today Show, The Travel Channel or Bay Area Backroads. They are located at 530 Main Street in the Napa Mill building and are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. See more of their handmade chocolate gifts at vintagesweetshoppe.com. Phone (707) 224-2986.


Since your sweetheart’s present is covered, we’ll begin our Valentine’s epicurean tour at one of Napa’s 55+ tasting rooms. 


Brut from France, Prosecco from Italy, sparkling from California—any of these bubbles can start off your evening with a pop. Be Bubbly has these and more; over 60 sparklers await you at 1407 2nd Street, Napa. They have flights and small bites, too. On Valentine’s Day, Nick Foxer Serenades Valentines while accompanying himself on the piano from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (707) 637-4532.


Housley Napa Valley is tucked into 1038 Clinton Street. The San Francisco Chronicle gave this tasting room 5 stars and called it the “Most happening Tasting Room” in the Napa Valley. 


They feature local products and wine and offer a locals’ discount. They’re open from 11a.m. to 7p.m. daily.  (707) 690-9192.


Ox and the Fox Wine Bar, 1331 1st Street, inside the First & Franklin Marketplace, serves local wines you can’t find anywhere other than the wineries themselves, as well as bar bites. They highlight different wineries each week. (707) 252-1003, open daily from 11 a.m.


Now that your appetite is whetted, how about dinner suggestions?


If you love sushi or fresh fish in general, you can’t go wrong with Eiko’s Modern Japanese Cuisine at 1300 1st Street. Along with their full bar, they have a menu filled with mouth-watering dishes. Appetizers include selections from the Sushi Bar, Classic Sushi, Specialty Hand Rolls and Japanese Tapas. Dinners feature Sushi Dinner, Rice & Tempura, Nigiri or Sashimi and Ahi Poke Bowls. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms, your server is happy to explain them. Eiko’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, (707) 501-4444.


If your date is more in the mood for American comfort food, look no farther than Napa Palisades Saloon at 1000 Main Street. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Napa Palisades offers 30 house and local craft beers on tap. Their tag line is “Come for the Beer, Stay for the Food.” The owners promise great value for good food. That would include their Saloon Burger, Big Ranch and Lamb burgers, steak and fries, fish and chips, pulled pork dishes, appetizers, snacks and sides. They have a full bar. (707) 492-3399.


After your satisfying meal, perhaps you’ll want to linger at the restaurant’s bar or continue on your adventure and seek out a cocktail venue.


The Archer Hotel, 1260 1st Street, has a lobby bar and Sky & Vine on their rooftop. Sky & Vine has “reverse happy hour” from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It offers crafted cocktails, a vast array of spirits, draft beers, specially selected wines and private barrel flights. Its Whiskey Bar is available by reservation only Monday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and has a list of 150 international whiskey and scotch brands. Both rooftop bars are alfresco where guests can enjoy the Napa Valley vista skyline. Phone (707) 819-2490.


Last, but far from least, is Napa’s latest hopping place: The Fink, located at 530 Main St. in the historic Napa Mill Building. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday,starting at 4 p.m. (707) 266-5940. 


The Fink calls itself Napa’s neighborhood bar for the global traveler. Honoring its boat house roots, it is decorated in a nautical theme and is best known for its cocktails. The Fink also has an array of local and international wines by the glass or bottle and an interesting bar bite menu. Its cozy booths, tables and bar, along with its friendly hospitality, make this a great place to wind up your Valentine date. 


We hope this has given you ideas on creating your perfect Napa Valley Valentine evening. 

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