5 of The Best MICHELIN-Starred Restaurants In California Wine Country

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Come to the vineyards of Northern California wine country and stay for the food at these Michelin-starred restaurants that highlight the freshest local ingredients.


Auberge du Soleil

180 Rutherford Hill Rd., 94573 Rutherford

Californian

37 - 145 USD

This was one of the first restaurants that made Napa Valley great. The work of the kitchen is as impressive as its surroundings. From this exceptional vantage point overlooking the vineyards and mountains, everything is even more beautiful. The chef's tasting menu invites guests to control how their experience unfolds by choosing dishes. Begin with an elegant sweet white corn soup poured onto the table; layers of laurel shrimp and a toasted brioche topped with tarragon whipped cream are rich and creamy.


The French Laundry

6640 Washington St., 94599 Yountville

Contemporary

350 - 450 USD

Thomas Keller's legendary destination hasn't gone unnoticed. Classic French techniques paired with extremely fresh ingredients create the perfect storm on restaurant scale. Dinner can be signature oysters with white sturgeon caviar, served with a warm tapioca pearl inlaid sabayon, or Pacific Shima-Aji tartare with puffed grain texture, and vibrant tomato and jalapeño "chiffon" (tangy) flavor. "Coffee and Donuts" and a box of handmade chocolates complete the experience on sweet notes.


SingleThread

131 North St., 95448 Healdsburg

Contemporary

375 USD

The fine dining is almost indescribable in this Healdsburg gem, where every detail has been thought out, from the moss and flowers that wrap the amuse-bouche display cases to the heirloom seed packets that are sent home as parting gifts.

Thanks to a gift from farmer and co-owner Katina Connaughton, the menu is tailored for each Sonoma County microseason. Spring brings finely smoked King Ora with char and mioga, while winter offers pumpkin tartare with Dungeness crab and miso-lime foam.


Kenzo

1339 Pearl St., 94559 Napa

Japanese

210 USD

While Kenzo offers a few tables, the best spot is the long counter, where diners can chat with the chef and witness firsthand how their meals are prepared. Beautifully structured and elegantly paced, kaiseki experiences can include seasonal hasan, which includes poached eggplant in dashi stock and roasted Sonoma duck breast, as well as straw-smoked Hokkaido scallop sashimi with pick-your-own mayo.


La Toque

1314 McKinstry St., 94559 Napa

Contemporary

95 - 225 USD

After dining at this sophisticated downtown restaurant in Westin Villasanapa, which combines serious food and service enough to keep things alive, you should gratefully tip yourself. Order a la carte or choose a six-course tasting, starting with perfectly seasoned tuna tartare or clams with apple cider vinegar. Thinly lightly smoked carpaccio, then artfully presented as a flower, drizzled with a creamy tuna sauce, sauteed wild mushrooms and dried tomatoes.