Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sweet Taste of Anticipation...

There are few things I love more than anticipating delicious things in my future.  (Obviously one is experiencing said delicious things, but the ratio of anticipated to actual is only rarely 1:1.)  I am a notorious stalker of not-yet-open restaurants and bars, constantly walking by in slow motion to peer into still-shuttered windows, searching the internet for clues and news about their future, browsing online menus, and the like.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time on such activities. 

And so this past week has flown by in a delicious haze of new restaurant lust, thanks to three Napa spots currently in the works, and to the actual opening of one of these objectified eateries tonight... I speak of course of Fish Story, the Napa venture of the Lark Creek Restaurant group.  But first, a description of the other tantalizing ventures that will continue to haunt me with their unattainable edibles and ambience.

Dim Sum Charlie's catered the rehearsal wedding for a friend of friends last weekend, to glowing praise.  As Napa has NO acceptable dim sum anywhere, let alone from a food truck, the positive report (from Diane of Napa Farmhouse 1885) sent all asian food lovers into a tailspin trying to find out where, when, and how soon we could get our mouths on some local har gao.  The where proved easy: the battered Airstream trailer has taken up residence behind the flood building on First Street just east of Soscol Avenue.  It has a lovely little dining area with picnic tables and shade just outside the service window (see picture).  When and how has proven more challenging... the website says only that the grand opening is "coming soon," and multiple plaintive email requests (not all from me, thank you very much) have met with no response.  The mysteriousness is both torturous and delectable.

Since Charlie wouldn't give it up, I turned my attention to the construction job on Main Street just north of Azzurrro Pizzeria.  I have been walking by this place for months (since my girlfriend moved to the neighborhood), and witnessed first-hand its razing, regrading, and rebirth into a stunning example of contemporary architecture. 

Ok, I admit, I didn't really get excited until the "NO PERSONS UNDER 21 ALLOWED" sign went up in the window.  But after that, I was enthralled.  I peered in almost daily.  And finally one day I was able to accost one of the construction workers as he was taking out the trash, and he told me the place was going to be a wine bar... named Cal Wine.

Fortunately, the address number had also been posted so I could look it up on the ABC License Query system to confirm the name.  Not so fortunately, the construction worker was correct--1313 Main Street in Napa, California will soon be home to a wine bar named Calwine.  But I'm not going to hold the generic name against it--when it opens, I'll be there.  It seems I'll have to rely on my own meanderings to figure out when that will be, though, because the internet silence on this place is deafening.  Do you know something about it?  Please share.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Fish Story.  Sustainable seafood, full bar, raw bar, swanky digs, and one of my favorite Bay Area chefs at the stoves had me hooked with the first press release last year.  Its prime location at the corner of Third and Main in downtown's new Riverfront building has required me to walk by countless times on my way to Angèle, Celadon, and Morimoto Napa (see my report on that awesome newcomer here).  With ever-increasing excitement, I watched the installation of funky glass lighting, the construction of the rounded bar, the addition of a tiny outdoor dining garden, and just last week, the stocking of the bar with actual liquor bottles--the surest sign that opening was nigh.

And indeed it is!  Tonight's the night... and I will be there to realize my fantasies and feast upon the glories of Stephen Barber's cuisine.  Kinda makes me want to shave my legs and put on sexy underwear.


  1. hahaha! Shave worthy! Very good! Call me when you're planning a lunch thing to try... I'll get my sitter!
    Hope I see you this weekend- last weekend of Open Studios in Napa Valley and at Gstudio, chef Shahin Goulomie will be serving tasty bites to the throngs of art lovers, paired with generously donated wines from our sponsers: Maisonry, Tres Sabores, Big Horn Cellars and more. Gstudio: 421 Walnut at Pine, 11 am to 6pm Both Saturday and Sunday!

    Wow, nothing like shameless self promotion

  2. Atta girl, Kate! You go... G Studios rocks and is well worth the plug. I will totally be there on Saturday to taste the delectable donations and drink in the art...