Honestly, it doesn’t get better than sitting by the river enjoying lunch in Napa on a beautiful day (which fortunately is most days). That was our experience at The Napa General Store. Beautiful weather, attractive scenery, a mosaic fountain, and great food; what else could you want?
We were half way through tastings at two different wineries on this day and we wanted to be somewhere in the sunshine to enjoy the spectacular spring weather after all the rain. Believe it or not, there aren’t that many places to dine outside.
I would describe The Napa General Store and Cafe as a casual dining spot, with hints of gourmet thrown in. They don’t try to be pretentious, but they do try to be good and solid with what they do. I really liked that about them.
The outside terrace is a beautiful setting by the river; they have landscaped shrubs, sculpture accents, and pots along with cozy umbrellas to give a real cafe feel. There is soft jazz playing in the background at the perfect level, the sound of the fountain softly bubbling, and the nice chatter of conversation at the tables. It’s a lazy Sunday kind of place. The architecture all around is interesting and cool. Someone did a great job restoring the riverfront and making it hip and cool, yet keeping its character.
The Brit and I were trying to soak up the alcohol from wine tasting so we both ordered simple items. I ordered their Niman Ranch Burger with swiss cheese, sautéed mushroom, and bacon. The Brit ordered the Genova Pizza.
My burger was delicious. The burger was cooked perfectly: juicy with wonderful flavor. The lettuce, tomato, and pickles were all fresh and beautifully presented. The swiss cheese, mushrooms, and bacon all added were great compliments. The fries were truly outstanding. Crispy and light, oh so good! The one downfall to my burger was that it was served dry. There were mustard and ketchup on the table, but I wanted some mayo (OK, I’m a Philistine). I asked our waiter and it took a while for them to bring it to me. Once I had it, it was an awesome burger.
The Brit Comments: The first person we asked for mayo never brought it. When we saw our waiter, we asked her for mayo and she brought it immediately.
The Genova pizza was gorgeous to look at. There were interesting cheeses and a gorgeous crust and toppings. We were a little disappointed with the lack of tomato and pesto flavor sauce which let down this otherwise excellent pizza.
The Brit Comments: To clarify, the pizza had tomato sauce, but not enough for the balance to be spot on. I enjoyed the pizza, but it could have been truly memorable.
When we were leaving, I stopped to get a few photos with the chef. What a good sport. Even though it was busy, he kindly posed for me. I really enjoyed our lunch and would eat there again.
We really enjoyed our lunch, and look forward to visiting again soon.