Solage Transforms a Calistoga Destination and Creates Another in EvangelineAuthor:Annette Hanami
Solage Hotels & Resorts continues to redefine Calistoga for today’s visitor while maintaining the essence of its dual past: as a premiere 19th resort destination and as a charming, rustic farm town. The $1.1 million renovation of the Michelin star Solbar restaurant and opening of casual Evangeline, the only French bistro in the upper Napa Valley, will lure foodies to make Calistoga their new home base.
Solbar’s Stunning New Spaces
Those of us who were familiar with Solbar’s previous interior, which was always “sol-ful” and natural with a wide-open design, wood furnishings, and earthy hues, will gasp at the transformation of the restaurant into a more elegant yet still casual space.
Designer Shirley Robinson did a remarkable job transforming the formerly linear space into three well-defined and inviting dining and lounging areas without losing any of its soaring spaciousness. In the main dining room, comfortable upholstered banquettes in muted blues replace much of the wood seating and provide more intimate dining experiences. Willow chandeliers and subtle gray tones add to the elegant feel.
The dining room and lounge are now separated by a glass partition with the bar re-oriented across the room to create a more balanced space that’s pleasing to the eye. It also created room for additional seating.
On the opposite side of the main dining room, a small, unused courtyard has been converted into the Chef’s Atrium, a divine, open-air private room reserved for a custom single seating, 5-course menu ($95/pp) with optional wine pairings ($35/pp), for up to 10 guests. The clear wine bottle display and glass enclosure cast a brilliant light on Executive Chef Brandon Sharp and new Chef de Cuisine Brad Cecchi’s inventive seasonal cuisine worthy of a Michelin star.
Solbar’s renovation also includes an expansion of its popular outdoor patio with 40 additional seats. Open daily from breakfast to dinner.
Visit: 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA 94515
Les Bons Temps At Evangeline Bistro
There was always something about this space in its former iteration as Wappo Bar & Bistro that changed the way day-trippers felt about Calistoga. It was rustic and tiny, but so inviting and the food, inventive for its time. The new 2,000 square foot Evangeline continues this tradition, retaining all the warmth and comfort food of a real neighborhood hangout, but with a fresh new look by Shirley Robinson and focus on French bistro fare with New Orleans flair.
Evangeline is one of the only eateries in Downtown Calistoga with an outdoor patio. The crisp black-and-white palette adds to the New Orleans style charm. Inside, the dining area is bold and cozy with dark Douglas fir tabletops, soft lighting and leather banquettes to ease into. Robinson continues the “New Orleanian mystery” with an extra-long marble-topped bar where guests can get a bite or sip one of Evangeline’s signature cocktails that feature New Orleans classic liquors like Sazerac or Louisiana draft beers like Abita Turbodog.
The Evangeline menu includes updated French bistro favorites like rillettes, tartines, cassoulet, croque Marin grilled cheese, roast chicken, and steak frites, along with Chef Sharp and Evangeline Executive Chef Gustavo Rios’ modern versions of New Orleans classics, such as gumbo, shrimp etouffee and red beans and rice. Chef Sharp grew up on southern food and mastered authentic New Orleans flavors as Chef de Cuisine of John Besh’s renowned Restaurant August. The well-curated wine list includes both domestic and French wines.
Evangeline is open daily from 11:30am-9:00pm with no interruption in service, making this a flexible hangout for meals, drinks, snacks or dessert.
Visit: 1226 Washington Street, Calistoga, CA 94515