Napa Valley Bounty At Charlie Palmer’s Harvest TableAuthor:Annette Hanami
Very few Michelin star chefs have accomplished what Charlie Palmer does so well—offer seamlessly integrated fine dining and hotel experiences from the Big City to Wine Country, capturing the spirit of the neighborhood with each one. With the newly-opened Harvest Table restaurant, Chef Palmer transforms the former hidden getaway of Harvest Inn into a true Napa Valley destination.
The opening of Charlie Palmer’s signature Napa Valley restaurant is the first part of a major renovation of Harvest Inn which Palmer acquired last year. MBH Architects re-designed the Main House to incorporate a modern reception area, 12-seat bar, and the 110-seat restaurant with accents of recycled metal, pressed glass, and metal mesh.
At the same time MBH lead architect Andres Grechi integrates many of the property’s original Tudor accents of warm wood, weathered brick, and lofty timber framing. Above the main floor are four new guest rooms. In Phases II and III, Palmer will completely revamp all the guest rooms, add four guest rooms and create new event spaces.
The design in the main dining area is casual, clean, and contemporary with the beauty of the wooded landscape always within view. A massive brick fireplace on the western wall anchors the space.
Our favorite spaces at Harvest Table are the two dining terraces, which feel spacious yet are very cozy, with banquette seating. Facing both north and south, the sheltered terraces overlook the lush lawns and gardens re-envisioned by landscape architects Michael Painter Associates. 24 modern sculptures created by local artists pop out against the formal landscaping.
A clear sign of the aspiration of the dining experience at Harvest Table, Chef Palmer enlisted Executive Chef Levi Mezick who developed a passion for super fresh and local coastal California cuisine at 1833 Restaurant in Monterey. The cuisine is “progressive” American, conceived with hyper-seasonal ingredients and influenced by international flavors. Think “snacks” of crisp-tender roasted carrots, buttermilk, Vadouvan, and granola, or crispy pork head with Gribiche, and starters such as shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage, cheddar, and smoked bacon. Mains can be delicate and refined such as poached Petrale with Saffron nage, lemon thyme, and garden beans, or hearty squab breast with poached plums, stinging nettles and fermented turnips.
Chef Mezick works closely with Culinary Horticulturalist Laura McNiff, who oversees five edible gardens planted in different microclimates on the 8-acre estate’s natural and landscaped property. The diversity of unique edibles planted in the garden foretell the tantalizing and ever-changing flavors to come.
The food is complemented with a strong local wine list of icons to rising stars, presented in clever ways to intrigue and educate guests of the best of Napa Valley.
Charlie Palmer’s long-time tradition of supporting the local community continues with an upcoming Patron’s Dinner on Thursday, July 23rd during Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole. It’s a great opportunity to explore the flavors of Harvest Table with a specially-created menu.
Harvest Table Restaurant is open for lunch Wednesday–Friday 11:30am-2:30pm, for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2:30pm, and for dinner Tuesday–Thursday from 5:30pm-9:30pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30pm-10:00pm. Harvest Table is located in Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer at One Main Street, St. Helena