Only a ten minute walk from The Inn On First, a Bed and Breakfast Inn in Napa, is the wine bar and restaurant, Carpe Diem. Specializing in innovative, fun, and interesting small and large plates, their menu changes all the time, which means you need to eat there regularly or you might miss some spectacular dishes.
Our last visit brought some new flavors in the form of the Winter Kale salad with blood orange vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds, as well as the Butternut Squash Risotto Balls. I would recommend both of these. The Tamales, filled with braised pork short rib meat, were light and luscious. The tacos, filled with pork belly and asian slaw, continue to delight us (they change the filling daily: imagine Shrimp Pad Thai, or Filet Mignon with Pomegranate Glaze, as two small samples of their changing taco of the day filling). The last dish we ordered was the Lamb with Harissa in a clay pot with Israeli couscous, small bites of tender lamb matched perfectly with chewy and tender large couscous kernels, tomatoes, and sauce. Of course, dessert wouldn’t be complete without the Twix Bar, with the homemade shortbread dipped in dark chocolate and sea salt, sitting atop a scoop of salted caramel ice cream with house made caramel sauce.
As a wine bar and restaurant, this place is always crowded and reservations are a must. Expect lots of people, a great staff that is both knowledgeable and helpful with both food and wine selections.
We are asked all the time: name us your top restaurants in Napa. This is definitely one of them.