Tapas or Izakaya = Tasty Bites Downtown

Oct. 10, 2019 | by Daryl Burch

Small plates lead to big flavors and shared fun

Wether in Spain, Japan or South America, there are wine bars that create small plates with vibrant flavors to compliment the regional wines and cocktails. Typically open later than traditional restaurants, Tapas or Izakaya bars are intended to be enjoyed with friends to celebrate milestones. …or any regular Tuesday.

This month we showcase a few of our favorite small bites eateries that should definitely be on your Napa Adventures “To Do” list – all a short walk from our front door.

Zuzu – Tapas & Paella

 829 Main St., Napa
(approx. 13mins. walk from the Beazley House)

Zuzu – opened in 2002 by Mike Salyer – brings the communal celebration and flavors of the Basque country-side of Spain to the culinary landscape of Napa. A diverse menu of small plates are meant to be shared. We highly recommend the sardines – simply grilled over charcoal and dusted with sea salt. But really you could tasted through entire menu and be hard-pressed to find a dish you didn’t like. Zuzu also boasts an extensive wine list comprised of smaller Napa Valley & California wines as well as choice selections from Spain, Portugal, and South America.

La Taberna

 815 Main St., Napa
(approx. 13mins. walk from the Beazley House)

La Taberna – Zuzu’s sister restaurant – is 2 doors down and a completely different experience in tastes and sights. A modernist take on the classic Spanish tavern, La Taberna’s flavors come from the Pinxto region of northern Spain. Their menu changes daily depending on what they find at the markets. We highly recommend the Smoked Trout presented in a sardine can under a glass cloche. The presentation itself is a show. And when the smoke clears, there is just enough imparted into the fish to make it a decadent treat. Jamon Iberico de Bellota is carved right off the bone. Newspaper thin, it melts in your mouth and leaves you craving more

Miminashi

 821 Cooms St., Napa
(approx. 12mins. walk from the Beazley House)

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zakaya is Japan’s version of Tapas. And Napa-native Chef/Owner Curtis DiFede has created an experience that does Izakaya right. Featuring yakatori, gyoza, ramen and friend rice dishes, they also do amazing bites from the grill. 

Miminashi also has a soft serve station with a street-window. So you can walk up and try any of the wild array of flavors they come up with (e.g.: green tea, black sesame, tamarind-lime sorbet, or s’mores cookie. Check their instagram page to see what they’re serving today.

Carpe Diem Wine Bar

 1001 2nd St., Napa
(approx. 12mins. walk from the Beazley House)

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arpe Diem would be the California cuisine version of the tapas experience. They have an extensive menu of eclectic flavors that complement their equally extensive list of Napa Valley wines. The menu changes regularly with local, seasonal ingredients. Executive Chef Scott Kendall strives to create original dishes with flavors you don’t expect.

Charred octopus with mint pesto, or the seminal favorite “Quack & Mac” (duck confit macaroni and cheese) are in regular rotation. For the more adventurous we recommend the Ostrich Burger or the house-made Short Rib Ravioli with Porcini and Sage Cream Sauce will stand up to the biggest Cab you can through at it. 

All these foodie adventures are only a few blocks from the inn. Or we can put together an itinerary that will excite your senses and give you unique access to our “Insider’s View” of Napa Valley and Sonoma.

Call your innkeepers to get reservations for your stay and get here soon!

-DB