Monday, February 22, 2010

Scouting in Napa

I'm very excited to be working with a lovely couple who met onstage -- she's a ballerina and he's an opera singer (in fact, he was at San Francisco Opera just before I started working there in 2004)! They're getting married in a very unique venue in Napa -- the historic Napa Valley Opera House.

We met up over the weekend and I took advantage of checking out a few wedding-related businesses on my trip there: Sift, a cupcakery; Avia, a swank boutique hotel; Ubuntu, a Michelin-star rated restaurant and Betty's Girl Boutique, a vintage clothing store specializing in evening wear. If you're planning a wedding in Napa wine country, here's a few places to consider:

Sift (1000 Main Street, Napa): Just next door to the Napa Valley Opera House, this cupcakery houses not only sweet treats but also style -- as in fashion clothing! I had never seen cupcake flavors like Pink Champagne (fresh raspberry cake and champagne frosting) or Snickerdoodle (moist vanilla cake with cinnamon and sugar cream cheese frosting and cookie on top) at other Bay Area cupcakeries, so I was impressed with their range. I sampled the two aforementioned as well as the popular Ooh La La (red velvet cake) and The Sky is Falling (chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse filling and chocolate frosting).Cupcakes are $30 a dozen ($2.75 each), or you can get mini-cupcakes for $20/dozen (2 dozen minimum). Kara's Cupcakes, another popular Bay Area cupcakery, is $0.25 cents more, so Sift may be a serious contender for cupcakes by price and also flavor.

{Sift Cupcakery: Sweet Side}
{The Cake Plate: Fashion Side}

Betty's Girl Boutique (1239 1st Street): Just a minute's walk from Sift is Betty's Girl Boutique. As I entered, I could hear girls squealing with delight as they tried on vintage prom dresses.  The owner, Kim, customizes bridal dresses as well. Kim wouldn't share any photos since her designs are proprietary but she does have an album in store that shows off what she can do for brides on a budget or who want to go all out vintage. Her Yelp reviews boast a lot of happy, loyal customers.

Avia Hotel (1450 1st Street): At first glance, the Avia looks like another modern office building, but the doormen standing outside beckoned me to come in. I was greeted by a very serene and posh lounge to my left and a tree carving that hid the elevator doors just beyond. The restaurant in the back features an open kitchen so you can see the chef and line cooks at work and the second floor offers a great terrace with a couple porch swings and fire pit. Rates are pricey (starting at $179) but discounts are possible when blocking off rooms.


Ubuntu (1140 Main Street): This Michelin-star rated vegetarian restaurant offers not only food, but yoga and a fine wine store at its Annex. At the heart of the restaurant’s cuisine is the seasonal produce grown at the owner’s two acre biodynamic garden and vineyard. Dining at Ubuntu will carry a hefty pricetag ($31-50 per person) but the experience will be memorable with dishes like Hakurei turnips with braised greens, caramelized Napa sunchoke and Fuji apple chowder and warm quince soffrito donuts with cool burata.

1 love notes:

Bicoastal Bride said...

That sounds like an amazing venue! The Napa region is one of the things I really miss most about California.

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