NAPA VALLEY RESTAURANTS

Buster's Barbecue
1207 Foothill Blvd. Calistoga, CA 94515
Telephone (707) 942-5605
Open Sunday to Thursday 9am to 6pm
Friday and Saturday am to 9pm

The mouthwatering aromas will lead you to Buster's. Disguised as a shack off the side of the road, this is a serious shrine to juicy and perfectly smoked meats. Buster himself will prepare your tri-tip, ribs or chicken, and you can join other patrons at picnic tables where paper towels are the linen of choice. Two warnings: Buster's does not accept credit cards and the hot sauce is fiery.

Dean & DeLuca
607 S. St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574
Telephone (707) 967-9980
Web site www.deandeluca.com
Open Daily 7am to 8pm

Dean & Deluca is a temple for epicureans, with a vast collection of California wine, cookware and high-end condiments and spices. There are some prepared foods in back, and you can't beat their selection for the ultimate picnic. Consider imported delicacies such as serrano ham or bresaola, local cheeses, blue cheese-stuffed olives, fresh bread and truffled pates. The fresh pastries and espresso drinks are excellent.

Oakville Grocery
7856 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, CA 94562
Telephone (707) 944-8802
Web site www.oakvillegrocery.com
Open Daily 9am to 6pm, espresso bar opens at 7am

It's always crowded at the Oakville Grocery, so try to avoid it at lunchtime, when the aisles are the most jammed. Mustards, olive oils and condiments are on display (and often available for sampling), and there's an impressive collection of wine in the back. The deli counter offers ideal picnic food—crab cakes, pecan-crusted chicken, various salads, cheeses and olives galore, and a large selection of sandwiches. The cookies and pastries are terrific. If there's room, grab a spot on one of the benches out front and watch Napa Valley go by.

Pizzeria Tra Vigne
1016 Main St. Helena, CA 94574
Telephone (707) 967-9999
Web site www.pizzeriatravigne.com
Open Daily 11:30 am to 9pm

If pizza is what you're craving, look for the big red tomato by the entrance of Pizzeria Tra Vigne in downtown St. Helena. Thin, crunchy, wood fired-oven crusts, quality toppings and tasty combinations make the pizzas first-rate. Pastas and salads and a good selection of beer and wine round out the menu. Leather booths inside and patio seating outside add a touch of style to this otherwise casual joint.

Sunshine Foods
1115 Main
St. Helena, CA 94574
Telephone (707) 963-7070
Open Daily 7:30am to 9pm

You'll wish you had this kind of sunshine in your own neighborhood. This specialty market features a dazzling selection of cheeses and an amazing assortment of seafood, marinated meats and produce. It's a delight to browse the countless gourmet products on the shelves. Prepared foods such as soups, sushi, roasted and fried chicken and even cheeseburgers made to order make this another great option for picnic provisions.

Taylor's Refresher
933 Main
St. Helena, CA 94574
Web site www.taylorsrefresher.com
Open Daily 10:30 am to 8pm (winter), 10:30am to 9pm (summer)

Popular with the locals, Taylor's looks like a '50s diner but is actually a roadside stand in downtown St. Helena where you order from a window, sit at a picnic table and wait to hear your name on the loudspeaker. The fare is standard American, with some surprises—juicy burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches, as well as tasty fish tacos, ahi burgers, beer-battered onion rings and the most amazing milk shakes. There is also a small selection of beer and wine.