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When you think bar snacks, you might think sliders, calamari or french fries. But snacks will never be the same after enjoying them at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa. The Restaurant at Meadowood The Restaurant at Meadowood is a Michelin Guide 3-Star restaurant in Napa Valley, CA. The tasting menu costs $330 per guest. A three-course menu is available in the bar for $90. But if you are not looking for a full dining experience and just want to have a few bites with a glass, or two, of wine, take a seat at the bar or in the rotunda and try the Snack Program for $40. The Snack Program is a 9-course tasting menu. Each course is a small bar bite but it takes bar snacks to another level. Each course is like a small sampling of what you might enjoy inside the restaurant because the snacks are inspired by dishes from chef Christopher Kostow's menu in the main dining room. This also means that the snacks change regularly.
Last summer I attended an extraordinary dinner at Los Angeles Food and Wine called Dining with the Michelin Stars. One of the featured chefs was David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos. After eating his delicate Beggar’s Purses and Beef with Pole Beans, Puffed Rice and Onion Broth at the dinner, I swore that a dining experience at Manresa was on the top of my list. But, the only issue was, when would I be in Los Gatos? Well, it happened! After a weekend at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, my friend and I were flying out of San Jose Airport and Los Gatos is just 15 minutes from the airport. So, despite all the eating we had done over the weekend, we hightailed it out of Pebble Beach when the event ended and drove straight to Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a charming little town that looks like it was lost in time. Our navigation took us down a few streets (a few arguably seemed like ally-ways) and we pulled up in front of Manresa. Manresa Manresa opens for dinner at 5:30pm (the bar opens at 5:15pm). The restaurant offers a 14-course tasting menu for $198 and takes about three hours. Sadly we only had about one and a half hours before we had to head to the airport. But, the good news is that if you sit at the bar, Manresa offers an abbreviated tasting menu called "Bar Bites." It's five courses (pulled from the full tasting menu) and was what we had time for.