Food

A New Napa King Is Crowned

A Casual Dating Arena From the People Behind the Restaurant at Meadowood

By Joe Starkey ·
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Photo: Kelly Puleio
So you’re going to wine country.



That was the kind of sentence that normally leads to some type of flowery elaboration.

But today, it simply leads to the Charter Oak. It’s an elegant new family style restaurant in the old Tra Vigne space, it’s open now, and you’ll want to frequent it no matter the scenario.

Scenarios like…

Aunt Lydia is in town from the Midwest and wants a family dinner in wine country.
Make a reservation for the rustic and come-hither main dining room where, yes, everything from pork shoulder to beef rib grilled over cabernet barrels is served family style.

You’re tasting your way through Napa with a special friend (yourself).
Grab a seat at the no-reservations bar for a burger, a beer in a koozie and some drink coins that you can gift to friends for the next time they’re in the area and want to drink something with gin, rum, roasted corn and maple in it.

You’ve brought along an actual special friend.
Again, head to the bar. But this time, make it the one that’s outside on the terrace, complete with a view of the lush courtyard.

You’ll probably still want that beer in a koozie, though.

Joe Starkey is the tallest person in the room 90% of the time. He enjoys liquors that aren’t smoky, dive bars that are, and has a vague dread that someone, somewhere might be having more fun than him.

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