My favorite new restaurant is Cairdean Estate’s Brasswood Bar & Kitchen in Saint Helena. All the old crew from Tra Vigne that we have known and loved for so many years moved over together in time for last month’s grand opening, including sous chef David Nuno and General Manager Jennifer Bohr. Of course our beloved Eileen is behind the bar greeting her regulars with hugs and new comers as if they were long lost friends. So as they say…when one door closes, another one opens, and this one you will want to walk through.
Marcus Marquez, partner and former General Manager of Goose & Gander worked closely with the owners Stacia & Edwin Williams to craft the successful opening of the restaurant and layout his vision for making the restaurant as successful as Tra Vigne had been for decades. He certainly got the team right. Locals who went to Tra Vigne several times a week as if it were their second kitchen, have made Cairdean Estate’s Brasswood Bar & Kitchen in Saint Helena their home away from home.
Both the lunch and dinner menu are fabulous and they have an outstanding wine list. Last time I was there they were serving everyone’s favorite – home made mozzarella on fresh baked bread, drenched with olive oil.
Nicole Hollis is responsible for the interior design of the restaurant. It’s elegant, inviting and comfortable. Finishes include white oak-paneled walls, dark leather banquettes and black-and-white checkered marble floors. The lighting is wonderful – they have oversized brass bell pendants that were custom made and inspired by historic Gaelic bells, modernized with an impressive scale and leather trim, and the brightly polished custom brass sconces that give a nod to traditional farmhouse candlesticks.
Cairdean Estate is located just north of Saint Helena, about a mile north of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in what used to be the St. Helena’s Premium Outlet shopping center. It’s unrecognizable now
There are many aspects of Cairdean Estate that I am enthusiastic about, but what I would like to convey to visitors is that while you may not have your own wine country property in Napa Valley, Cairdean Estate provides you with the opportunity to experience the Napa Valley lifestyle. The architecture and design is exceptionally beautiful with outdoor dining, a pizza oven and a fireplace to sit around while you enjoy pizza or a latte, and maybe something scrumptious from the fabulous bakery and deli. There is also the rather stunning Rosgal Art Gallery and mercantile center with hand selected items from around the world, including artisan jewelry, culinary tools, home décor, ceramics and hand-blown glass.
Festival Napa Valley recently announced that their signature event Taste of Napa will be at Cairdean Estate this year on July 16 from 11am to 2:30pm. Taste of Napa features 80 wineries, restaurants and culinary artisans with live music.
The team at Brasswood Bar & Kitchen offer catering for special occasions from picnics, to private luncheons and dinners, either on site or at a location of your choosing. The over 17,000 square feet of caves would be an awesome site for a private event.
The parking lot is huge with bus and limo parking areas and there is a lounge set up specifically for drivers and tour operators.