Cantinetta Piero at Hotel Luca
NileGuide Expert Says:
The north bay's best presentation of house-cured salume and homemade sausage.
6774 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
NileGuide Expert tip:
Don't overlook the zesty salads, served bowl-style in generous portions.
The newest arrival on the Yountville foodie scene is Cantinetta Piero, created by David Fink, who's best known for two Carmel favorites, Aubergine and Cantinetta Luca. And in fact, Cantinetta Piero's kitchen is helmed by chef Jason Balestrieri, who comes up several days a week from his sister restaurant. While Bay Area foodies might chafe at the idea of a top restaurant being run by a part-time out-of-towner, the truth is Balestrieri's menu of Italian-inspired dishes nevertheless takes much of its inspiration from local produce, cheese, and meat.
Meat is the operative word here, as Balestrieri's house-made salume is the undisputesd star of the show. A selection of eight varieties, six of them cured on premises is a must-eat unless, of course, you're vegetarian. In which case the local muscles and other seafood are given similarly inspired attention.
Cantinetta Piero has plenty of modern flourishes tucked within the trappings of tradition. Visitors are greeted at the entrance with a stunning wine display in which choice bottles are framed by striking tile mosaics. One entire wall is made up of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that let in the Tuscan-inspired golden light of the courtyard and in good weather allow the courtyard to be an extension of the dining room. The courtyard also features a Scottsdale-style outdoor fireplace lounge, the perfect place to retire to with your after-dinner drinks.