It was pamper day in Napa, so we started off with a reasonable meal of yogurt, toast and bananas from the grocery down the block, because let’s be real, nobody wants to be bilious during a massage. The waiting room at the spa is full of new agey gifts like sandalwood soap, thousand count robes, and the like, as well as a little sitting area when one might read the local news while awaiting treatment. There is also a nice ladies looker room, for the day guest, complete with cucumber water, hair products, face products, and blow dryers so you can try to look normal again after having your face and hair raped for an hour. https://www.indianspringscalistoga.com/
Most of the massage rooms are located along a wooden plank walkway, behind the main building that houses the lobby and locker rooms. They are typical; low lit, warm blanketed, Coco Pele soundtracked.
I had a fractured radial head at time of treatment, which means that I cracked my elbow. I was in a lot of pain then, not able to sleep through the night kind of pain. I told my masseuse, David V (B?) of my problem, and asked him to kindly lay off my left elbow. Here is the awesome part; what came with my fracture was an intensely sore bicep, neck, and left shoulder-blade. I was protecting the elbow, (co-contracting, in physical therapy speak)and in doing so, holding it in an incredibly awkward and gravity defying position for days (at this point, 11 days, to be exact). He worked the absolute living SHIT out of those muscles, the ones with secondhand soreness. My god. My recovery turned a corner that day. Truly, David V (B?) took my pain away, and the respite lasted well into the night.
Post massage, I meandered to the Buddha pond, and maybe it is a little pretentious and silly, but when you are that relaxed, when you feel as though Jesus himself just came and released you from your suffering, it all seems to make sense.
So I sat, and reveled in my newfound pain-free state. A friend showed up and we chatted, and eventually, we walked back to the room and tried to brush the oil out of our hair and the pillow lines off our faces, and we packed up and got in the car, ready for a decadent lunch and some shopping.
Except the car wouldn’t start.
But wait! Indian Springs totally sent a guy with jumper cables who had us on the road, lickety split. That was awesome, because a tow truck was going to take a half hour, and we were ready for some vittles. Nice touch, Indian Springs, nice touch.
The Napa Valley is basically a one lane “highway” of wineries. Lots of acreage, big land, fancy tasting rooms, between which sit little towns with impressive restaurants. Redd Wood is in Yountville, one of the first little “towns” that you hit coming in from San Francisco, and one the last you hit when departing from Calistoga. You know, the French Laundry is in Yountville. So, super not a big deal, Yountville. But really, the other little spots there are great too, and our lunch at Redd Wood was preferable to lunch at Bouchon, for me. I am kind of always geared up for a pizza and wine, whereas French bistro fare for lunch barely warrants an eyebrow lift. http://redd-wood.com/
Redd Wood is in keeping with the Valley; nice, modern design, described as “industrial chic” on their website (I do love that pretty bar with all the little warm lights)
attached to a boutique hotel that I can only assume is totally beautiful and awesome by the looks of the lobby-the North Block Hotel. It’d better be awesome, at $500/nt per room. http://northblockhotel.com/
Richard Reddington, a chef with some serious local cred (as well as national and international) is the man in charge of both Redd Wood and Redd. Redd Wood is the dialed down, casual answer to Redd’s upscalery.
Our first dish, a simple, but perfectly executed chopped salad was all about the right ratios, each ingredient had the right amount of representation and the acidic dressing was applied with a refreshing amount of restraint.
Everyone was wild about the chicken liver toast, again, a simple dish, but when the ingredients are that flawless, it just goes other level. Keep in mind that the bread, the olive oil, and the chives were most likely sourced from one of the many wonderful artisanal local producers, if not made in house. That’s just how it is up in those parts.
It’s been established that I am a chicken wing whore, and, Redd Wood offers a crispy breaded version, with Calabrian chili sauce and gorgonzola cream.
Knowing all that prior to ordering, I was still kind of disappointed at the end result. I’m not really sure why. They were nice and crisp, juicy and flavorful, the creamy sauces fairly robust…I guess I think it needed some acid. I would have loved a fish sauce/lime combo with those. But that’s not what I ordered, I know.
The sausage pizza was spectacular, topped with delicious smoked mozzarella, hearty, bitter rapini, onion, basil and calabrian chili. The blistered crust held up quite well under all of that, with a nary a sog in sight.
Nearby, we took a quick spin around the outlet mall, packed ourselves into the car at 3:00PM and headed back to the Bay Area. While the road to the freeway was choked with traffic, once we got to 101 we did not hit another pocket of congestion. Not once. I’m telling you, an off-season Sunday night sleep over is the only way to go.
6755 washington st. Yountville,CA 94599
(707) 299 5030
Breakfast 8-10 daily
Lunch: 1130-3 daily
Dinner 5-10 Sun-Thu
Dinner 5-11 Fri& Sat
Bar: Open daily at 1130