Tra Vigne or Mustard's Grill?

Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Tra Vigne or Mustard's Grill?

My husband and I will be visiting Napa Valley in early November. We will be staying in St. Helena (1 night) and my top two choices for dinner that evening are Tra Vigne (St. Helena) and Mustards Grill (Yountville). Which one do you prefer?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Travigne will be a little less rushed. Mustards has reservations booked every 10 minutes. Both have excellent food.

I live in Napa and have a jeep tour company, if you need a designated driver/wine tour! Enjoy your trip. That is a wonderful time to visit.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 01:07 PM
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I was at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena last Friday. It was VERY good. Same owners as Mustards.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 01:17 PM
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>>

and Tra Vigne, then, unless the ownership of one or the other has changed (?).
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Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 01:32 PM
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Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen:

"Created by Cindy Pawlcyn, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, chef-owner of Napa Valley’s Mustards Grill and Go Fish and co-creator of many renowned Bay Area restaurants (including Fog City Diner, Bix, Roti, Tra Vigne and Buckeye Roadhouse)."
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Cindy left Real Restaurants (which owned Tra Vigne) in 2000 but kept her flagship restaurant, Mustards. She now also has Cindy's Backstreet and Go Fish restaurants.

Tra Vigne is still owned by the Real Restaurants Group:

http://www.realrestaurants.com/

All of these restaurants are wonderful places to dine.
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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We did both!
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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I've eaten at both - and prefer Mustard's. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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I don't care for either one. Tra Vigne has a lovely outdoor setting but mediocre food and snobbish service. Have never had a good experience at Mustards (tried 3 x), but many people do love it. I prefer Go Fish in St. Helena or Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Bottega and Bardesonno are excellent, but pricey.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Ironically, we ate at all those great restaurants, and the one my husband remembers is Taylor's Refresher.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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I was in Napa Valley a few weeks ago, and had meals at Tra Vigne, Redd, Bistro Jeanty, and Bottega. The dishes I remember most from those meals are the two I had at Tra Vigne. Haven't been to Mustards in decades, but based just on passing by it several times, I'd agree with the comment that you might be rushed there. I've never seen it not busy.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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If your tastes are similar to mine, Mustards has better food, but Tra Vigne has better atmosphere.

Bistro Jeanty received a horrible write-up & rating from the San Francisco Chronicle recently. Taylors is not really a restaurant in the Mustards & Tra Vigny style - it's a "drive-up" hamburger/fries place. Very good, if you want a burger & fries (they have other secletions also) - but it's fast food. There is another Taylors at the Ferry Bldg in SF.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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Mustard's rushes you in and out and I do mean rushes! Tra Vigne is living on past reputation. What about Buchon, Ad Hoc, Bottega, many nice restaurants in that area. Ruterford Grill is more casual but a favorite with the locals as they don't charge a corkage fee.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 10:53 PM
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Stu, I checked and you're right. Poor review for Bistro Jeanty. Unfortunate. Haven't been there since December.
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Old Sep 27th, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Since you are staying in St Helena and only for one night, I suggest Terra.
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Old Oct 1st, 2009, 06:51 PM
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What wonderful feedback! Thanks everyone!
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Old Oct 1st, 2009, 11:14 PM
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I've eaten at Mustard's three times and loved it. I can't imagine how they could rush you if you don't want to be rushed. Simply say from the beginning you are in no hurry, you want to have drinks first, you need a while longer to decide, etc. I can't imagine anyone there saying something like, "no, you have to order right now" or "order first and then I'll take your drink order" or "no, you can't have coffee. You have to leave right now". Perhaps the food doesn't take long, but if you feel rushed it's because you encouraged them to rush you. I haven't been there for a while, but if they really are rushing courses, (like bringint the entree 10 minutes after the appetizers) the solution is simple. Order one course at a time. I can't believe they'd say you can't do that.

I've only eated at Tra Vigne once. I thought it was pretty mediocre but THEY kept telling ME how wonderful everything was. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:37 PM
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We often stay in Calistoga while on stays over in Napa
and when we are dining down valley in the evening
- St. Helena or Yountville we always use the services of
Taxi Cabernet(707) 963-2620.
This is not a good area to drink and drive.
So, do consider them if you are heading to Mustards.

I think there are wonderful options in St. Helena and
I'd go with Pam's pick of Terra or one of my favorites-
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen.

Have a wonderful time here !

R5
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