Ana's Cantina, a beloved St. Helena bar, has long been where Napa Valley winemakers gather to drink beer and play pool. It’s also a popular chef hangout, perhaps now more than ever, as this quiet town experiences a mini restaurant boom. In June, Sang Yoon and Douglas Keane opened Two Birds/One Stone, marrying California ingredients with Japanese flavors. The duo created one of the most interesting wine programs in the area, including exclusive wines on tap and free corkage for local bottles.
This month, Chris Cosentino and his partner, Oliver Wharton of San Francisco’s Cockscomb, will launch The Acacia House at the new Las Alcobas hotel, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as 24-hour room service. “I used to drive past beautiful old homes up here and say it would be amazing to have a restaurant in one of them. And now I do,” Cosentino says of the 100-year-old building that houses his new place. Next up: Christopher Kostow, an F&W Best New Chef 2009, plans to open a family-style spot called The Charter Oak early next year. More chefs in St. Helena likely means late nights at Ana’s are inevitable. “I’ll have to watch my back,” says Yoon. “Cosentino is a big prankster.”