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“Very good food and service, one major flaw!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Solbar - Solage Calistoga

Solbar - Solage Calistoga
755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA 94515
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Ranked #1 of 37 Restaurants in Calistoga
Price range: $35 - $45
Cuisines: Bistro
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Brannan Street
Description: Relax, unwind and enjoy as we surprise your palate and feed your senses with dishes as artfully constructed as they are delectable. Whether you choose our Michelin-starred Solbar – a Napa Dining favorite – or prefer the refuge of your private studio, dining here is always a singularly rewarding experience.
Southampton, New York
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Very good food and service, one major flaw!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

In napa for a spontaneous long weekend for our 20th Anniversary. Already did French Laundry and Per se on 3/4 Anniversaries in the past so we wanted a change. Didn't want to drop $700-900 on dinner for two, and given chef's background from FL and August in NOLA (we're also fans of John Besh) we decided to try solbar.

Clever, articulate and ornate food for sure, and well within value for price. Only complaint regarding the food is that the "hot" portion of the dungenness crab app was lukewarm at best, and the Nantucket scallops were cold. Likely due to the length of time it take to prepare these dishes, but if its cold, it's presentation is pointless- yes? Pork shoulder and chicken entrees were great and generous in portion size.

Our server Stephan was fine- courteous and competent- no pretension here as in some places this caliber.

However, Here's what will forever stop us from returning: When we made the resv we were offered only 5:30 and 9:30. We did call only the day before so no problem. We explained to the reservationists it was our 20th and wanted a nice leisurely meal- 5:30 was too early and she assured us that it would be no problem if we came at 9:30. So we did! When we sat, we also told Stephan we were looking for a relaxed meal and we asked if we had to worry about the kitchen closing- he politely said the kitchen closes when guests are finishing dining. Great!

We ordered 2 cocktails, and also had 2 bottles of wine. We sat at 9:35. Everything came fast- real fast. By 10:20 we were served the amusee bouche (fantastic item and presentation), 2 appetizers, a salad simultaneously ( this was a little upsetting- we had requested it as a mid course and Stephan said he would bring share plates but unfortunately it was squeezed in between our two other apps- was impossible to properly appreciate the 3 dishes simultaneously) and our two entrees. We complained about the pace when we received the apps and salad together, but it fell on deaf ears. Immediately upon clearing the app/salad dishes and with Stephan just opening the red wine and pouring it, there was the back waiter standing with our entrees. I hadnt even swallowed the first taste of the wine. All this in 45 minutes. Stephan noted our disappointment and a
Shortly a manager came by- we explained our discontent and he politely "thanked us for our feedback".

We rushed our entrees and left, declining a too little too late offer for cheese or dessert with their compliments. I'm pissed, the wife is crying, Happy Anniversary!

Been in the restaurant biz in manhattan all my life- just another case of the kitchen pushing out the food to go home. If the chef was in the kitchen at this time shame on him, if he wasn't he should fire the Sous. Either way it is inexcusable enough to never return- particularly in Napa, where good restaurants as as plentiful as good vineyards! Only McDonald's can get you in and out faster- and maybe by only a few minutes.

We've also dined at French Blue and Bouchon on this trip, and we highly recommend either for a special occasion. Food may be slightly less extravagant in presentation, but they are both exceptional places in every respect! Going to Bouchon again tonight!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard H, General Manager at Solbar - Solage Calistoga, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
We greatly appreciate that you chose to share your anniversary with us. I was sincerely disappointed to learn you were not satisfied with your experience. I spoke with our Food and Beverage Manager regarding to your dinner. He recalled speaking with you and we have since addressed the service issue with your server and provided additional training. I hope the complimentary corkage of both bottles of wine and your first courses helped to serve as our apology. I was pleased to learn you found your entrees enjoyable. It is my hope that you will return to Solbar and provide us the opportunity to exceed your expectations in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Richard W. Hill
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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530 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Littleriver, CA
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Love solbar.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I loved everything. Really. Had dinner- one suggestion-if you cant see well you may need a little light- my friend had one in her purse. Its quite dark at some of the tables. I would have liked to see my food a little better. But this is the only criticism I have. It was so so fantastic. Lunch was fantastic, too. What more can I say? Pricy but worth the experience, for me. LOVED IT!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Rock, Arkansas
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful Room With Culinary Delights”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The Chef offers creative touches in his locally-inspired menu. He uses fresh ingredients and organic meats, fruits and vegetable when available. The dishes are beautifully plated and the service is excellent.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great meal, again & again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Solbar has become our favorite Napa restaurant!
Menu is very appealing, always emphasizing what's in season.
The result is very fresh & quality ingredients.
Dishes are very tasty, not too heavy, well presented.
The terrasse is very pleasant!
Make sure to have a reservation, and enjoy!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great service at this green hotel restaurant.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Great place to dine with a nice design. The food menu was well planned, easy place to eat vegetarian. Loved the barrel wine, the green option.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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