With its 40-some worldwide food and beverage clients like L.A.’s Faith & Flower and New York’s Dominique Ansel Kitchen,
design and concept firm AvroKO is famous for leveraging venerable historic structures into jaw-dropping paeans to modern gastronomy. Case in point: Ninebark, the firm’s latest project in downtown Napa, which spins the wooden and cobbled-brick bones of the fabled Fagiani’s Bar into a refined stage for its major selling point: chef Matthew Lightner.
Wooed from his New York pet project, Atera, and fresh off two Michelin stars, Lightner’s trademark nature-inspired artistry reflects everything from his formative stage at Spain’s Mugaritz to his love of foraging. At Ninebark, Napa witnesses the chef’s first foray into fancy casual fare. Taste through the bar area’s “Provisions” like whipped lardo with hazelnut miso, paired with an upmarket whiskey Coke. Upstairs in the second-floor dining room, feast your eyes on Lightner himself in the open kitchen, while forking through fire-flicked seasonal dishes like grilled avocado salad. Punctuate an evening by the open-air rooftop bar, where cerebral drinks like an orange-blossom and honeycomb-laced pisco fizz echo the Napa Valley surroundings. And if that doesn’t put a twinkle in your eye, the canopy of starlight overhead should do the trick. 813 Main St., Napa, 707-226-7821; ninebark-napa.com. • CAROLYN ALBURGER
Edited by LESLEY McKENZIE.