It was Restaurant Week and we were there for dinner at The Grove. We intentionally arrived early, took our fork photos...
... checked to see what was available in the Seed Library...
... and then strolled through the gardens. They were lush and bursting with beautiful winter vegetables, citrus, herbs, and edible flowers.
The Grove is truly a farm-to-table restaurant. The menu is built around what is available in the garden. In fact, if you book the first dinner seating and arrive early, you can literally watch the chef exit the restaurant with a big silver bowl and harvest the food you'll be eating. It's really cool.
Don't forget to head indoors to the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum. It's fantastic. Take some time to look at the Breitstein Collection and the Wine Hall of Fame too.
We checked in at The Grove, where Steve was greeted with a complimentary glass of wine for his birthday. Such a nice touch. The Grove has an open kitchen, so I positioned myself where I could watch the action.
We each had the 3-course prix fixe meal, with different options. We got bread and burrata for the table and Steve did the wine pairing. The food was spectacular, with generous portions (enough that we needed a to-go box, despite having a teenage boy at the table). Almost every dish featured greens and edible flowers we'd watched the chef pick.
It was an incredible meal. I highly recommend The Grove at Copia.
After dinner, we walked two blocks toward downtown. That's the Napa River behind Steve and Trevor. Across the river you can see downtown, where the Napa Lighted Art Festival is taking place.
The festival is free, outdoors, and walkable. It is a "celebration of creative arts, technology and lights, and supports innovative techniques using light and light technologies as a growing art medium." There are 12 lighted art sculptures, plus projection artwork on three downtown buildings.
Each of the sculptures was beautiful and used interesting technology. The colors changed and shifted, giving the illusion of movement. The wave below this shark looked like real water.
The festival would have been great with just the sculptures, but the projections were truly jaw-dropping. Pictures don't begin to capture it. The lights and the music were perfectly coordinated with the architecture to create something unlike anything I've seen before. It felt magical.
We watched the show at the courthouse twice (it was probably 5-8 minutes long), so I was able to take more pictures the second time through. The first time I was just overwhelmed with the beauty. Here's a small sampling of the changes the building went through during the show. Imagine each design falling away, or peeling back, or opening up to reveal the next. It was all connected and intertwined. Just magical.
If you live near Napa or will be visiting soon, I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that the Napa Lighted Art Festival is continuing nightly until February 18. The bad news is that they are no longer doing the building projections. That was just for the first 9 nights of the 5-week festival. It's still worth going though - and consider eating at The Grove or any of Napa's other top-rate restaurants first. Our family had such a good time.