Best Wineries

PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley

By Published On: January 24th, 2024

PRESS Restaurant is a celebration of Napa Valley.

Set in the midst of vineyards and mountain views in St. Helena, PRESS offers artfully presented, delicious cuisine focused on Napa Valley’s fresh, seasonal ingredients. Guests are instantly enthralled by the dining room, with its vaulted ceilings, stylish lighting, and massive fireplace, adorned with century-old beams from the old barn at Edge Hill—an 1867 winery formerly owned by the Rudd family. 

According to Director of Operations, Justin Williams. “The combination of Napa Valley history in materials and the inherent beauty and warmth of the space makes it truly unique.”

Guests can dine outdoors as well. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

The Focus is on Local Ingredients

Chef Philip Tessier brings to PRESS his experience at three of the world’s most esteemed restaurants, New York’s Michelin three-starred Le Bernardin and Per Se, and The French Laundry in Yountville. Under his leadership, the restaurant features products from innovative local suppliers as well as legendary Bay Area purveyors.

“Our menu is constantly changing as we work to keep pace with the evolving seasons of the Napa Valley,” Chef Tessier says. “We work closely with Peter Jacobsen, Meadowood Farms, and Tenbrink Farms, and their products drive our menu every week.” He continued, “We are also starting our own farm in the coming months, and we are very excited about the potential this will unlock for us.”

Poached lobster salad, preserved Meyer lemon, golden osetra caviar. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.
Summer beans, brentwood corn pudding, bean blossoms. Photo Courtesy: Press Napa Valley.
Ricotta gnudi, squash blossom, parmigiano reggiano consomme. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.
Golden osetra caviar, steamed bun, white sesame. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Wines and Creative Cocktails

Vintner Leslie Rudd, founder of PRESS, passed his restaurant to his daughter Samantha in 2018, and she honors his pledge to make it home to the largest collection of Napa Valley wines in the world.

Wine Director, Master Sommelier Vincent Morrow, was instrumental in helping the PRESS wine program earn its first Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2022, one of only two restaurants in the world to receive this distinction for a regionally focused wine list. The restaurant’s wine list—all Napa Valley wines—includes vintages going back over 70 years, a living history of Napa Valley wines.

Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

According to Williams, PRESS is also known for its cocktails. “Our cocktail program is dedicated to reimagining classic drinks in a way that highlights and champions local ingredients.

Cocktail served. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

The approach is dynamic and evolving seasonally to embrace what the current season offers from nearby farms.” He described one of the popular cocktails. “This time of year, two of our most popular cocktails are our Cowboy Bebop with wagyu washed four roses, red wine reduction and Averna amaro, as well as our zero-proof Pear-ody with Asian pear, yuzu, allspice and ginger ale.”  

PRESS combines its grand dining room and comprehensive menu with a welcoming cocktail bar and delicious lighter fare. “We want first time visitors to know they can drop in for more casual experiences, enjoy a cocktail, a fantastic glass of wine, or a quick snack at the bar,” Williams says.

Speciality cocktail. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

Seasonal Cuisine

Chef Tessier described some menu favorites. “A few of our guest-appointed classics are the ricotta gnudi, truffle-glazed chicken, and the fruits de mer course on our tasting menu.

Truffle-glazed chicken, summer truffle, smoked bacon, spring peas, sauce vin jaune. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

The gnudi dish changes seasonally, with the most popular version being the squash blossom and parmigiano reggiano consommé served from late spring through early fall.” Tessier continued, “The fruits de mer course is a constantly changing mosaic of small bites of the best seafood, creatively presented and changed seasonally. My passion is definitely seafood, and the fruits de mer is a fun playground for different techniques and presentations.”

With the focus on its expansive wine collection as well as seasonal cuisine, PRESS servers are often asked about the best wines to pair with their dishes. According to Chef Tessier, three of the most popular wine and food pairings are the School House Pinot Noir with the gnudi, Hanabi Lager with our cheese course, and Rubia Chardonnay with the fruits de mer.

Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

Hanabi Lager, brewed in Napa and a passion project by Screaming Eagle winemaker Nick Gislason, is from the restaurant’s beer selection which features California made craft and specialty brews. 

Private Events at PRESS

For an exclusive dinner for up to 20 guests, the Wine Cellar surrounds diners with three glass-encased wine rooms, creating the perfect atmosphere for a luxurious experience. Totally separate from the restaurant with a private sound system, guests can customize their dinner, from the menu to the music.

The intimate Rudd Cellar is a smaller private room adjacent to the main wine cellar, ideal for eight guests. The Terrace is a private outdoor area for groups of up to 24 guests where they can dine surrounded by lush greenery. The restaurant’s most intimate private dining room is the Harvest Room where 10 guests can dine overlooking the front courtyard.

For groups of 40-80 guests, a full restaurant buyout provides exclusive use of all restaurant spaces.

Restaurant space. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

Dining at PRESS

Both Justin Williams and Chef Tessier shared their thoughts about PRESS restaurant and what they would like their guests to know. In the words of Justin Williams, “We are all about championing the Napa Valley and offering guests the chance to savor the essence of each season. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment for everyone, whether on a spontaneous visit for a relaxed bite or drink, or a more indulgent exploration through our four-course prix fixe menu or our chef’s tasting menu.” 

(L-R) Justin Williams and Chef Tessier. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

According to Chef Tessier, “PRESS has been here for nearly 20 years and has had a colorful history over the years. Over the past three to four years, we have created a unique and singular experience, and our goal is for PRESS to be the must-visit dining experience in Napa Valley for anyone who is passionate about food and wine!” PRESS was honored to receive its first Michelin star for high-quality cooking in 2022.

Whether you visit PRESS for a special occasion, a tasting menu experience, or a weeknight dinner, you’ll enjoy their attentive service along with delectable dishes and the best of Napa Valley wines. 

View of restaurant from outside. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

Events

In addition to daily dinner hours, PRESS arranges special dinner events throughout the year. The dinners focus on wineries, international cuisine, guest chefs, seasonal ingredients and on a variety of creative menus.

Alaskan halibut, summer squash, green curry whey. Photo Courtesy: PRESS Napa Valley.

One of its best annual events is Napaulee, which celebrates the end of the harvest in Napa Valley and helps raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club in St. Helena. The celebration embraces the spirit of the original La Paulée in France, and guests are encouraged to bring a special vintage or their favorite bottle) to share.

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