Zins Valley: new to Napa downtown but long established comfort food.

Zins Valley is a restaurant that has been in the city of Napa for a long time but only recently moved into the historic downtown region, taking over the restaurant space from former restaurant NV.  One of the first things you see as you walk in the right front door is the word “welcome” etched into the glass in numerous languages.  It leads you into the bar area that is nicely laid out, with ambient lighting and bar seating.  To the right, beyond the receptionist’s desk, is the dining room, laid out in casual form; and what struck me is that every seat is cushioned and comfortable.  How often do you go to a restaurant and the booth seats against the wall are cushioned and the single chairs are not, which means someone is going to be less comfortable during the meal?  What a simple but nice touch.

The menu is what I would call comfort food with a global touch.  Hoisin basted pork ribs, coconut curry with jasmine rice and assorted vegetables, garlicky shrimp with pasta, grilled Kobe bavette steak with goat cheese macaroni and cheese, and achiote-rubbed flank steak are but a few of the dishes we enjoyed.  The caesar salad is solid, and the spring roll special that day was fresh and delightful, the flatbread delicious, and the butternut squash soup of the day spicy and warming to the soul.  The cost is reasonable and in tune with the economy and the offerings.  Everything seems to embrace you with comfort, comfort, comfort.  This is not an upscale, state of the art restaurant with the latest trends and culinary nuances; rather it is an established eatery that provides good food at a fair price.

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Holiday Tour: In the News

We were happy that Jennifer Huffman of the Napa Register wrote a nice piece on the Holiday Tour. What she wrote about The Inn On First was the following:

Down First Street, Jim Gunther and Jamie Cherry welcomed partygoers at the Inn on First.

“It’s been a great year,” Cherry said. The innkeepers recently became the second California inn to become certified green by the California Green Lodging Association. To receive the award, the innkeepers incorporated a number of changes in their business including replacing plastic water bottles with aluminum containers, adding recycling bins to each room, switching to green cleaning products, and installing tankless water heaters. Customers these days notice such efforts, Cherry said. “Everyone said you have to distinguish yourselves.” Online reviews have also helped draw business their way, he noted.

On that afternoon, plenty of visitors were drawn to the Inn on First, sampling Mumm Napa Valley champagne and chef Gunther’s sweet and savory treats. Or perhaps it was the live tango music by ensemble Tango No 9.

“You gotta make them happy,” Cherry said, as he looked at his guests as they enjoyed the live music.

For the full article, see: http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2009/12/12/home/doc4b22f5d2883f9509032407.txt