Calistoga’s Solbar – a Michelin restaurant for body and soul

Solbar falafel with sweet onion relish, bit of spicy sriracha and cool tangy tzatziki
Solbar falafel with sweet onion relish, bit of spicy sriracha and cool tangy tzatziki
Confit of beets on house-made goat's milk yogurt with watercress and fennel
Confit of beets on house-made goat’s milk yogurt with watercress and fennel

One expects a formal dining room for a Michelin star restaurant, but at the Solage Calistoga, the decor and mood reflects the soothing and casual atmosphere of  the spa resort.  The restaurant is designed with a sensitivity to Calistoga environs with barn architecture, but with modern, loft-like open space, soaring ceilings and extensive windows that fill the room with light and unite the inside with the serene view outdoors.  And while the restaurant is clearly casual, the quality of products and mastery of flavors elevates it to Michelin standard.  Service is sophisticated and one feels right away that they will be taken care of.

The menu is divided into lighter dishes such as lemon steamed black cod or grilled salmon, and heartier dishes like bavette steak with sauce bordelaise and creamed leeks, but in no way are the lighter, healthier dishes lacking in big flavor.  Chef Brandon uses the freshest ingredients that are in season and draws upon his Southern background and California regional influences to create an innovative menu that appeals to everyone.  The wine list is mainly local but includes good international selections.

During the weekdays in fall/winter, in addition to its regular menu, Solbar offers a two-course lunch for $20 and a three-course dinner including a dessert course, for $36.  On a recent visit, the main course options included ahi tuna with Hobb’s bacon, chanterelles, cannelini beans, cavalo nero and saba reduction, and signature dish Painted Hills Ranch beef shortribs, creamy Anson Mills polenta, rapini, gremolata and red wine jus.

Solbar is open everyday to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sunday brunch.  Solbar at the Solage Calistoga, 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA. (866) 942-7442 or