Value dining from a Michelin star chef in Downtown Napa

Brittany-inspired roast lamb loin with braised cabbage, onion confit and fingerling potatoes
Brittany-inspired roast lamb loin with braised cabbage, onion confit and fingerling potatoes

Chef Ken Frank’s three-course, French regional dinners for $29 per person at Bank Café and Bar is austerity chic at its best. Bank Café is the casual but hip restaurant adjacent to Chef Frank’s Michelin star restaurant La Toque in the Westin Verasa in Downtown Napa. The setting at Bank Café is modern but relaxing, perfect for intimate dining.

The concept for the themed, prix fixe dinners began earlier this year and has been refined to the current dinner series which features a different French regional cuisine every week. This week, the menu features the region of Brittany in northern France with a bisque de homard, roast lamb loin, braised cabbage and crème brulee. In the following weeks through December, the cuisine will tour through Burgundy, Antibes on the Mediterranean Sea, Normandy in northern France, Lyon the bastion of French food and finally, the Basque region to the southwest with its Spanish influences.  To view the weekly menus, check out the Westin website.  Fortunately, according to partner Charles Stahl, Chef Frank is working on the menus for January and February, so we can look forward to more discoveries of classic French cuisine at bistro prices. The Café wine list consists primarily of Napa Valley wines with a good selection of half bottles.

We dined there last night and, as one would expect from a Michelin star chef, the quality of ingredients was excellent and the execution perfect. If you plan to visit the Napa Valley and want to have an authentic and cozy bistro experience, you must try the regional French dinners at Bank Cafe. Reservations recommended.

Bank Café and Bar in the Westin Verasa located at 1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559.  Reservations: (707) 257-5151.