It’s no secret that the newly renovated Carneros Resort and Spa is one of the best home bases in California’s Napa Valley. Merely 45 minutes’ drive from San Francisco, it’s temptingly convenient for a weekend getaway for visitors and locals alike. Comprised of luxurious stand-alone cottages and well-appointed residence-style homes—all with working fireplaces—Carneros Resort also one of the dreamiest properties in Northern California (seriously—have you seen that famous pool?!).
It’s also one of the area’s best hotels for food lovers. Yes, most luxury stays focus on food in wine country, but Carneros Resort pays extra attention to it, from tiny details like in-room s’mores kits (to be toasted in said fireplaces) to its two famous restaurants, FARM and Boon Fly Café. Now, the resort has another foodie feather to add to its cap: a seasonal supper club headed up by the resort’s executive chef Aaron Meneghelli.
We caught the lastest supper club firsthand. At the resort’s Hilltop Dining Room, which is typically only accessible to guests, we mingled with locals, die-hard food lovers, and the hotel’s top management team while sampling local oysters and seasonal bites. Then we sat with our newly made friends for a family-style meal of choucroute garnie—homemade sausages with delicious house-made sauerkraut, pickles, and mustards—all paired with Robert Sinskey wines and Fieldwork Brewery beers. We were lucky enough to be staying at the resort, so we happily teetered back to our cottage for some s’mores.
Now the resort has announced another supper club taking place on April 20th. We talked to chef Meneghelli about his inspiration to start this community-focused supper club and what to expect for the next one.
You already head two wildly popular restaurants. Why start a supper club?
“I wanted to be able to throw an event that wasn’t tied to one of the restaurants. Around the country, especially the Bay Area, the pop-up concept has gained a lot of popularity. There’s a crowd that wants that kind of experience, and I wanted to have an avenue for me and my team to get creative.”
The last event took place at the Hilltop Dining Room, which is only accessible to guests. This next event will take place in one of the resort’s premiere private homes. Why aren’t you doing these events at FARM?
“Hosting these events opens the door to the public and our locals—it sheds light on the property a little bit differently. We wanted to find another way to stir up conversation about the food we’re doing. Here we have this big space in the Hilltop Dining Room, and we wanted to expand our culinary offerings, so it made sense.”
How does the food at these events differ from that of the property’s restaurants?
“There’s a common thread between our restaurants and our supper club events: the quality of food and how we’re preparing it. But with supper club, we can be hyper-sensitive about what the season is giving us. The first one we did was last fall around havest time, but I still had tomatoes on the vine even though it was in October. I was catching quince and figs off of our trees, too. We were starting to see fall squash come online. So we used all that. Supper club enables us to focus in and really see what’s happening in our culinary garden and on local farms right now. There’s a little more freedom to experiment.
“Plus, we definitely want it to have more of a community vibe. You’re sitting next to people you don’t necessarily know. There’s open seating. There’s shared family-style dishes. The themes of each dinner will change, but those things will remain constant. I want it to maintain that community piece.”
Want to join chef Meneghelli and wine director Zion Curiel for April 20th’s spring supper club? Get your tickets here.
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