The ingredients may seem familiar, but the flavors and preparation are inspiring and innovative at Torc. Serving fresh, local, and seasonal food should be a given in Napa Valley, but that’s not enough to win the culinary warfare of one of the world’s most celebrated dining destinations these days. Fortunately, Chef O’Toole doesn’t depend solely on freshly unearthed radishes. Well-honed technique and internationally inspired ingredients (serrano ham, Maryland soft-shell crab, mangos, and chile sambal) bring a next-level treatment to the locally foraged mushrooms and just-sprouted pea shoots. The menu always feels fresh and lively and the room—stone walls, dark bar, and warm wood floors—is masculine and welcoming.

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