LDV Favorites: Archetype Napa


Over the holidays, Fabian and I spent a few days in one of our favorite places, Napa Valley. On each of our many visits, we like to discover a few new finds, but always make time to go back to old favorites. Our go-to place for lunch is Archetype, the most charming restaurant, right in the heart of St. Helena. The restaurant was designed and is owned by Howard Backen and is managed by the Auberge Resorts Group. Naturally, it is completely chic and features incredible food and service. The space is just gorgeous, which is why I have so many photos to share. It looks like the set of a Nancy Meyers movie and I always secretly hope that Ina Garten will walk in because she certainly belongs in this beautiful setting. If you go and the sand dabs are in season, be sure to get them. The house made tater tots are also a must as an appetizer– trust me!






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  1. Almost like being in someone’s home. This place is new since I worked for the Mondavi’s and Stag’s Leap in 2004. I was diagnosed with breast cancer that year, then made a career change, so haven’t been back. Thanks for sharing. Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda,

      I hope you’re in good health now. You should definitely go back! I can only imagine you would find that while some things probably haven’t changed, a lot has. It is certainly worth a visit!


  2. Wjat a gorgeous space! I so wanted to go here, but we ran out of time. We did go to Paul Hobb’s Winery, which was designed by Backen, I believe. In fact, coincidentally he was there during our visit!

  3. So awesome that you posted this! We went there on your recommendation when we visited 2 1/2 years ago, and we loved it! We are headed back with 7 couples to celebrate my 40th in late February, and we’ve been working this week on our reservations. Archatype is on the list! As is Press, Farmstead, Bottega, Redd Wood and Brasswood. Your Napa recs have been invaluable, and I really appreciate you sharing!

    1. That’s wonderful, Sara! I’m so glad you’ve found my recommendations helpful. I realize there are many versions of Napa as there is so much to experience, but I certainly love my favorites!

      Happy 40th birthday! I hope you have the best trip!

  4. It has such a warm, cozy vibe in spite of being a restaurant. The banquette with those cushions – I want to sit there even amongst strangers. I’ll pretend to be Aunt Martha . Lol Were you required to make reservations well ahead?
    These posts on Napa make me want to go. It’s been eight years so I’m overdue.

    1. Hi Joanna! Archetype is pretty casual, so you may be able to just walk in, but I find it helpful to make reservations in advance at restaurants in Napa because it can get very busy. We just went during what is considered off season and it was actually very busy everywhere we went. You should definitely go back soon!

  5. Oh, Archetype. I think of it often – especially the lemon ricotta pancakes and house made sausage. So, delicious! We actually went there, and several other restaurants, based on your recommendations. We enjoyed them all. Next time we go to Napa, I am coming here to your website to see if you have any new recommendations to offer!