Wildfires Have Just Destroyed One of California’s Greatest Restaurants

The 3-star Restaurant at Meadowood is no more.

I don’t even know what a slow news day looks like anymore. Last night, while winding down from day that saw a truly embarrassing Presidential debate, a return to smoke-filled air in Vancouver and the ongoing climb of COVID infections in the province, I picked up my phone to scroll Instagram. Terrible idea for anyone looking for good news these days.

Lost in the shuffle of all the mayhem was a post from EATER San Francisco noting that the Glass Fire—one of the dozens still ravaging California—destroyed the Restaurant at Meadowood, a Michelin 3-star restaurant long considered not only the best in Napa but in all of the United States. I was lucky enough to dine there several years back—before the 3-stars, universal acclaim and insanely steep prices. A young chef named Christopher Kostow had just taken the reins of the kitchen, and he proceeded to create a multi-course extravaganza of a meal that was awe-inspiring. If you could have bought stock in a chef, I would have been all in. It was a special place.

And now it’s gone. This just sucks. If you want to donate to the devastation of the California fires you can do so here, but the Kroenke and Harlan families that own Meadowood are fabulously wealthy—Kroenke owns the Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt oddly—so they’ll be just fine. But there’s hundreds of other everyday people whose lives have been turned upside-down by another devastating fire season.

And maybe tonight when you have a glass of wine—Napa might be a suitable choice—think about how these fires continue to ruin lives from Southern California to Central Washington and also be thankful that we’ve so far had a relatively mild fire season up here. Terrible times, folks.