Charlie Palmer Steak Now Open in Downtown Napa

Charlie Palmer's first steakhouse in California is now open in downtown Napa.

Charlie Palmer might have gotten his start in New York City, but it is in Sonoma County where he made his Bay Area mark with Dry Creek Kitchen.

Over the past few years, he has expanded his “Progressive American Cuisine” empire into Napa County and now the latest addition is open: Charlie Palmer Steak Napa.

This is his fifth Charlie Palmer Steak and the first in California (even Reno beat us to it with a casino-based location). Palmer has lived in the Bay Area for over 15 years and was asked by the soon-to-open boutique Archer Hotel, in downtown Napa, to open a flagship restaurant on property.

The 4,000 square-foot restaurant includes a lounge, circular bar, and patio. Jeffrey Russell serves as executive chef.

Falling into the “special occasion” or “I really need to impress a client” category of dining, Charlie Palmer Steak’s prices range from $12-20 for appetizers, $25-$80 for entrees (the $80 dish being a surf & turf with a filet mignon and stuffed Maine lobster), and $12-$15 for desserts.

Oh, and the steaks? They start at $33 for a 5 Dot Coulotte (A.K.A. sirloin strip) and top off at a $100 4 oz A5 Waygu steak imported from Japan. The real deal. You can also share a porterhouse ($125) or bone-on tomahawk steak ($130) for two.  Add on foie gras (while you still can) for an additional $22.

Budget-minded diners don’t lose hope: happy hour is served daily from 4-7 PM in the bar, featuring discounted wine, beer (including their house made CP IPA) and snacks from $4-$7. You can also save a few bucks by bringing a bottle of Napa Valley wine – the first bottle corkage is free. They also offer a bar menu that offers a luxury bent at a reasonable price point (lobster corn dogs anyone?).

Charlie Palmer Steak is currently open only for dinner starting at 5:30 PM but will expand to offer breakfast, lunch and brunch (don’t miss the “donut wheel”) in December. (707) 819-2500, 1260 First St., Napa,