The Norman Rose Tavern in Napa has solid chops both behind the bar and in the kitchen. The owners of popular Azzurro Pizzeria lend their culinary chops to a retro-modern American menu that speaks directly to the “oh I really shouldn’t, but I will” part of the soul.
Best bets include a Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich with Watercress and peppercorn mayo ($10.95); moist Five Dot Ranch burgers (with add-ons like a fried egg or avocado relish); beer-battered fish and chips ($15.95) with shoestring fries; “Frank’s Frito Burgers” (sliders made with crushed Fritos) and Fatted Calf beef hot dogs.
On the lighter side: Plan to have your split pea with ham hock soup pilfered by curious tablemates (it’s that good). Tavern Chop Salad ($12.95) with shredded chicken and candied walnuts and Crab Louie are worth a second trip. Kids are welcome to the table, and root beer comes on tap.
1401 1st Street, Napa, 258-1516.