The new Norman Rose Tavern in Napa

When you hear the owners of one of your favorite restaurants has opened another eatery, you’ve got to try it. And judging by the crowd, it seems like most of Napa had the same thought.

Christine and me were joined by some friends for our first visit to the Norman Rose Tavern in Napa. The tavern is owned by Michael and Christine Gyetvan, the same couple that run Napa’s best known pizza joint, Azzuro Pizzeria & Enoteca.

When we went on a recent Thursday night, the place was packed. We put our name down on the list and ended up standing shoulder to shoulder with a crowd at the bar. After a wait of about 2 hours we finally got a small booth table near the front of the tavern. Waiting for a table wasn’t that bad as the bar service was quick efficient, although I was disappointed when the bartender couldn’t answer from memory what lagers they had on tap and instead just tossed me a menu listing the draft selections. Maybe it’s a minor quibble, but I would expect a bartender to know what lagers are on tap. It wasn’t as if I asked what beers they had on tap.

The menu is pretty simple, consisting of bar food and a few salads. I was really impressed with my sausages and mashed potatoes and Christine enjoyed her chicken sandwich although she did say it was a little reminiscent of a Chick-fil-A sandwich. The general consensus of the group was that the tavern was satisfying but a bit predictable. I did like the bar scene, decor and the place has a nice wine list. I found a bargin Rhone blend from Amador County that was delicious. I recommend a visit, but expect a wait.

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