The history of Ceja Vineyards dates back the 1950s, when Pablo Ceja, then working in St. Helena vineyards, dreamed of owning his own land where his ever-expanding family could grow their own grapes and make their own wine. Fueled by this dream for a better life for his children, Pablo moved his family from Mexico to the Napa Valley in 1967. Fortunately, 2 of his 10 children, Pedro and Armando, inherited his passion for wine and belief in hard work. When they were old enough, Pedro and Armando planted their first pinot-noir grapes in 1986 and, 13 years later, officially founded Ceja Vineyards with their wives and children. Today, the Cejas' operation boasts 113 producing acres and a chic wine-tasting salon where guests can enjoy sips of the vineyard’s red and white varietals, artisan cheeses, gourmet food items, and featured works from local artists.
In good Ceja tradition, Pedro and Armando’s kids are now beginning to purple their feet in the family business as well. Pablo’s family has undoubtedly made him proud; they’ve done much since their humble beginnings in St. Helena. The family hopes their story of hope and determination surfaces in every sip of their lovingly cultivated wines.
SILO'S fills melodic voids with performances by local and nationally recognized artists and coats throats with bottled bliss from a number of Carneros and Napa Valley wineries. Friday and Saturday nights, live jazz, blues, rock, reggae, and Motown acts inspire involuntary gyrations on the dance floor with a cover charge ($10–$20 per show) to prevent exuberant octopi from clogging dancing lanes. Upcoming acts include the British Invasion tribute act The Who Too on Saturday, April 16, and the classic-rock cover experts of Renegade on Saturday, April 30, playing the songs of Journey, REO Speedwagon, and other '70s and '80s acts.
The open wine tasting salon Taste at Oxbow aims to expand palates with an eclectic menu of wines chosen to accompany artisanal cheeses and gourmet food items. Energy-efficient fixtures illuminate the salon's olive and merlot-toned walls, which owe their hues to chemical-free paints.
On one side of the bar at Eastside West, visitors gather to sip beers and mixed drinks, and perhaps to sample the house-smoked salmon toast. The other side is a gallery: ornate golden frames surround bottles of wine and spirits, turning them into works of art on the bar’s recessed shelves. It's a touch of sophistication that speaks volumes about the gastropub. Though the menu announces that Eastside West does indeed have corn hole and beer pong, its pages also showcase a more refined take on down-home traditions.
For example, the double cheeseburgers here come decorated not with bacon strips but with bacon jam. Many of the menu items are seasonal or organic, and all are overseen by Chef Dino, who prefers to shop local. His entrees expand on barroom staples by adding an entire fried Cornish game hen to the list. The appetizers, too, flaunt stylish touches—nachos are garnished with chorizo and carnitas instead of just cheese and cheese-flavored whipped cream.
All of this subtle elegance doesn't keep the place from getting rambunctious, however. Crowds still vie for first place during Wednesday pub trivia, and dance to live jazz or DJ sets. A heated outdoor patio provides ample space for savoring cocktails such as the cherry apple sour, made from Templeton rye, apple juice, and black-cherry jam.
Zaika Restaurant, Bar & Lounge dispatches halal meat and vegetarian Indian dishes to tables perched around a hardwood wraparound bar as patrons sink into petite leather chairs and plush booths. Diners savor lamb, chicken, and seafood that has been skewered, marinated in zesty blends, and seared in a traditional tandoor oven like Shrinky Dink maps of India crafted for PhD dissertations in geography. A painstakingly curated wine list, including organic libations, accentuates exotic flavors while six big-screen TVs and one behemoth 80-inch projection screen display athletic showdowns.