The new NapaSport restaurant is set to open the first week of March. This 200-seat restaurant, located at the South Napa Century Center, is designed for a multi-faceted experience.
The sports bar at the location has a capacity for 100 guests with a wrap-around bar, flat-screen televisions, and two private booths with their own viewing screens. An adjoining patio offers an area with outdoor games.
An elegant dining room, in dark leather tones and booths, seats 50 guests and has a view of an open kitchen.
A private dining room that seats 12 guests sits alongside the kitchen encased in glass with optional blackout curtains for privacy and multimedia options.
Past the kitchen a take-out window will offer take-out if you prefer to dine at home.
The food offerings include a range of American comfort food created by chef Liz Strole, who comes from Terra Restaurant in St. Helena, Santé Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in Sonoma and most recently, Morimoto Napa where she was executive sous chef.
She is joined by a team of talented chefs like Miller McRae, who spent some time at Saison in San Francisco and with Chef Masuhara Morimoto in Napa and Maui. The kitchen space is a large and bright showpiece with a well thought-out layout — enough to make many chefs jealous.
NapaSport is the brainchild of seasoned restaurateur Michael Galyen. I first met and worked alongside Galyen at Bistro Don Giovanni where he was the general manager before working at Bottega Restaurant in Yountville. He was the opening general manager at the late Cantinetta Piero, and later the opening general manager at Morimoto Napa. During his tenure working for Iron Chef Morimoto, he became the Western Regional Director of Operations and was an elemental part of several Morimoto restaurant openings around the globe, including Morimoto Bangkok, Morimoto Doha, Morimoto Maui and Morimoto Asia at Disney World in Orlando.
His work ethic and execution have been an inspiring force in my career.
Galyen is joined in this venture by his wife Krista. Together, they are realizing a long-life dream of owning their own restaurant. Both natives of Davis, they have lived in Napa for many years, after a brief stop in Los Angeles where Galyen entered the acting and film production world. Krista Galyen has also worked in the restaurant world, in addition to being a personal trainer and caring for their children.
Years of planning are reflected at NapaSport with great attention to detail from the light fixtures to the basketball court floors, all the way to the glassware and dishware selections.
The opening menu features a beautifully plated grilled shrimp cocktail served with a deconstructed pico de gallo ($15), salmon rillette served with a toasted baguette ($12) and a trio of hummus with crudité ($10). A selection of “Table Munchies,” which range from $3 to $10, include selections for sharing, like deviled eggs with bacon and Parmesan, blistered shishito peppers and glazed bacon.
A collection of entrees hold court on the menu, dishes like the crispy fried chicken with and fries ($25), pan-seared halibut with a tomato cream broth, grilled double-cut pork chop served with spaetzle and cabbage ($24), and the NapaSport Burger served on potato bun ($14). An innovative “Lighter Fare” section offers a vegetarian lasagna ($16), seared ahi with cold soba noodles ($16) and cauliflower steak over pesto with parmesan ($14).
The lunch menu will feature an array of sandwiches like the Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork sandwich and a salmon burger ranging from $12 to $15
For steak fans, selections range from filet mignon to prime rib served with a roasted garlic bulb, caramelized onions and blue cheese. Steaks are available by the ounce, cut to order and served with a choice of sauces, which include Bérnaise, mushroom, red wine and brandy peppercorn. Sides are just as exciting; all priced at $5, they include mozzarella monkey bread, bacon Brussels sprouts and onion fries. The dessert arena is quite promising, including a pie of the day and the classic mud pie with a chocolate cookie crust, coffee ice cream filling, rich chocolate ganache topped with vanilla whipped cream.
The wine list is all-California, with the exception of bubbles. There is an undeniable focus on the Napa Valley. Around 200 selections are offered, with everything from an everyday drinking wine to a hard-to-find 100 point cult cab. The selection of wines by the glass offers a juxtaposition of styles and price ranges from $9 to $28 per glass. Some excellent examples are Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne alongside local icons like Schramsberg and Domaine Carneros. Illumination Sauvignon Blanc, Dumol Russian River Chardonnay and Twenty Four by Charles Woodson Cabernet Sauvignon are complemented by plenty of great value wines like Hess Collection Chardonnay, Luna Pinot Grigio and Monticelli Brothers ‘Rolando Rosso’ red blend. The bottle list shows a serious approach with depth in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon; it offers a solid selection of cult wines like Hundred Acre and Shafer ‘Hillside. Napa Sports offerings will also include a Japanese Sake from Niigata, available by the glass to offer diners an “out of the box” option.
Cocktails are fun and versatile. The inspiration for these libations comes from personalities from the world of sports, like the Stephen Curry, composed of Tito’s Vodka, Jozen Uonoma Junmai Sake and house-made blueberry Shrub topped with soda. The Bruce Lee is made with green tea infused Kettle One Vodka, ginger simple syrup, lemon and house-made tumeric bitters. The bold and unapologetic Randy “Macho Man” Savage is made with bacon-infused Dickle Rye, Amaro Averna and house-made smoked pepper bitters served with a bacon chip. The Joe Montana is a twist on a classic Negroni with smoked black tea and rosemary adding a memorable aromatic touch.
Michael’s career in the hospitality realm is showcased with a collection of familiar Napa Valley faces he’s managed to recruit for the front of the house. A casual and warm approach delivering a high standard of service is the best way to describe Napa Sport’s approach, whether guests are there for a family gathering or a business meeting, to watch sports or to enjoy a romantic dinner.
The hours of operation will be from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. during weekdays, and 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. on weekends for the sports bar and patio. The dining room hours will be 5:30 to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. on weekends. The take-out window is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 5 to 11 p.m. on weekends. NapaSport will offer valet parking at no cost seven days a week. The website is napasport.restaurant/.