See Inside Thomas Keller’s New Champagne and Caviar Lounge in Napa Valley

·3 min read
Photo credit:  Christopher Stark
Photo credit: Christopher Stark

Napa Valley has a new place to drink—and instead of the area’s most notable export (red wine), it’s focused on champagne and caviar. The region’s top toque, Thomas Keller, opened Regiis Ova Caviar & Champagne Lounge in Yountville on June 26. The pop-up lounge—whose name translates as “Royal Egg” in Latin—is a collaboration between Keller and caviar authority Shaoching Bishop, with whom he co-founded the Regiis Ova caviar brand. It is slated to remain open through the fall.

Guests can choose from a champagne and wine list featuring Dom Pérignon, Krug, and Ruinart champagnes, along with wines from select California and European vintners. Michel Couvreux, the Beverage Director for Keller’s Per Se and Surf Club Restaurant, and Andrew Adelson, Head Sommelier at The French Laundry, curated the beverage list. A range of caviars are available on the menu, and guests can select from a variety of pairings. Highlights include Daniel Boulud Smoked Salmon with Meyer lemon schmear and bagel wafers, and Hass Avocado Toast, a slice of toasted Bouchon Bakery Pain de Campagne with a Hass avocado purée topped with thinly sliced radish, chopped egg, and toasted Sicilian pistachio. Large-format dishes—like Ad Hoc-style Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with ranch dressing and French Onion Dip served with kettle-fried potato chips—are also offered if guests want to expand their tasting into a meal.

Photo credit: Christopher Stark
Photo credit: Christopher Stark

“We’re introducing something that hasn’t been seen in Yountville before; we’re creating a vibrant lounge with champagne, caviar and live music where our neighbors, friends and visitors can relax, gather and celebrate together,” Keller said in a statement.

It comes at an opportune time. “Following this difficult year and a half, I find that people are looking for any type of social interaction,” Keller tells T&C of his decision to open the space following a year of lockdown due to the pandemic. “Everything we operate here in Yountville expresses a strong desire to be back together again, within a community, and without the restrictions that were limiting during COVID. I think people are just excited to be out and about, regardless of the experience or format.”

Napa Valley residents are delighted. “Regis Ova fills the gap for light bites, champagne, and classic cocktails in the heart of Napa. It’s a sure-fire hit,” says entrepreneur and Napa vintner Trevor Traina, a former U.S. Ambassador to Austria. “Thomas has such confidence with the classics that he can do things like pair onion dip and chips with caviar and make it amazing.”

Photo credit: David Escalante
Photo credit: David Escalante

A rotating cadre of Bay Area musicians performs jazz piano nightly. DJ JP Jones also developed a playlist that includes soulful tunes from artists like Grace Jones, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Leon Bridges.

For the interiors, Keller’s team consulted with designer Ken Fulk. The team outfitted the space with an assortment of furnishings from RH—including RH Interiors, RH Modern, and RH Outdoor—in materials like Italian artisan leather, Libeco Belgian linen, handwoven seagrass, Grey Marquina marble, hand-forged iron, and sustainable teak. “Ken has been a friend for some time,” Keller says. “We partnered with him for The French Laundry's 25th anniversary celebration, and we thought it would be great to partner with him on this concept as he has the ultimate eye for the transformation needed.”

The pop-up is located at 6480 Washington Street in Yountville, CA and open from Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations are available on Resy.

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