You'll want to tip your own toque in appreciation after a luxurious meal at this downtown Napa palace of fine dining, which blends a serious approach to cuisine and service with just enough cheeky touches to keep things lively. Housed on the grounds of the Westin Verasa Napa, La Toque may boast an oversized inflatable chef's hat hanging above its walkway, but it's the soul of modern sophistication inside, with rich, leather-topped tables, a flickering fireplace, and an extensive wine list-proffered on an iPad. Service is particularly notable, and the well-trained, knowledgeable staff moves in perfect synchronicity amongst a dressed-up crowd of diners savoring special occasions. Choose from a four- or five-course à la carte menu, with exquisite offerings like hand-rolled cavatelli in a deep green nettle pesto or luscious seafood congee packed with Dungeness crab and woodsy matsutake mushrooms. The trio of lamb is a real highlight, boasting slow-cooked collar, succulent merguez sausage, and moist, juicy loin. For dessert, a creamy semifreddo in apple broth is the perfect conclusion: like the restaurant itself, it's equal parts glamorous, homey, and exceptionally delicious.
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