Sasan Nayeri, the owner and operator of Evangeline Restaurant in Calistoga, arrived in the Napa Valley in 2015 following a harvest experience in Italy. Inspired by the Italian lifestyle, Sasan knew he wanted to live his life surrounded by vineyards and wineries and, in 2017, purchased Evangeline.
Originally drawn to Calistoga for its natural beauty and laid back vibe, it was the Calistoga community itself that ultimately sealed the deal, “Being part of this town truly felt like home and even though I’ve been living here for less than 10 years, I feel like I’ve known the folks here all of my life”, said Nayeri. “Calistoga is very different from the other Napa Valley towns due to many factors, but on top of it has to be the laid back and unpretentious vibe it has. Everyone feels welcome and comfortable here. Calistoga also currently houses many incredible restaurants with a compelling variety for all tastes and preferences. Its history is rich as is evident by the many historic wineries, museums and lodging locations. It is also a hub for relaxation and wellness: there are many mud baths, spas and natural geothermal pools. These are distinctions that no other Napa Valley holds to the extent of what Calistoga has to offer.”
Known as a French bistro with a creole soul, Evangeline’s menu also reflects the Italian influences Sasan brought with him from his training in Piemontese cooking. Be on the lookout for dishes with an Italian twist, such as risotto loaded with seasonal vegetables. Sustainability is also top of mind at Evangeline, where the menus and take-out boxes are made with recycled paper and biodegradable straws are served with beverages. The restaurant composts its food waste and uses water derived from melted ice in bar well, ice buckets and even water from condensation from the restaurants air conditioning. With the current drought conditions in California, water reduction is a priority at the restaurant.
We asked Sasan what Visit Calistoga’s hashtag #this is Calistoga means to him; “It gives an unmistakable sense of unity to all of Calistoga businesses and is how I always imagined the city and would like to see it operate. It is a simple message but powerful in that it includes all aspects of a Calistoga experience, be it a super luxury hotel or a casual beer and burger on a patio in downtown. It captures the essence and the uniqueness of Calistoga. And it showcases all of us living in unity,” Sasan stated. Visit Calistoga could not agree more.
This Is Calistoga is our new blog series profiling our members, their stories and life in Calistoga. Check in regularly and follow along.