The Baltimore Sun

Those traveling in a group should head to Torc, the contemporary restaurant nestled in the heart of Napa Valley and owned by Chef Sean O'Toole and his wife, Cynthia O'Toole. The space — a mammoth open dinning room with additional second-floor seating — is always bustling. And for good reason; the food is spectacular, with offerings in a variety of price ranges. Groups can call in advance and order off-menu family-style plates to share, including whole braised 12- to 15-pound beef shank with black perigord truffles for 10 (pre-order for $275); whole roasted halibut tail for four (pre-order for $125); 6-pound lobster Thermidor for four (pre-order for $155), and dry-aged bone-in rib eye (available nightly for $165). There’s also a nightly three-course prix-fixe menu for $46 per person plus $18 for wine pairings. And the daily happy hour, served at the bar until 6:30 p.m., offers an array of hearty, tasty bites including the Bengali sweet potato pakora for $5, $4 beers, and $6 glasses of wine and cocktails.