Please visit our other Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group sister properties:
Sister Hotel, L’Auberge Carmel:
L’Auberge Carmel is located in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, one block from Ocean Avenue on Monte Verde Street at Seventh and four blocks from world famous Beach. The quaint hotel features 20 luxuriously appointed guest rooms in a three story building. It’s European style architecture focuses around a classic brick courtyard and upper floor rooms offer a peek of Carmel Bay. A complete renovation of the historic Inn was completed in August 2004, making L’Auberge Carmel one of the village by the sea’s few full service inns offering guests valet parking, room service, a restaurant on premises, and highly personalized guest services. For reservations telephone: 831-624-8578. www.laubergecarmel.com
Sister Restaurant, Aubergine:
Aubergine, the restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel. Options abound on the Aubergine menu. Diners have the opportunity to create their own three, four or five course menu by choosing from a variety of dishes progressive in flavors. Or, guests may ask chef Christophe Grosjean to create an exclusive tasting menu, whereby a diner's only decision is to trust Christophe and his kitchen team as they guide guests through a gastronomic journey. Each course may be ordered with or without a selected wine pairing. The intimate 12-table Aubergine restaurant features an underground wine cellar that was constructed beneath the inn's courtyard to house the restaurant's 4,500 bottle collection. The wine list features great wines from around the world but especially wines from Monterey County, California and France. Aubergine is open seven days a week from 6:00 - 9:30 pm. For reservations telephone: 831-624-8578 www.laubergecarmel.com
Sister Restaurant, Cantinetta Luca:
Located in Carmel, popular Cantinetta Luca offers the pure flavors of great Italian food in a casual, modern setting. Menu items include delicious pizza, baked in an authentic, Italian, no gas, wood-burning pizza oven. Luca also specializes in antipasti, a dozen or so varieties of salumis and handmade pasta. Whole fish and roasted meats are served family style. All of the presentations are simple and rustic; food prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients to bring out bold flavors. The executive chef is Jason Balestrieri who worked at Patina, the famed Los Angeles restaurant of star chef Joachim Splichal. The restaurant is located on Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th Streets. For information or reservations telephone: 831-625-6500. www.cantinettaluca.com
For more than 25 years David Fink has been associated with some of Northern California’s finest luxury resorts, hotels and restaurants. His “heart of a servant” philosophy, and constant focus on guest satisfaction has ensured success of all properties under his direction.
When he opened his first restaurant, Bouchée, in 2002, it quickly became the region’s premier choice for fine dining. With the 2004 opening of L’Auberge Carmel, a luxury inn and restaurant in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Fink cemented his reputation as a dedicated and innovative hotelier. It was also the beginning of Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group, the management company Fink started with the duel purpose of managing a growing list of properties as well as exploring possibilities for new acquisitions. His third restaurant, Cantinetta Luca opened in 2006, offering great Italian food in a casual, modern setting, and consistently receiving critical accolades and awards.
Fink's newest venture, Hotel Luca opened in December 2009.The 24-room luxury hotel, spa and restaurant is located in Yountville, in the Napa Valley. The hotel’s architecture is of classic two-story Italian design with a 90-seat restaurant, Cantinetta Piero, featuring contemporary Italian decor and Tuscan cuisine.
Fink’s management strength lies in building successful teams by bringing together talented people. He is particularly passionate when it comes to food and wine, having his interest piqued in the subject at an early age. At Highlands Inn, in 1987, Fink was one of the original architects of the now-famous international Masters of Food and Wine event. As food and beverage director at Highlands Inn, he oversaw development of the Inn’s wine cellar collection from 57 bottles to over 1200, and the prestigious Wine Spectator “Grand Award” in 1991.
In 2000, with his wife Kathleen, he developed the Fink Family vineyard, dedicated to the production of vineyard designated Pinot Noir.
About Hotel Luca” - Q&A with David Fink
Q. Why did you decide to build a hotel and restaurant in Yountville?
Napa Valley is a great destination, and Yountville is simply the best of the best. We wanted to have a presence so we could link our hotel in Carmel and vice versa.
Q. Where did the Tuscan influence come from?
In traveling throughout Italy we fell in love with Italian architecture. In building Hotel Luca, we so much enjoyed finding reclaimed antique buildings materials to use.
Q. Please share with us some of the unique materials used in building the property.
We have 200-year old roof tiles from Lucca, Italy, 300-year old floor tile from Florence, Italy, and antique beams from the midwest. The exterior of the building is custom lime plaster, an ancient technique used on some of Europe’s earliest buildings. Rustic Jerusalem limestone can be seen throughout the hotel’s lobby, spa, bathrooms and public spaces. All of the mahogany doors for guest rooms were specially designed and custom ordered complete with a speak-easy peephole door and cast bronze locks, bathrooms feature colorful artisan handmade glass tiles.
Q. Can you tell us about the decor and your selection of Restoration Hardware furnishings?
My business partner and wife, Kathleen Fink, did an amazing job working with the Restoration Hardware team to design custom pieces as well as select premium portfolio pieces that work within a luxury hotel but still give a residential feel. The color palettes revolve around Restoration Hardware’s dark solid wood furniture and beautiful, luxurious beds. The bathroom’s signature double sink vanity is simply stunning and gives a wonderful feel when entering.
Q. Please describe the most unique aspect of the guest rooms?
The radiant floor heating in the limestone floors of the bathrooms is it for me. It provides such a cozy comfort in winter. That, and the Mascioni Italian linens combined with the Siberian down bed makes for incredibly comfortable sleep.
Q. Why did you select photography versus paintings for the guest rooms and public space?
Our friend Jess Knubis, is also our long time graphic designer, we’ve worked together for the last 25 years. Jess captured unique images of the Napa Valley which fit perfectly into the guest room design. www.knubisphotoimage.com
Q. What is your personal favorite guest room?
Since we opened three months ago I’ve stayed in 18 of the 24 guest rooms! It’s difficult but if I had to choose I would select #24. It’s located on the first level and features a big patio. I have two favorites on the upper level, #35 which overlooks the pool, and #30 which overlooks the courtyard.
Q. What’s the inspiration behind the spa?
Luca Spa embodies the Napa Valley and Tuscan philosophy of love of life and wellness of being. We offer personalized services in a cozy environment.
Q. You’ve opened the newest restaurant in Yountville, known as the “foodie capital” of Northern California. What do you think of the competition?
It’s at such a marvelously high level it inspires us to be better.
Q. Does the restaurant have an onsite bakery?
We have a beautiful Italian hearth bread and bakery oven with steam injectors that allows us to make all of our bread, grissinis, pizza dough, and desserts in-house daily.
Q. Right now, what’s your favorite item on the menu? What wine would you pair with the dish?
The salumi selection is one of my favorites. It pairs great with a fresh, light red, either a Pinot from Carneros or a Dolceto from Italy. Seasonally, one of my favorites is the pumpkin ravioli with is delicious with an Italian Vermentino or a bottle of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Q. Is it difficult to feature Italian food and wines in the Napa Valley?
Not really because the Napa Valley lifestyle is so related to Italy. Many of the area’s early immigrants were Italian. The menus at the restaurant are inspired by the foods of Tuscany and feature seasonal ingredients year round. We also have a good Napa Valley wine list which goes well with the authentic food.
Q. Is Cantinetta Piero open for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is for guests only.
Q. How are you reaching out to the local community?
I think we have a very friendly staff that enjoys guest service tremendously. Cantinetta Piero is approachable. In our first three months of operations 60% of guests have been locals dining there.
Q. Can we look forward to special events taking place at the hotel?
Absolutely. We’re planning a series of food and wine events. A special Italian architecture and design event is happening at the end of March. We send out announcements on all events through an ongoing series of emails.
Q. Will you be selling your own Fink Family wines at Cantinetta Piero?
No, because the wine list only features Napa Valley and Italian wines.
Q. Any other hotels planned in the future?
We’re working on a new location right now. We definitely want to focus on classic destinations in California that have a timeless draw for leisure travelers.