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Napa Review - Fume, Boon Fly, Don Giovanni, Zuzu, Taylors Refresher

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  • katg Jan 2, 2007 04:37 AM
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Well we just got back from our long weekend short road trip to Napa. Here is a rundown on where we eat. Our goal was to be somewhat budget conscious but still eat well. Overall I think we ate pretty well!

Boon Fly Café: We went here for weekend brunch and it was a great inexpensive stop. I had the Boonfly Benedict and its twist was the bread which was a grilled pain levain with a jalapeno hollandaise and it came with hash browns. The BF had the basic eggs, toast, sausage and hash browns. We both agreed that the hash browns were quite tasty. And I loved my jalapeno hollandaise. It wasn’t overly spicy which I was worried about. The hollandaise was light and the flat bread was similar to sourdough which was a nice take on the english muffin. Our dining neighbor at the next table was nice enough to let us try some of the homemade doughnuts which were fantastic. Small freshly fried doughnuts, they were covered with sugar and cinnamon and they reminded me of beignets. They had them on the menu for $5 that comes with a cup of coffee that I’ll definitely order next time.

Fumé: I was intrigued with Fume’s menu because it had many different dishes on it. The atmosphere of the place was simple and pleasant. It seemed like there were a lot of visitors along with locals which was nice. To start, we had calamari – it was cooked in a polenta batter and tasted fresh and was chewy but not too chewy like some calamari can be. It came with a dipping sauce of chipotle aioli. It was definitely my favorite dish of the night. I ordered the special paella which was made with what appeared to be tempestina – short beads of pasta. It had scallops, shrimp, chicken and was fairly good although I didn’t like the pasta with it . The sauce was also on the weaker side. The BF had Kobe tri tip with fries. The beef was cooked very well and there was a lot of it. The fries had garlic and cheese on top and were also prepared very well.

Bistro Don Giovanni: Despite having a reservation, we didn’t sit at our table until about 15 minutes after our time. This place was that busy. It was loud in the bar area and I thought it was going to be loud in the dining room but luckily it wasn’t. And despite being crowded, we didn’t have to wait long for our dishes. The Caesar salad was great. The dressing was light and wasn’t overbearing. My risotto was nice and light – I think mainly because it had blood oranges cooked in it which gave it a citrusy aftertaste. The BF had linguine with clams which he felt were a little on the bland side – he said he wished they had spent more time on the sauce.

Zuzu: The eating highlight of our trip was Zuzu which we visited on New Years Eve. A lot of restaurants that we wanted to try had a prix fixe menu and so we decided to head to Zuzu since they didn’t. We ordered four tapas: polenta croutons in a tomato sauce, flat iron steak with Argentinean chimichurri, paella of the day (it had lamb, chorizo, mussels) and crab which was cooked with white wine and piquano (?) peppers. My favorite was definitely the Argentinean flat iron steak and the paella. The paella appeared to be rice based and was baked but I loved the taste of it. The only part of the polenta that I didn’t like was that the mussels weren’t really part of the dish. It could have been made without them.

All the tapas were great and they came out individually which made for a lingering dinner. The wait staff were a bit slow at times and although they promised to come back to fill up my iced tea glass, they forgot. But the food made up for it. And the dessert was so heavenly, I was happy. I ordered the apple empanada which was accompanied with a caramel lime sauce which was fantastic. I love apple pie so I loved the thick tough crust of the empanada which had a lot of sugar in it. And the lime flavoring of the caramel was super light and tasted great. The BF had a Basque cake with a fig compote – he loved it. It was very similar to a tres leches cake.

Taylors Automatic Refresher: Loved this place for lunch! Since the weather was great, it was so nice to sit outside in the sun and have a great burger and fries. I didn’t venture out to have the ahi tuna burger but my cheeseburger was great – big and juicy. I've been to the one at the Ferry building but I liked the small town feel of this one.

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  1. Great post, katg. Made me hungry!

    As to Fume, where is that located? I'm familiar with the rest but unaware of Fume.

    Thanks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cortez

      Fume' Bistro is just north of Marie Callendar's. I walked over there for a quick dinner one time when I was staying at the John Muir Inn.
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
      It's a real locals place. Still have the five buck chuck on Mondays (bar only)?
      http://www.fumebistro.com/

    2. Sounds like a great trip! You hit all my favorite Napa spots. Happy New Year! :-)