- livnihs05 Apr 9, 2007 12:50 PM
anyone suggest or recommend any restaurants in napa?
i will be there in a month... so
i need to make reservations fast.
i've been to bouchon, french laundry, alberge, and domaine....
any other great eats???
There are quite a few recent inquiries on napa. But a few quick references. Martini House in St. Helena, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. If you will be there over a month I would also head over to healdsburg and go to Bovolo for breakfast, Barndiva or Willi's for lunch and Ravenous or Cyrus for Dinner (at Cyrus I really like the bar area).
I think you should try Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller's latest restaurant even though it has a fixed menu. It's a nice environment. Here are photos from my visit there last month: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...
My tip for Ad Hoc is to not go crazy with their wine selection, because it's not really worth adding more to your bill for just OK wine. Just go for the food and ambiance.
I went on a Sunday night and called for reservations in the afternoon on a Thursday or Friday about a week before. (I can't remember when, I do know they're closed for two days of the weekdays so they're not available to help you then. I think it was Tuesday and Wednesday.) They're very helpful on the phone. If you're going on Saturday night, I would call at least a couple of weeks in advance to make sure you have a decent seating and not something super early or super late. I did notice a few people walking in and then waiting at the bar, but most of the people arriving planned ahead and made reservations. (When they first opened, they weren't taking reservations and then it became too unruly because of the popularity so now reservations are the norm.)
Really? Dont skip ad hoc b/c its not FL or bouchon. Its its own thing entirely and, good at what it puts out, casual food. I had a super Monday dinner there this week. Totally unexpected comfort food prepared perfectly. I wanted to be critical but had so much fun in the front room w/good, well priced wine and warm service/delightful food!
Lovely iceberg wedge blue salad with oven dried/melted romas, lardons(heaven), buttermilk fried chicken(I have tried recipes like this and never, even with a nights soak & good fryer, come up with these moist results) a whole bird for two, cheese course and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. And something else, oh, oh yes, three chesse macaroni, 45 bucks per. Really generous. I thought this was a steal based on the loving preparation, informal, family style serving and nice setting. I think I had four take-out boxes for bfast the next day. Go before its stupid or closes.
ALSO-NOT NAPA, Sonoma & Marin. Had a fantastic lunch at Willies Raw bar, wed., in Healdsburg-who knew? the menu here far surpasses the Wine bar, which I enjoy. I haven't had kumo's this well shucked and prepped in ages. The flavor was pure perfect cucumbery kumomoto. The artichoke, blanched in lemon water, I think, then grilled served with house made aioli and garlic butter. Fries were fine, 2x fried, with homemade ranch goat cheese, sounded shady but tasted great.
Sort of odd but perfectly cooked were the BBQ'd scallop wrapped in bacon. It was nice but I guess I was really hankering for a raw scallop that day so this was a substitute for my usual crudo or sushi. My fault entirely. Another set of fun wine, bandol rose-yay, and other fun things that seem to change daily.
I had posted prior to my trip and, sadly, most wine country "destination" eateries are closed tues/wed. Makes sense given long weekender hours. Checked out locale and menus at Barndiva and Farmhouse and was sad they werent open. Looked like fun menus/space at least.
Also ate at Spuds Crab, Bodega. Damn. Great dungeness crab sando and clam chowder. Cakes had the west-coast-evil-that-is-bell-peppers but no filler but egg to bind, I think. Bell pepper flavor didnt ruin but definitely detracted. Worth a trip to bodega head.
Wanted to also try Olema inn on Thurs. Closed. Open across the highway was the horrid olema farm resto(?) had something that I think was leftover ribs, hamburger and long(at least 3"), lanky tendon strips-maybe turkey??? Or those tips of ribs that are all cartilage and can sometimes be good? Sold as pork chili. oops.
Dirty. Take a rag to that surface when you have nothing to do at 2pm, dammit! Wait staff were socializing about cars and automatic doors in Spanish sitting at tables around us while ostensibly working. bad form even on the casual.
And OH OH OH, Nicks looks great in Marshall! I wish I had had Kuletos money to renovate that place. I used to walk around its dilapidated dock in 2002 wishing I had money to buy and fix it up. Supposedly they are going to let you shuck yer own once they open in late May. It was a hive of contractors and work when I drove by. Not a huge fan of his restos but anything there will be fun at least.