What's Good at Ad Hoc Besides the Fried Chicken
Was able to get a reservation for dinner tomorrow on opentable, but when I called to see if chicken would be on the menu, was told not tomorrow, but on Wednesday! What else is worth the drive up to Yountville?
If you post what is on the menu tomorrow, someone should be able to guide you. (It doesn't do much good for someone to tell you the steak is quite good if they're not serving it!)
When I ate there last Monday, the hostess told me they decide about 10pm what they are cooking the next day so if you call about 10am, they'll tell you. She thinks you can always decide right then if you want to go for dinner and make a reservation then, no problem. She really liked a fresh pasta dish once and she's heard others really loved the beef stroganoff.
I REALLY loved the fried chicken.
One knock that Ad hoc gets occasionally is that they generously season their food, and this comes off as salty for some. Some dishes deal with this more than others. Might want to keep that in mind when you look at the menu. We still just show up and take our chances although we'll make an exception for the fried chicken which we've never managed to get around to.
In Yountville, we like Redd quite a bit. There's Bistro Jeanty if you like rustic French. I think Hurley's is underrated.
We did go to dinner last night. First course was split pea soup, with fresh English peas, topped with creme fraiche and mint. In addition, they added chunks of pork from a suckling pig that was roasted the day before. While we love split pea soup, it was marred by being oversalted (exactly to your point above). The main was a marinated skirt steak with fresh baby beets and black and white Carolina rice that had zucchini strips added. The steak was perfectly cooked, but actually lacked flavor, as if it had not been marinated long enough or could use more of a sauce. The cheese plate was a 10 month aged Wisconsin cow's milk with marcona almonds and peach puree. The puree was great, and the flavors of all 3 went nicely together. Lastly, dessert was individual brownies with fresh whipped cream. All in all a satisfying meal, but not necessarily stellar.
Of the few times I've been, I was least impressed with the steak as well, although I loved our salad and sides on that trip. The steak is cut into pieces that I found too big. On the other hand, we've been when they've had a duck breast and it was outstanding - easily matched the quality I've had in good to great restaurants. Desserts aren't their strongest point, but we've always finished what's been served.
Of course, I also love the idea of a single menu - I check nearly every day and will make reservations if something sounds really good. I love the lack of a need to make decisions, or the sense that if I had only ordered X, it would have been better.
My husband and myself have been to Ad Hoc 3 times and find it overrated. They do give you plenty of food, but we're just not impressed with the idea of serving the same thing for everyone, the whole evening. One of our favorites in Yountville is Bistro Jeanty. Many choices and delicious food. Redd's is also another favorite and a little fancier.
I was looking forward to my dinner at Ad Hoc based on Michael Bauer and other postings. I was again so disappointed 2 weeks ago at the veal scallopini and the salad and appetizer. At the one price of $48 all 3 items were so overpriced and none of the dishes tasted exceptional. The restaurant was only 60% fille d on a Wednesday nite, while next door Redds was 90% filled. I had lunch earlier at Redds and the scallops were the best ever. So, Ad Hoc is so overrated!!! Save your money.