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What's Good at Ad Hoc Besides the Fried Chicken

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  • anli May 25, 2008 02:21 PM
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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?

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  1. 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!)

    Susan

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        Steve
        www.NapaEats.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: napaeats

          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.

          1. re: anli

            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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. My husband and I went to Ad Hoc for the first time last evening. It isn't too much of a drive for us from Glen Ellen, and we will certainly go back when the menu appeals (my husband won't eat some things, so why bother to go on those nights?). We had haricots vert and fingerling potato salad to start, which was excellent. It was nice in that the dressing was light and lively, getting a lot of flavor from the vegies themselves. It was saltier than I normally season at home, but not unbearably so. The main was buttermilk fried chicken (excellent!), so I can't really speak to the what is good besides the chicken. The sides were a sweet potato puree (very delicious, very rich) and sugar snap peas with forest mushrooms and home-cured speck. The peas were delish, the shrooms were good, I could live without the speck. I didn't feel that the sum was greater than the parts, but enjoyed it as individual components. Something we both really appreciated were getting generous servings of vegies, often in restaurants the vegies are more of a garnish than a serving. There were 3 cheeses and some Marshall's honey, and frankly, I was getting too full to really pay much attention to them. Dessert was a Basque cake, rich and dense, but I couldn't eat very much of it. We brought chicken home for lunch today, so felt it was pretty good value as a meal.

              My one beef, which is common for me in the Napa Valley restaurant scene, is the extremely high markup on wine, often 3-4 times retail, taking our $100 plus tip meal to $150 plus tip. Since I am in the wine biz, we will certainly take our own wine next time, which worst case I purchased at a 30% discount. $20 corkage will leave us money (and satisfaction in drinking a really good wine) ahead.

              1. Coming to town in February and unfortunately I don't eat beef. As I'd like to make reserves well in advance, is there a way of predicting what days certain items will be served, or is it more chance?

                3 Replies
                1. re: uhockey

                  I bet that if you call them for reservations this far in advance, and tell them you don't eat beef, they will accommodate you. Worth a try!

                  1. re: uhockey

                    The Fried chicken is (I think) alternating Mondays and Wednesdays, but the way to know for sure is to go here http://www.adhocrestaurant.com/menu.php and sign up for their daily menu emails, and you can see if there's a pattern to which days generally do and don't have beef, and then you can make a reservation for those days. When you call, definitely tell them that you don't eat beef as well, though!

                    1. re: JasmineG

                      Yes, the fried chicken is alternating Mondays & Wednesdays. Looking at their site, the chicken must be wednesday this week as it isn't monday. That would mean the chicken will be available Monday February 9th & 23rd and on Wednesday February 4th & 18th. (counting out every other monday and wednesday from now).

                      I believe the rest of the days menu is whatever they feel like. I'd aim for fried chicken night if it coincides with your schedule - else you should change your schedule to coincide with fried chicken.

                  2. I've been to Ad Hoc three times and each time it's been worth it. We've always gone without knowing the menu and have still enjoyed it. We've had Osso Bucco, braised beef ribs, and recently pork tenderloin with a side of polenta made with marscapone as the main courses. All of their food is just prepared so well that I think it is worth it to go in blind. I heard the next day after we went was going to be veal scallopini and I had to hold myself back from going again.

                    If you're looking for other restaurants worth the drive, Bistro Jeanty (as someone else mentioned) is definitely worth it as well.

                    1. I love their fried chicken, have been twice. 2nd time, my piece was bloody at bone, a big turn off. The waiter took it away and said he'd return with more well done pieces, which he did. Later, he said the chef wanted to send out something special. I was pretty full but my 2 friends (esp. one) LOVED it. It was a beautiful piece of white fish (blue nose bass?) on top of micro greens or something. So, I think they will accommodate those who show up and don't eat beef, or are vegetarians or something.