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Your thoughts on Go Fish in St. Helena?

Kristine Aug 3, 2009 11:07 AM

My husband and I will be in the wine country September 2nd through the 4th, wer'e looking for a place for lunch on the 3rd (Thurs) We have reservations at Ad Hoc for dinner so we don't want anything too filling. I had looked at Ubuntu but they don't serve lunch on Thursdays.

We also considered Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, but the menus seem a bit heavy for a light lunch. We would prefer a restaurant in St. Helena.

So what do YOU think?

  1. rworange Aug 12, 2009 01:24 PM

    There's an entusiastic report for Cook linked to this Restaurant record

    If you are considering going as far as Bouchon, you might consider Brix. The address says Napa, but it is some weird map thing where a little piece of Napa is just above Yountville.

    There are a few more St Helena restaurants in this list. Some have mixed reviews.

    1. maria lorraine Aug 13, 2009 12:47 PM

      Do a picnic lunch -- get picnic supplies at Sunshine Market in St. Helena. Head to a winery that allows you to picnic.

      Order a nice salad anywhere. Simple. Cindy's is great. Their rabbit tostada (small) is wonderful.

      You could go to Bouchon and have mussels -- but warning: sit at the bar, and order fish or shellfish. Any other option invites disaster.

      Don't Go Fish.

      1. r
        Ridge Aug 13, 2009 08:58 PM

        Skip Go Fish. It’s mediocre. My recommendation is to go to the Oxbow public market and eat at the Hog Island Oyster company restaurant.


        1. maria lorraine Aug 13, 2009 09:55 PM

          Here in the North Bay, we are starved for two things:

          EXCELLENT Asian cuisine: Thai, Sichuan, "Chinese", you name it.

          GREAT FISH: I'd just about never eat sushi up here. Not enough freshness, not enough demand to warrant many fishes being delivered fresh EVERY DAY to a sushi restaurant.

          Not only sushi but regular fish preparations in a restaurant also. I think Meadowood has the best all around (happy to hear other ideas). It's pricey there, but oh so good. Otherwise, dang it, fish is kind of iffy here. Shellfish is better, and I pick my spots for that.

          3 Replies
          1. re: maria lorraine
            jsaimd Aug 20, 2009 07:39 AM

            How's Redd's fish? I loved Chris Kostow at Chez TJs and have wanted to hit Meadowood someday.

            1. re: maria lorraine
              Shrinkrap Aug 23, 2009 02:25 PM

              Wait, what? Where is Meadowood? NVM...found it! Is Napa "North Bay"?

              1. re: Shrinkrap
                maria lorraine Aug 23, 2009 02:29 PM

                Meadowood is in St. Helena in Napa Valley; Napa Valley is in the North Bay.

            2. j
              jaimecouchon Aug 13, 2009 10:36 PM

              We live in St. Helena and have eaten at Go Fish regularly since they opened, the howard backen design is one of the best in the valley, the wine list is diverse, staff professional and food consistently delicious, chef ken who oversees the sushi bar is the best around, the black cod is our favorite dish in the valley, we have eaten every restaurant in the valley multiple times over the last dozen years, and Go Fish remains in the top three for us (with Terra and Cook), on some of the other options, Bistro Jeanty no way, Brix too soon to tell with Annie int he kitchen, Cindy's is great for lunch, Bouchon is consistently good for brasserie fare, hope you enjoy your experience in Napa Valley.

              5 Replies
              1. re: jaimecouchon
                maria lorraine Aug 13, 2009 11:40 PM

                Oh golly, jaimecouchon, I agree with many of your recs, but it is here we diverge.

                I find the GO FISH's interior uninspired, like a big hotel breakfast room. The menu items are poorly concepted: the flavors often don't work together and the execution is sloppy. The whole concept of the restaurant is unfocused. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in the place.

                However, I have had some passable sushi there, and think the sushi bar is the only section of the restaurant worth visisting. But I am personally uncomfortable with the freshness issue there -- not enough customers for me to be totally reassured.
                But I am a stickler for extremely fresh sushi. Otherwise, I take a pass.

                In sum, not enough to warrant a visit in light of better options.

                1. re: maria lorraine
                  tschaf17 Aug 19, 2009 04:55 PM

                  what better options? we are a bunch of sushi finatics heading west for the wine but we will definitely need a few sushi fixes....we are staying in napa. please advise!!!!

                  1. re: tschaf17
                    maria lorraine Aug 20, 2009 12:21 AM

                    I'm sorry, tschaf17, Napa is simply not a good place for sushi. Or Thai. Or Chinese. I adore sushi --and need to travel outside of Napa Valley to get my fix.

                    You may have to adjust your expectations and develop a Plan B.

                    I'm aware of your other current thread on Napa.

                    Also please continue to read and research the best options in Napa Valley for your preferences. There are many posters who passionately believe in the good places that are here, and it takes time to respond to every Napa thread requesting info. So they may not be responding to yours, and you would be wise to do some additional searches.

                    1. re: maria lorraine
                      tschaf17 Aug 21, 2009 02:00 PM

                      good advice. i will seach the threads. thanks!

                  2. re: maria lorraine
                    Shane Greenwood Aug 20, 2009 06:32 AM

                    Agreed on the sushi bar and the interior. We did a similar trip last year with some big meals at Redd, Farm, and Bouchon. Looking for a lighter lunch we went to Go Fish for sushi and were very pleased. I had the chef's choice of 5 pieces of sushi and all were more interesting in presentation and flavor than the typical slice of fish you get at most sushi bars.

                    Interior reminded me of a reclaimed Peppermill.

                2. r
                  roxie Aug 20, 2009 09:25 AM

                  Skip Go Fish! It is really mediocre. If you want great sandwiches to take back to your room and relax with, head up to Napa and grab a sandwich at Genova Deli on Trancas. You can also sit and eat. This is good Italian Deli.

                  If you want something a bit fancier,consider Celadon in Napa on the river. In St Helena you could also try Taylor's Refresher. It's a drive-in (there are tables) but it's not your ordinary drive in. Try the Ahi tuna burger.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: roxie
                    brucemac707 Aug 21, 2009 06:24 PM

                    Go Fish has the best sushi in Napa. Not that that means anything.......

                  2. b
                    Burt Aug 23, 2009 12:53 PM

                    Enjoyed a dinner at Go Fish but found it a bit too pricy. No need to go to the Napa/Sonoma area for Sushi as we live in SF

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Burt
                      cortez Aug 23, 2009 01:57 PM

                      I think the comments about fish at lunch at Go Fish are too harsh. On my multiple visits, the sushi, spicy prawns and crab louis have been consistently good. Sitting at the sushi bar or outside on the patio have both been quite fun. It's not cheap. But, IMO, the quality is north of the reports above.

                      For me, lunch outside at Redd in Yountville --having Petrale Sole w/ jasmine rice, clams, chorizo and safron -- is the best fish experience in the Napa Valley. Redd also has additional, reasonably priced seafood options.

                      Oysters at Hog Island are also a treat as mentioned above. Don't neglect Hog Island's clam chowder or other daily specials at this Oxbow Public Market place in Napa.

                      Similarly, the ahi tuna burger at Taylor's Refresher (the Napa ahi is consistently better than the St. Helena ahi at Taylor's) which can also fill a seafood need.

                      1. re: cortez
                        maria lorraine Aug 23, 2009 02:30 PM

                        The Redd dish sounds wonderful.

                        1. re: cortez
                          tschaf17 Aug 24, 2009 04:51 PM

                          yea! already have reservations for Redd!

                          1. re: tschaf17
                            Sarah Aug 24, 2009 05:59 PM

                            Better read josephnl's post in the Napa Valley-3 dinners thread re Redd.

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