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Specific Napa Questions

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gregb Apr 12, 2011 11:01 AM

Hello all, I am planning a trip to Napa in the coming months and was hoping to get some answers that might help make decisions a bit easier.

Redd vs Etoile – I know the “which one is better” question stinks, but based on value, which one might be more casual and laid back, wine list, and service, which would you recommend?

Ubuntu – The post-Fox reports, although limited, seem to be mixed. Can someone elaborate on the type of meal a group of 6 might have here? Are they going for “family-style” dining? With less than 10 items on the menu, can a party of 6 get enough to eat?
Having never been to pre-Fox Ubuntu, should this make it onto the short list?

Greystone (at the CIA) – When I first looked at this menu a couple years ago, I remember it being far more formal and expensive. The wine list is also screaming at me with all sorts of great value and interesting combinations of wine flights and smaller pours. Can someone comment on Greystone as of recently?

We also have reservations at Oentori, Ad Hoc, and Bistro Jeanty. In addition, we've been to TFL, Bouchon, Bottega, JoLe, and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Can you think of any places that we're missing?

Thanks in advance!

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Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Greystone Restaurant
2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

JoLe
1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515

Bottega
6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

Bouchon
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. CarrieWas218 RE: gregb Apr 12, 2011 11:30 AM

    Redd vs. Etoile - Redd is far more casual and laid back, although I like Etoile's food better.

    Ubuntu - Of course a party of 6 can get enough to eat; you just keep ordering until you are hungry! I don't believe they do family style except on a few courses.

    Greystone - I haven't been in a while but a good friend went for lunch two weeks ago and came back with rave reviews. Considering their value-added wines, I would consider a re-visit for me soon.

    Oenotri - Moving up higher on my list.

    Other places you are missing - Rotisserie and Wine and Morimoto as well as the Oxbow Market.

    -----
    Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
    1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

    Greystone Restaurant
    2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

    Oenotri
    1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

    Morimoto
    610 Main Street, Napa, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarrieWas218
      g
      gregb RE: CarrieWas218 Apr 12, 2011 05:29 PM

      Thanks Cdubs! Rotisserie and Wine does look delicious. If I wanted to swap it out for another on my list, is there a place mentioned that might serve just as well as a lunch option?

      I was largely unimpressed with Oxbow Market, although as much praise as it gets here, maybe a return visit is in order.

    2. a
      aburkavage RE: gregb Apr 12, 2011 02:14 PM

      I'll be keeping an eye on this thread! I also have an upcoming trip to Napa with a very similar restaurant list!

      I've been to Morimoto in Philly, but Rotisserie and Wine looks great! Does Tyler actually do anything there?

      6 Replies
      1. re: aburkavage
        CarrieWas218 RE: aburkavage Apr 12, 2011 03:18 PM

        Yes, I've seen Tyler working - but the pass-through area, not behind in the work area. (In my blog post from last December, there is a picture of him on his phone... http://feast-blog.com/rotisserie-and-...)

        1. re: CarrieWas218
          Scott M RE: CarrieWas218 Apr 12, 2011 03:52 PM

          Back in December Rotisserie and Wine was his newest venture, but he has since opened El Paseo in Mill Valley. So I wouldn't be shocked if he is at Rotisserie and Wine less now.

          Also Jeremy Fox has left as well.

          1. re: Scott M
            g
            gregb RE: Scott M Apr 12, 2011 05:32 PM

            Have you been pre- and post-Fox? Thoughts for someone who hasn't been at all?

            1. re: gregb
              scarlet starlet RE: gregb Apr 12, 2011 07:21 PM

              Given that Aaron London, the new chef at Ubuntu, just got nominated as a rising chef by the James Beard Foundation, I would think the food there is still amazing even though Jeremy Fox is gone.

              I'm going there in late May and will report back!

              -----
              Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
              1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

              1. re: scarlet starlet
                l
                lrealml RE: scarlet starlet Apr 13, 2011 02:49 AM

                I just posted my recent bad Ubuntu experience on another thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778286) before reading this one...

                I am interested to find out if anyone else had such an awful experience, or if we just got unlucky....

              2. re: gregb
                c
                cortez RE: gregb Apr 12, 2011 07:27 PM

                My personal (no waffling please!) preferences:

                Redd over Etoile, lunch outside at Redd (eg sole with clams and chorizo foam over basmati) is a Napa classic.

                Ubuntu is still very good. Fox went on to Tyler Florence and has left there already. He's looking flaky. Ubuntu endures!

                Bouchon over Bistro Jeanty and Bottega. Bouchon is a bit too expensive for its quality. But, Bottega is Chiarello show biz and Jeanty is an uneven imitation if a classic French bistro.

                Greystone is institutional and cold. Move on.

                cindys is wholesome and homespun. From the same owner, I prefer Mustards( calamari salad, pork chop, duck and onion rings) and Go Fish (crab Louie, rock shrimp. Sashimi).

                You've left outbSolbar at Solage. Best lunch/brunch in the Valley (killer sliders to start, chicken pailard, pork for all).

                Oenotri is fine for Italian but not amazing. Save Italian for NYC.

                Morimoto is theatrical but fun. Tuna tartare and king crab app are amazing. Best for cocktails and these apps.

                Scoot over towards Sonoma for breakfast at the Fremont Diner. Cool restored diner, great ingredients with a Southern accent (grits, country bacon, biscuits, etc.). Totally fun and delicious.

                Go for it!

                -----
                Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
                1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

                Bistro Jeanty
                6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                Greystone Restaurant
                2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

                Go Fish
                641 Main St, St. Helena, CA 94574

                Bottega
                6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

                Tyler Florence Shop
                59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

                Fremont Diner
                2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

                Bouchon
                6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                Oenotri
                1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

                Morimoto
                610 Main Street, Napa, CA

        2. l
          lolabuttercup RE: gregb Apr 16, 2011 08:11 AM

          Kitchen Door by Todd Humphries (of the dearly departed Martini House) is set to open at the Oxbow in May. It should be worth checking out if your timing is right.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lolabuttercup
            r
            Ridge RE: lolabuttercup Apr 16, 2011 09:29 AM

            Of the places you mention:

            Oenotri- I tend to be disappointed in Italian restaurants in California, but I absolutely love Oenotri. Well prepared, rustic Italian food. On one of our last visits we had two truly amazing dishes that have stuck in my head: Lamb tongue salad and minestrone soup. You can’t go wrong with his place, although I would say that my observation is that their meat dishes tend to be better than their seafood dishes. The pepperoni pizza is delicious especially if you add Calabrian peppers.

            Ubuntu- I think it's still great. I posted some of my thoughts in part of this thread:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/717799

            Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen- Have had just ok meals here but the last time we ate here everything was delicious.

            Bistro Jeanty-Their Cassoulet is amazing as is the pigs foot salad.

            Redd & Bouchon- have not been in a while but have had great meals at these places.

            Ad Hoc- Have only been once but I found the food overly heavy and unsatisfying.

            -----
            Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
            1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

            Ad Hoc
            6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

            Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
            1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

            Bouchon
            6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

            Oenotri
            1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

            1. re: lolabuttercup
              RWCFoodie RE: lolabuttercup Jul 2, 2011 11:50 AM

              Has anyone tried the Roast Duck Banh Mi at Kitchen Door?

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