Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Ad Hoc Saturday

6476 Washington St, Yountville
(707) 944-2487

Californian Comfort Food in Napa

People are sometimes surprised when I say that I've never been to Napa, aside from my visit to French Laundry. They're even more surprised when I say that I'm not into wine. I like food, so I must like wine, right?? Uh not necessarily. They're two completely different worlds, the oenophile world being a bit too expensive and time-consuming for me to explore right now. Also, anything palatable is so subjective, and I think it's even more so for wine.

With that said, there's no point in talking about the day's wine-tasting, because frankly, I was just down for sweet (Riesling anyone?) and free. Four wineries later, we (I?) stumbled into Keller's no longer temporary comfort-Californian restaurant that I've been waiting ~2 years to go to, since I heard of its inception.

I knew what to expect from Ad Hoc and I'm all about Californian comfort food, but I was still a bit underwhelmed. The food was solid, except for Jess's opt-out salmon since she doesn't like lamb. It was this tiny dried-out piece of fish that looked so incredibly unappetizing... I felt so bad that she had to share the $60/person price tag. Salmon aside, here's the food:

Beef skewers w/ leeks and beets, quinoa and carrot "stew" on the side of the Colorado rack of lamb pictured above

Nettle-covered St. Pat cheese course w/ red pepper jelly (sorry it's crooked!), Jess and her sad, sad piece of fish

Not pictured but what I thought was one of the highlights: Parfait with fig jam, "yogurt" (seemed to be whipped creme fraiche + buttermilk + cream), honey sunflower seed granola, and nectarines. So simple but the fattiness of the yogurt added so much flavor, yet it was so light and airy. Yum!

The red pepper jelly was also a highlight - sweet and savory with a kick, it went so perfectly with the cheese and buttered toast. Plus, the jar was just so cute!

I would definitely go here again, depending what's on their changing menu that day. Their fried chicken is supposed to be good, but I think you have to go on a weekday for that! If only I had that much time.

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