I’m just back from the Bay Area! Jon and I were there for a long weekend for our friend Maura’s wedding, and after spending an excruciatingly-boring 12 hours on a BA flight from LHR (the on-demand system broke down – tragedy!), we arrived to bright sunshine and mild, breezy weather in San Francisco.
On Friday, we drove with our friends Margaret and Dan to Napa, which was rather ambitious considering we had to be back in San Fran by sundown for Yom Kippur services.
Nonetheless, we managed to visit an excellent wine cooperative in Napa (the Ancien and Destino wines were especially tasty and the snob in me loves that only miniscule numbers of cases are available) as well as enjoy lunch at Redd Restaurant in Yountville, just down the street from You Know What.
Yountville is a small town, and best I can tell, it consists of a main street lined with Thomas Keller-owned restaurant (Bouchon, Ad Hoc, French Laundry), but mixing it up is Redd.
The restaurant serves fresh, high-quality ingredients in attractive presentations. It’s all so no-fuss and casual that I took the food for granted, and it wasn’t until after the meal that I really appreciated how delicious our meal was.
My pork belly starter was tender and meaty, and at first I loved the sweet-and-salty teriyaki-ish sauce, but after a few bites, not even the crunchy frisee greens could soften the overwhelming richness. I ended up eating greedy spoonfuls of Jon’s cool, refreshing sweet corn soup, served with shrimp tempura for crunch (see photo at top of post).
I loved my main course. I normally like scallops pretty raw, but even though these were cooked through so as not to be pink in the middle, they were still sweet, plump, and far from overcooked. The cauliflower-raisin-and-sliced almond “hash” served on the side, while not pretty, added texture and a nice variety of sweetnesses. Delish and worth every penny. (I tried hard not to think this way, but even at $25 a dish, that’s less in dollars than a main course at the gastropub across the street. Eating in USD was like – you know – Christmas came early!)
My one complaint about Redd (this one’s for my vegetarian friend, Margaret) is that it was too bad the lunch menu we had lacked vegetarian options. C’est bizarre for California foodie country, no? But the server was gracious and flexible about accommodating requests for customizations.
I’d certainly go back to Redd the next time I’m in Napa. The food is what I think of as California style . . . fresh and creative and served in a casual-luxe way.
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