Dining in Napa is pretty much guaranteed to be a fantastic experience. It's hard to think of a place that's better situated for amazing food-- surrounded by some of the best vineyards and California's freshest produce, Napa is a veritable haven of fantastic, upscale restaurants. Though LA has seriously stepped up its culinary game in the last few years, Napa still reigns supreme when it comes to fine dining and white tablecloth. For our Big Dinner, we chose Redd in Yountville-- after opening in 2005 by Chef Richard Reddington, Redd boasts wine country cuisine with influences from Asia, Europe, and Mexico, garnering a Michelin star in 2008.
We chose the 5-course tasting menu, without the wine pairings (though we still, of course, had wine with the meal). It goes without saying that the selection of Sonoma and Napa Valley wines was excellent.
Though the menu was a 5-course tasting, we each received different dishes with each course, giving us even more great things to taste (and photograph). Every dish was a surprise, and we had no idea what we would be served! The first dish was a sashimi of hamachi with sticky rice, edamame, and soy ginger sauce. The hamachi was buttery, while the sticky rice was a great accoutrement. The dish was light and a nice start to the meal.
The other dish during the first course round was a yellowfin tuna tartare with asian pear, avocado, chili oil, fried rice, and cilantro. The tuna and avocado combination was delicious and very appropriate for California cuisine, while the fried rice added a nice crunchy texture. The chili oil gave it a little kick, making it a really fun and subtly complex dish.
During the second course, we received carmelized diver scallops with cauliflower, capers, almonds, and golden raisins. The scallop was cooked perfectly, while the cauliflower, almonds, and raisins gave the dish a subtle earthy flavor.
The other dish was Petrale sole with coconut jasmine rice, clams, chorizo, saffron curry nage. The sole was light, flavorful, and seasoned perfectly, while the other seafood items, chorizo, and saffron curry gave the dish a really nice depth of flavor.
For the third round, we were served multiple preparations of skate wing with a puree and sugar snap peas. The dish was well-balanced, and the skate wing was cooked perfectly. The fried preparation was especially memorable.
The other dish during this round was glazed pork belly, apple purée, burdock, and soy caramel. The glazed pork belly was fatty and delicious, while the apple puree gave the dish a little sweetness and a fresh element. Another really great offering.
During this round, they also served us a little side dish of steamed pork buns. The buns were so light and fluffy, and the pork was really flavorful. It was a fun, albeit seemingly random little side dish.
During the main course, we were served a prime new york steak, short rib, carrots, asparagus, toasted barley, wild mushrooms, and horseradish. The dish was awesome. The meat was perfectly cooked, extremely well balanced, and all of the accoutrements added something to the dish.
The other main course was a lamb t-bone with mushroom puree and sugar snap peas. This was another home-run of a dish, and its simplicity really made everything pop. Both entrees were perfect for capping off the savory portion of the meal.
The first dessert course was an espresso ice cream with graham crackers and chocolate mousse. This combined everything we love-- coffee, chocolate, and crunchy crackers. It was delightfully sinful.
The last dessert was a take on strawberry shortcake-- strawberry sorbet, lemon tart, strawberries, and brown sugar. It was sweet, but not overly sweet, and we loved the crunchy element.
Overall, the meal was fantastic. It felt upscale and and elegant, but not stuffy. The understated, minimalist decor gave the place a cool, modern vibe that still felt intimate and cozy. We would easily come back anytime, and highly recommend it to anyone on a Napa getaway.