Monday, October 22, 2012


This summer, we spent a few days in Napa Valley. While doing research for the trip, Redd was one of the most highly recommended restaurants Located in Yountville, its just a few blocks from The French Laundry and several other highly regarded restaurants.

The menu certainly looked interesting and gave a good variety of choices. Far too many dishes I wanted to try.

We started with a couple of cocktails. I don't remember exactly what they were, but one involved a green tea liquor and berries. They were good.

For the first appetizer, we had an off the menu special of sweetbreads with English peas and a foie gras based sauce. I've had very good and very bad sweetbreads, and these were among the former. Nicely crispy with a great depth of flavor.

Our second appetizer consisted of three different cold foie gras preparations (this was before California's ban became effective). The three were a pate, a mouse, and a torchon. I've mostly been a fan of hot foie gras preparations, but this was another wonderful appetizer and the highlight of the meal. Cherries and peaches in various forms, whole and pureed, accompanied the dish. Frisee with a tangy citric dressing served as a nice jolt to the palate between bites of the different preparations. All three preparations had a strong foie gras taste, but each had their own slight variation and a unique texture. The pate was rich and dense and the mouse very light and airy. The torchon with its pistachio crust was my favorite of the three. The slices of yellow peach  were among the best I've tasted. I also loved the presentation of this dish.

Our first entree was petrale sole, with coconut jasmine rice, clams, chorizo, and saffron curry nage. The fish was firm and the clams added the right amount of ocean taste. The combination of chorizo with the coconut rice was interesting and provided the right amount of spice. The German Riesling suggested by our server paired well with the Thai-influenced dish. 

Duck is often poorly cooked producing a chewy and bland piece of meat. This dish of Sonoma duck breast with turnip puree, spinach, and brown butter hazelnut and orange jus was the opposite. It was succulent and flavorful. The turnip puree was especially noteworthy.

I, unfortunately, neglected to take pictures of dessert. At first, we ordered an interesting sounding yogurt parfait with cherries  However, upon taking the first bite we realized it was made with goat's milk yogurt, a fact which was not listed on the menu. Since Edie has a huge aversion to goat's milk, the server offered to replace the dish. Instead, we had an above average butterscotch pudding. 

Even after all of the hype of Redd I found during my research, it did not disappoint. The portions were huge, the food was wonderful, and the price was very reasonable. I would definitely return on my next trip to wine country. I hear really good things about their tasting menu, and at 5 courses for $80, sounds like a great deal. Unlike tasting menus at most restaurants  each person received different dishes with each course. 

Our trip to Napa was also highly successful. Two highlights which I would recommend to visitors  were Acacia Winery in Caneros and Smith-Madron on Spring Mountain. As I mentioned, Redd is down the street from The French Laundry. Here's a couple of pictures of the garden across the street where The French Laundry grows their own produce. Its actually a lot bigger than it looks here:

6480 Washington Street  
Yountville CA 94599
(707) 944-2222

Redd on Urbanspoon

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