Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

For Alexis' birthday, we went to The Restaurant at Meadowood, which recently acquired 2 Michelin stars. The decor was sort of white-washed farmhouse chic and the food was for the most part, delicious. The one thing that we reallyappreciated about the menu was that for the prix-fixe menus you could choose any dishes you wanted. Usually in a prix fixe you are cornered into choosing an appetizer, a main, a dessert, etc. In this menu we each ordered 5 courses and ordered all of the mains and most of the appetizers and no desserts. We felt that the chef excelled at adding that one ingredient that really pulled the whole dish together. The 5 course tasting menu was $190 pp and the wine pairing was $150 pp.

Beet and Pumpkin Seed Amuse Bouche
This was tasty, but a bit too sweet.

Gnocchi with Tomato Confit and Grilled Chantarelles
The gnocchi were good, for sure, but not stand-out.

Sunchoke Bisque with Duck Confit, Chard and Truffled Marscapone
In this dish, the duck confit really brought everything together. The soup was smooth and subtle in flavor and the confit added the right amount of salt and richness.

Crab with Sunflower Seeds, Vanilla, Pear and Jalapeno
This dish was composed of two preparations of crab, one hot and one cold. Both were insanely good.

Hawaiian Opah with Watermelon Radish, Braised Romaine and Foie Gras Emulsion
The radish added a slight bitterness that made the other ingredients pop.

Wild Striped Bass with Roasted Fennel, Sassafras, Horseradish (below) and Fennel Puree (above)
The bass was tender and flavorful and the puree was very, very smooth.

Wild Kampachi with Cocoa Nibs, Serrano Ham, Forbidden Rice and Clams
The nutty chewiness of the black rice went very well with the tenderness of the fish.

Antelope with Truffle Braised Celery and Celery Root Mouse
We had never had antelope before and were really hard pressed to tell the difference from it and beef, although it was a bit leaner. The celery was really wonderful. Somehow the chef managed to turn the most humble of ingredients into something totally transcendent.

Lamb with Cranberry Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Caramelized Milk and Baby Leeks
The lamb was tender and this was a solid dish.

Duck with Golden Beets, Turnips and Licorice Jus
The duck was succulent and the beets and licorice added a nice sweetness to the dish.

Pork with Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Cardamom and Fenugreek
This was our least favorite of all of the dishes. The pork was just a tab dry and the components were a bit disparate.

Petit Fours
I love how they always leave you with homemade sweets at nice restaurants. The sallted caramels were tasty, although the texture was a bit grainy. The madeleines were perfectly warm and tender and the candied orange peel was a nicely sharp and subtly bitter.

Food: 2
Service: 2
Decor: 2

The Restaurant at Meadowood

900 Meadowood Lane
St. Helena, California 94574

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wow, they are really pricing themselves quite hight - $190/pp for a 5-course meal?

I had reservations (pardon the pun) about going but, for that price, I'll take Manresa or French Laundry (just a touch more) since they are known quantities.

- chuck
Yeah, it is pretty steep. Manresa is a much better value, and I would always snatch up a French Laundry reservation if I could get one.

Keep in mind, one of the big drivers for the trip was to try out Chef Humphrey's food before he left. It's even a larger unknown what Chef Kostow skills will bring.
Chez TJ (kostow) was on my to-do list but a friend recently visited and said don't bother. now that's he moving to $190/pp digs (meadowood), i'll definitely pass.

thanks - it's good to see reports off the beaten (blog) path.

- chuck
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?