The menu is simple, broken into appetizers (3 ounce servings of protein) and entrees (6 ounce servings of proteins), but they also have a five course tasting menu for $60, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $35, provided the entire table participates. Since we have dinner plans, and since our trips here are all about eating, we passed on the tasting menu.
Our shared appetizer was the yellow fin tuna and hamachi tartare. The presentation was simple and pretty, and was served with a large serving spoon and fork, but that was it. It was awkward spooning the tartare onto our plates to then be eaten with a fork. In our opinion, the fried rice should have been thin rice cakes that the tartare could be spooned onto. The other thing I noted about the dish was how large the cubes the fish was cut into, rather than a fine tartare. Now, admittedly, I was not expecting the superfine texture of a Morimoto tartare, but I also wasn't expecting pieces that were 1/2 inch thick. The flavor of the fish was excellent, and the fried rice made a nice crispy compliment. It was just awkward to eat.
|Yellowfin tuna and hamachi tartare, avocado, chili oil, fried rice, cilantro|
My husband selected the lamb meatballs for his entree. I had been considering them as well, but since I know we have a heavy dinner planned for this evening, I wanted to go for something lighter. The presentation of the dish was simply gorgeous and redd. I was able to snag a taste of the meatball (yummy), the tomato broth (tasty) and the mint yogurt (minty). I also snagged a tomato, which was fresh from a garden. That is one great thing about Yountville, I don't know if its because of the the French Laundry garden or what, but the produce is all fresh and amazing. This is what the so-called farm-to-table restaurants in Los Angeles are attempting to achieve.
|Lamb meatballs, summer squash, couscous, spiced tomato broth, mint yogurt|
I decided to go with smoked trout salad with the hope that it would not be slathered in mayonnaise, and I was not disappointed. The salad is served with a slice of brioche toast sliced in half. The baby beets were cooked perfectly and were the right amount of sweet to go with the smoky fish. The top half of the fish was sprinkled with egg white and the bottom with egg yolk. The trout was smoked just the right amount, so that it had the flavor and texture of smoke, but without the "barbecue" flavor. And the horseradish creme fraiche only slightly dressed the fish. My only complaint with the dish was that the lemon vinaigrette was a little too pungent, but thankfully it was only tossed with the frisee.
|Smoked trout salad, beets, lemon vinaigrette, horseradish crème fraiche|
We decided to pass on dessert, though all of the selections were extremely tempting. All in this was a great, California lunch in a great atmosphere. Next time, though, I'm coming back for dinner to see what they really have to offer.