We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.
This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.
We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.
Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.
My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.
Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!
The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.
We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.
All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!
Phenomenal experience on Christmas Eve. Eleven courses (more like 40 if you count every item) and it’s hard to pick a favorite. But it’s my job, so I’ll make the call: the smoked salmon covered in steelhead roe!
But seriously, everthing was superb, and the service was that perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness that you rarely find accompanying elevated cuisine.
Although not inexpensive, I have to say that the dinner is very fairly priced.
The wine list has impressive breadth, and some depth, with stunning selections of the top wines, and stunning prices to match, but for those who invest some effort (I suggest a thorough perusal online before your visit) there are some gems here. A specific recommendation for chardonnay fans: 2015 Journeyman Chardonnay (complex, malolactic, good acid, touch of oak, apple, citrus, spice, caramel, honey, true expression of chardonnay fruit).
Great historic roadside eatery from the 1940s, now occupied by a small local burger chain. Terrific chili fries, Impossible Burger, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had anywhere. Also a shout-out for the coffee shake! Sounds like a great 10am breakfast on Christmas Eve to me!
Charming service and ambiance are the highlights of this space right in the center of St. Helena. The brunch menu also offers lunch dishes such as fried chicken, and smaller plates such as tuna two ways. Both were good. But the highlights were the two soups, on creamay and one a curry broth base, both of which were superb.
The other highlight was the basket of complimentary muffins. These alone make it worth visiting at brunch!
This charming restaurant is located on a side street of St. Helena’s Main Street. The delightful space upstairs offers high beamed ceilings and an open kitchen, plus lots of duck hunting memorabilia. Downstairs is an atmospheric bar that also has table seating. And there is also lovely outdoor dining.
The menu offers elevated comfort food such as fish and chips, or cheesesteak sandwiches, both of which were good. The orange tart with kumquat marmalade was excellent.
The wine list is very extensive, with plenty of selections from around the world and a nice assortment of half bottles.
It’s a bit difficult to rate a restaurant based upon a special meal, and we dined on the final night of The Restaurant’s Twelve Days of Christmas 2019 event. On the other hand, the final night is when The Restaurant’s own chef, Christopher Kostow, is in charge, so one assumes the food is representative of the normal quality.
Unfortunately, that seemed to be all over the map. There were indeed some of the stunning courses you’d expect from a three-star Michelin, such as the trout roe, the oxheart carrot, and the sunchoke trifle. But there were also some notable misses, including the unappealing quail, tough pork collar, and many others.
The service made up for a lot of that. It included the kind of synchronized moves that Michelin raters seem to fawn over, but also was very gracious and welcoming, and apologetic for the long wait for our table (no doubt the result of it being the third seating of a completely new menu).
The setting is also sublime: a not-overdone graceful simplicity, and a remarkably good illusion of snowflakes falling outside, to complement the festive mood.
What to make of it? Hard to say without a repeat visit, but at $1000 for two (with wine) I’m not in a hurry to do so.
Nice modern space inside a venerable old house. Friendly and accommodating staff. We went for Saturday brunch. The smoked salmon was served with all the possible accompaniments, including a nice dill cream cheese. Chilaquiles were also very good. The highlight was the best margarita I’ve ever had, served chilled, with a salty foam.
Really good family Mexican restaurant in a shopping center. The service is terrific and the food is good. The lunch carnitas torta was huge and came with a delicious salad option rather than rice and beans or fries. Great blue cheese dressing. The appetizer sampler is also a nice variety. Very reasonable.