Sunday, October 24, 2010

redd dinner

Redd was the last restaurant we visited for dinner while we were in Napa Valley.  Located on the main road in Yountville, it was just a short walk there from the Yountville Inn.  We passed it every morning on the way to and from Bouchon Bakery for breakfast, so it made sense to snap a few exterior pictures of it on Tuesday morning, while it was still quiet but set for lunch.
There's a nice courtyard for outdoor dining, as well as a regular dining room inside.  We didn't request outdoor seating in our reservation, so we were seated inside.  I probably could have gotten better pictures outside, but I was fine with sitting inside too.
Steve and I decided to order off the regular menu for this meal, rather than getting another tasting menu.  After two sizable dinners the previous nights, I wasn't sure I could make it through a third in a row.  Of course, we ended up ordering enough a la carte that we probably had about the same amount of food anyway.  But at least we had the control to order the dishes that really appealed to us.
First to arrive:
Yellowfin tuna tartare, asian pear, chili oil, fried rice, cilantro
tuna tartare
The fried rice was served on the side, because it was fried in peanut oil, which may or may not be safe.  Even without it, it was a good dish.  I liked the combination of tuna and avocado with the crisp and fruity Asian pear.  The evening sunlight was coming through the windows just right, however, so I ended up with this one crazy dramatic picture.  By the time the next dishes came, the light was more even.
Carnaroli risotto, maine lobster, meyer lemon confit, truffle oil
lobster risotto
We pretty much had to try this one.  I like risottos and lobster, so I was curious.  It didn't disappoint; I gladly accepted more than my half of it.  The downside was that since it was risotto, it made me full faster.
Caramelized diver scallops, cauliflower puree, almonds, balsamic reduction
This was one of Steve's picks.  I'm not much of a scallop person, so I let him have two of the three while I ate more of the risotto.  I will admit that this was the prettiest dish we ordered, but I probably appreciated the cauliflower puree and other accompaniments more than the scallops themselves.
Potato gnocchi, lamb bolognese, parmesan
We had decided to get two larger plates in addition to our three smaller ones, and this was my pick.  It was a half order, which turned out to be plenty.  The gnocchi were lovely and pillowy, with some browning on the outsides, but the lamb bolognese was a little heavy for my diminishing appetite.
Liberty farms duck breast, shelling bean cassoulet, thyme jus
duck breast
Steve's choice was the duck breast, and I ended up only eating one slice.  It was cooked perfectly, and the beans complemented it well, but it was still more of a Steve dish.  I'm happier with lighter fare when I'm having multiple dishes at a restaurant.
I managed to find room for dessert, though.  I couldn't resist when I saw this on the menu:
Peach "summer pudding", sauternes cake, sabayon, fried almonds
summer pudding
This was my kind of dessert.  There was a spongy cake on the bottom, soaked in a white dessert wine and topped with peaches and a creamy sabayon sauce.  There some iciness on top too, so there might have been a peach granita as well.  The stuff that looked like parmesan cheese turned out to be grated white chocolate, but the fried almonds were left off because of frying in peanut oil again.  Nevertheless, it was the dessert that I enjoyed most on our trip.
The last bites, served with the check, were a couple grapefruit truffles and two pieces of toffee.  Lucky for me, the toffee was made with almonds, so I was able to eat it.
truffles & toffee
Redd turned out to be a good restaurant choice.  It would be interesting to go back sometime, eat outside, and maybe order the tasting menu.  A couple of the dishes seem to have an Eastern slant, but overall it's fresh, seasonal, wine country food done well.

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