The Main Course:
Entrees do not include accompianments - side dishes to be shared are covered below. Main course options included Salmon, Duck (Grimaud), Line caught Halibut and Lamb, as well as other steak cuts and a whole chicken carved tableside. The steaks are grilled over an oak fire - while the roasted items are from the almond and cherry wood-fired rotisserie. We chose:
Heritage Berkshire Pork Chop with Stone Fruit Relish $24
Berkridge Farms, Berkshire Heritage Pork, Iowa
This pork chop was tough. It had good flavor - if anything was at fault – perhaps it might be a little less cooked – but really it was the chop itself that I suspect was tough – not the chef’s fault at all. The waiter immediately offered to bring something else - Jack’s alternate choice:
Certified Black Angus & Hereford NY Strip from Brunner Beef, Kansas - $32 for a 10oz steak. The steak was excellent according to Jack – and a much better choice.
All-Natural Certified Black Angus USDA Prime Hand-Cut Tenderloin 12oz $42
all natural, dry-aged prime beef from America’s heartland certified black angus from Creekstone Farms, Kansas
My steak was perfectly cooked. A nice crust and a warm pinkish cooler center (medium rare) - Served with Watercress, Sausalito Springs, California and roasted garlic.
My watercress was over-dressed with too much vinaigrette and too much salt – you couldn’t taste watercress at all. Jack’s however, was much more balanced.
Four Sauces are available “on the house” to complement the main courses – the waiter offered to bring all four (the other 2 are a mint jelly and a freshly grated horseradish) – we chose:
It’s like béarnaise-light. Good flavor, well made but doesn’t win my vote – it might be great on chicken or fish. Even though Frites and béarnaise are usually a match made in heaven – the steak sauce is much better with them!
Cabernet Sauvignon “Steak Sauce”
Wow this is the best ketchup ever – it’s fresh and light and has deep flavor but isn’t dark and rich like normal steak sauce. It has a slight tang to it – Tamarind? It’s great with the frites – and the steak too – although the steak doesn’t really need anything.
Side Dishes $9 to $14.
Side dishes are served in Staub cast iron containers to keep them warm. No baked potatoes in sight - offerings included a Potato and Garlic cake, thinly sliced buttermilk battered red onions called "Cotton" Onion rings, Blue Lake beans with onions and a casserole of squash, eggplant etc. We chose:
Chioggia Beets with Truffled Pecorino & Purslane
These were baby chioggia beets. The sauce was heavy handed and the smell of pecorino lingered over the table for the whole dinner. The sauce was good but completely obscured the perfectly cooked beets. I didn’t see pPurslane in our version.
Hand-Cut Kennebec “Frites”
These are the best fries we’ve had in Napa. They are served crisp and warm. They are not very flavorful on their own – but great with the cabernet steak sauce. The waiter let us know that they were fried in peanut oil – in case of an allergy.
12-oz Hand-Cut Filet
Heritage Pork Chop
Frites under wraps
Kennebec Frites unveiled
We skipped dessert but there was an attractive cheese plate (changes frequently) offering the Spanish Pata de Mulo and Sweetgrass Dairy's Greenhill.
The actual dessert list offers an exciting Baked Alaska which served 2-6 (I almost threw caution to the wind until the waiter said it would easily feed 8) and Chocolate Souffle made to order, as well as a Fruit Crisp, and a selection of Ice Creams & Sorbets to choose from. All desserts, including the cheese plate, are $10 except for the Baked Alaska ($20).
Pellegrino or Panna. We were not charged – but perhaps that is an oversight?
The service from the main waiter was exemplary early on, but he forgot about us after the main dish was re-served and we had far too long to linger over the remnants of our food before one of the floor staff (a non-waiter/bus person) inquired if we were finished. Everything else came promptly.
The waiter was well trained and was very informed on the food - lacking a bit on the wine (he didn't know for sure if any of the three Sauvignon Blancs, available by the glass, had not seen oak). Still, for wine country, this was way above average service.
Probably not a very kid-friendly restaurant. There were no children dining with their parents during our visit. Portions are large and there is no children's menu in sight.
$254 plus tip for two is a hefty bill - but not in wine country or at top level steakhouse.
Press is a very welcome addition to the Napa Wine Country dining scene and we look forward to returning soon. (Perhaps wearing dark sunglasses, as there were so many male diners wearing Tommy Bahama shirts, you would have thought we were in Hawaii! - Jack)