The Restaurant at Meadowood

March 8, 2016

The Restaurant at Meadowood is in a luxury resort and spa on the edge of the Napa Valley. It has had three Michelin stars for the last four years. Linda and I stayed at Meadowood the nights of February 17 and 18, 2016, dining at The Restaurant the first evening.

The lower part of this lodge was our very comfortable suite.
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Here is the entrance to The Restaurant.
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A dried flower bouquet was on a rustic stone at our place setting when we sat down.
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Linda started with a glass of  2007 Aubry de Humbert · Brut · Premier Cru · Jouy-les-Reims Champagne;
I had a glass of the  2007 Schramsberg · J. Schram Brut · North Coast sparkling wine.

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For chips and dip we were served cloth-bound cheddar purée with watercress, and sourdough crackers.  

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There is no menu; the food just comes. After regarding the enormous wine list and consultation with the amiable sommelier, we ordered a bottle of white 2008 Cold Heaven · Sanford and Benedict · Viognier · Santa Rita Hills and a bottle of red 2001 Fort Ross Vineyard (Sonoma Coast) · Reserve · Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir. The viognier had a nice unassertive flavor, but that was, perhaps, more pleasant with the cuisine than an oakey local chardonnay would have been. The pinot noir was a very nice wine.

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The first course was fresh water eel smoked over cabernet staves with beef tongue wrapped in grape leaves made into faux nori. Delicious.

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Smoked caviar topped with lardo rounds, succulents. Little fresh, warm Parker House rolls were served alongside.

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This was sort of a dumpling made with whelk, or sea snail. The brief description mentions onion and nasturtium. The sauce was poured around at the table from a large whelk shell. Anyway, it was very good with a lovely seafood flavor.

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A potato purée was topped with foie gras shavings cured in koji, a Japanese brewing mold. Very good.

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A disk of kohlrabi purée was on top of a mashed rye bread base. Mustard seeds and an herbed gel were on top.

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Strips of cod interleaved with whey had been baked inside a cabbage. The sauce was oyster-based and provided some salty life to the dish. Nice.


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A poussin, or young chicken, had been baked inside a round bread. It was carved and tiny breast pieces were served with slices of the bread, pickled marigold, celeries and tiny greens.

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A nugget of pork tenderloin was roasted wrapped in an apple leaf. At the table it was dressed with a “black apple” sauce which was much too salty, the only misstep of the meal.

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We were served wedges from a round of Brillat-Savarin cheese which had been interleaved with black truffle. Thick, chewy brown rice bread was a good contrasting support.

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An olive oil/citrus disk was topped with millet.

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This dessert comprised rice, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar,) hoshigaki (Japanese dried persimmon) and pecans.


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The vegetables and fruit were from Meadowood’s own gardens and orchard.

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The babka was a sweet yeast cake topped with rich dark chocolate.

This was an excellent meal. It was consistent in its style and traditional progression from starters, through fish, meat, cheese and sweets. It successfully used luxury ingredients: caviar, foie gras, oysters, truffles, while somehow giving the impression that the cuisine was trendy local farm-to-table. The presentations were always lovely and intriguing without detracting from the precision of the combinations and preparations.

The service was always good, with frequent conversations with the staff. These could be heard over the surprisingly raucous music.


2 Responses to “The Restaurant at Meadowood”

  1. George Says:

    Intriguing and highly creative dishes and combinations.

    It speaks to the confidence of the establishment that their cellar includes Santa Rita Hills and Sonoma coast wines in the Napa Valley. It also speaks volumes of your bravery, although I presume that you had plenty of local wines.during your stay there.

  2. Karen Long Dwight Says:

    Okay…..I could eat there every night!

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