Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ad Hoc, Yountville, CA

After checking into the Villagio Inn & Spa (gorgeous), we had dinner at Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc (fixed four course meal, $49), which is a sister restaurant to French Laundry (fixed nine course meal, $250). Ad Hoc's menu for the evening was:

Ducktrap River Smoked Trout Salad
tfl garden baby lettuces, poached hen egg
shaved cincinnati radish, nantes carrots
pencil asparagus, herb cream dressing


Painted Hills’ Ribeye of Beef
fingerling potatoes, morel mushrooms, leek coins
hobb’s bacon, horseradish greens


Chas & Co.’s Challerhocker
puff pastry squares, white nectarines
marshall’s farm wildflower honey


swanton farm’s organic strawberries

We chose two wines to try with this menu, both of them being reds because of the main course of ribeye.

Once Meritage 2007, Napa, CA - $11/glass at Ad Hoc, approximately $42/bottle per winery's website

The wine menu listed this wine as "Once Meritage," which, according to Ad Hoc, is a proprietary blend made just for the restaurant (intriguing, as I'm sure it's meant to be).

Aroma - black plums
Taste - black tea, soft tannins, long finish

A very nice Bordeaux blend, although I have to note here that both wines tasted metallic with the trout salad (as expected, but I can never choose white over red!). I looked up this label online and am smitten with the simple and elegant look of the site. I'm definitely interested in trying more of this label's wines!

Shelter "Headwater" Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa, CA - $15/glass at Ad Hoc, $60/bottle per winery's website

Apparently this wine has mysterious origins, and a secret winemaker! It is 100% Napa Cab sourced from five different vineyards in five different appellations - Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain, Howell Mountain and Calistoga.

Aroma - dark fruit, blackberries and raisins, licorice
Taste - blackberries and raisins, dark chocolate, licorice, cinnamon, cedar, moderate to strong tannins

D liked this wine better than the other, although I think we both liked each of them for different reasons. This one was amazingly complex, and I really enjoyed it, too.

So far, a great start to our Napa trip!

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