Mustards – Napa Valley, CA: located on Highway 29 (Saint Helena Highway) in Napa, is the almost world famous Mustards Grill. If anyone is visiting Napa Valley and looking for a great place to eat, they will have heard of Mustards; it has been a mainstay of Napa for over twenty-five years.
We went to Mustards Grill for lunch only to find it fully packed with even more people waiting for a seat. Luckily we had planned ahead and had Bardessono book us a table.
We were promptly seated, had our drink orders taken, given the lunch menus and minutes later, were served fresh, straight out of the oven fresh, bread to snack on while we perused the menu and took in our surroundings.
Mustards’ menu, while not large, offered a daily soup, six appetizers (onion rings with homemade tomato-apple ketchup to sweet corn tamales with wild mushrooms, tomatillo-avocado salsa and pumpkin seeds), four salads and seven entrees from their wood burning grill and oven (grilled Laotian quail, smoked Sonoma duck, grilled hanger steak, and Mongolian pork chop to name a few). From the “out of the pan” section they had four dishes, including wild mushroom and spinach lasagna, lemon and garlic chicken and calf liver; five sandwiches, like Niman ranch hamburger, grilled ahi and slow smoked BBQ pork; and a bunch of side dishes: cheddar-jalapeno corn stix, black beans, 3-cheese mac and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and hand-cut fries with watercress sauce.
As you can see, the menu was quite varied, but since we had just finished a wine tasting at Swanson’s Vineyard where we had plenty to eat as well as drink we were not as hungry as we expected so just took it easy and ordered a green salad, sweet corn tamales and a BBQ pork sandwich to share. And of course, since were in Napa Valley doing a wine tasting, we ordered a couple glasses of wine off their extensive wine by the glass menu (around 50 choices!).
The décor and atmosphere were very simple. The diners were a mix of 30 and 40 something years old, and it appeared to be evenly split between locals, businessmen and tourists; some were dressed up, others quite casual.
The staff of Mustards Grill were dressed in jeans, white shirts and mustard colored (seemed fitting given the name of the restaurant Mustards). The restaurant was very bright as the long row of windows across one side of the restaurant let the sunshine flood the busy and almost too loud, restaurant.
Now the review of the food at Mustards Grill in Napa. The salad, well, as green salads go, it was fresh, fresh, fresh. California does grow great veggies! The sweet corn tamales had wild mushrooms, tomatillo-avocado salsa, and pumpkin seeds; and they were average tasting. I am not sure exactly what I was expecting, but they just failed to impress me.
The BBQ pork sandwich, on the other hand, was amazing; impressed me it did! The sweet and tangy sauce made the sandwich one of the best BBQ sandwiches I think I’ve ever had! Scrumptious!
To complete our lunch, we ordered a warm chocolate hazelnut truffle tart with caramel sauces and espresso ice cream. Once again, Mustards served up a dish that impressed and left me wanting more.
Service throughout our lunch in Napa Valley at Mustards Grill was impressively attentive; especially considering how busy the restaurant was.
Overall, our lunch at Mustards Grill in Napa was quite nice, but it just failed to wow. Would Mustards be a place I would recommend for a nice casual lunch? Yes, I don’t think you would leave disappointed; however, it just failed to rise to the level of bombastic.
Based on our lunch in Napa at Mustards Grill, we can only give Mustards a rating of between bombastic and not. You’ll get a good meal, but will probably not leave feeling it is a place you must dine at again when in Napa Valley.
What I liked: Smoked BBQ Pork Sandwich, attentive service
What I didn’t like: Sweet Corn Tamales, the restaurant was too loud