Restaurant Category : American (New), Asian (Fusion)
The Redd restaurant in Napa opened in November 2005 in Yountville. Owned by the celebrity chef Richard Reddington, the restaurant claims to offer the wine-country cuisine fused with inspirations from Asia, Europe and Mexico, served in an environment that is both relaxed and elegant. And being the crusaders for good food, we were here to test this claim.
The First Impression: The first thing on our mind was ‘food’. After all, the Redd restaurant in Napa carried the tag that spelt ‘Richard Reddington’. The restaurant seemed relaxed, welcoming and pleasant.
Décor and Ambience: Designed by a prominent architect from Asfour Guzy who was known for creating spaces such as David Rockerfeller’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns etc, the Redd restaurant in Napa displayed a contemporary design flanked by the casual feel of the Napa Valley. The Redd Restaurant in Napa housed 90-seats and was divided into a main dining room, a semi-private dining area and an out-door courtyard dominated by tall olive trees, all creating a space that was comfortable and pleasant. With large windows looking out into the courtyard and the sprawling vineyard of Napa Valley, the warm white colors of the walls reflecting the dancing lights of the room, the pretty prints decorating the wall, the streamlined tables designed with influences of the visual aspect of the sample worktables used in the vineyard flanked by the modish curved chairs with plush seating, radiated a feel of a fused décor style.
The Food: Besides the menus for brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts and wine, the Redd restaurant in Napa also offered a separate option of a tasting menu offered for both lunch and dinner. Here, you could get a bite of different cuisine as chosen by the chef with the option of wine pairing which gave you a chance to sample different kinds of wine with each course. When dining with someone else the advantage with this option was that everyone got different dishes in their course; this way, you would end up having tried a lot many different dishes. So we opted for the five-course tasting menu with wine pairing.
Our first-course brought us the Yellow fin tuna tartar with Asian pear, avocado, chili oil and fried rice for me and the Sashimi of hamachi with sticky rice, edamame and lime-ginger sauce for my dining partner. The first-course proved to be mediocre for the both of us.
The second-course consisted of Carnaroli risotto with Maine lobster, Meyer lemon confit and truffle oil for me and the Caramelized diver scallops with cauliflower puree, almonds and balsamic reduction for my partner. The lobster turned out to be really ordinary with no edge of great flavor or texture. The scallops on the other hand were really good and savory.
The third-course laid out Glazed pork belly with apple puree, burdock and soy caramel as one dish and the Crisp duck confit with lentils, foie gras meatballs and crispy spaetzle as the other. The pork belly was absolutely great; delicate in texture, juicy and cooked well with the meat melting in our mouths. The duck was very good as well.
The next course served us Prime New York steak and short ribs with celery-root puree, bacon and cippolini onion ragout for me and the Sonoma lamb chops and loin with asparagus, potato gnocchi and black truffle lamb jus for my partner. The lamb chops were dry and a bit rubbery while the loin was cooked well. The steak and the short ribs were really delicious and definitely dishes I would order the next time around and recommend to others.
The final course was of course, our desserts. The peanut butter, milk chocolate gianduja, peanut honeycomb parfait and the Vanilla bean Fontainebleau, rhubarb ice, farina fritters were the chef’s selection for us. The first dessert proved to be much better than the second; but both were just mediocre and didn’t blow us away. Having heard that the pastry chef Nicole Plue at the Redd restaurant in Napa was awarded ‘Outstanding Pastry Chef’ by the James Beard Foundation, we had expected more out of the desserts that were served. The courses were served with a different wine per course making it a total of five wines per person. But out of all the ten wines that were served, only six of them were Californian wines which was disappointing. We had expected to have been given the option of trying more of the local wine at the Redd restaurant in Napa.
The Calculated Impression: The overall impression of the Redd restaurant in Napa didn’t live up to the hype. It was another one of the ‘buzzed about’ restaurant simply because of being owned by a celebrity chef, which in reality didn’t work too well.
What I liked: The tasting menu option which was a good way to get to try different dishes and the casual atmosphere of the Redd restaurant in Napa.
What I didn’t like: The mediocre food and the limited options of Californian wines.
Rating: Between Bombastic and Not.
Address and Telephone Number Redd Nappa Valley 6480 Washington Street
Yountville, CA- 94599
Phone: 707 944.2222