Our Monday night dinner took us to Thomas Keller’s (Chef Owner of The French Laundry) other restaurant, Ad Hoc. This is a unique dining spot in that it features just one dinner menu each night. It usually features an appetizer, a main course, a cheese course and a dessert. On this particular Monday evening they were featuring their famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken which customarily is served every other Monday.
Unlike here in the Philly/South Jersey area there are NO BYOB’s in California and corkage charges are applied when you bring your own bottle to any of the restaurants. Some of them will waive the corkage on a one for one basis. In other words, if you buy one bottle from their wine list you can bring one bottle of your own and the corkage fee is waived. That’s what we did at Ad Hoc bringing a 2007 EMH/Black Cat Cabernet Sauvignon which we had purchased earlier in the day while visiting the winery. We purchased a 2006 Dillon Vineyard, Chardonnay which was produced right here in Yountville, from the Ad Hoc wine list. The Chardonnay went well with our starter and the cheese course while the Cabernet was perfect with the fried chicken.
We all started with the Panzanella Salad, heirloom tomatoes from the French Laundry garden, english cucumbers, palladin croutons, kalamata olives, shaved red onion and basil cream. This was a very tasty rendition filled with absolutely the freshest of veggies. Joe B. in particular really appreciated the quality of the produce.
Our waiter, Dan, and the hostess, Julia were everywhere, delivering plates of food and making sure all of the guests had what they needed. There is a nice relaxed atmosphere at Ad Hoc that goes a long way toward making the dining experience enjoyable.
Once the salad plates were cleared we were presented with a heaping bowl of Buttermilk Fried Chicken served nice and hot with a family style bowl of duck fat potatoes, roasted bell peppers, savoy cabbage and shaved fennel slaw to complete the evening’s feast.
The chicken was delicious, the potatoes very good, but we pretty much all agreed that the shaved fennel cole slaw was very bland. It wasn’t enough to put a real damper on the meal but it was a bit surprising that it lacked any flavor.
The cheese course was interesting, a Cana de Cabra, which is a soft Spanish goat’s milk cheese, was accompanied with lola rosa, late summer melons and toasted pistachios and the salad-cheese combo was very good.
Raspberries – n -Cream Sorbet with an elephant ear cookie. Great flavors on the sorbet, crisp and light cookie and the meal was complete. At $49.00 per person it’s a pretty good deal, especially for Napa.
I’d say we were three for three in the good dinner department with all six of us looking forward to the next one.