Saturday, December 12, 2009


Ubuntu is at the top of my list of restaurants in Napa.  It's clear that the chef took the vegetarian menu as an inspiration for creativity rather than feeling constrained by it.  The menu is seasonal, so it's a good excuse for me to go up there come Spring.  We ordered everything listed on the menu that night.

First, a few snacks:

marcona almonds - LAVENDER sugar, sea salt - o.k.  the lavendar sugar is interesting and does add another flavor to the almonds. If you eat a lot of marconas at home, this wouldn't be a special treat, but it's a nice way to start the meal.

castelvetrano olives marinated in CARROT TOP pesto - the carrot top pesto was so subtle I didn't notice it at first, but I load up on these whenever they have them at the store, so this is not a must-order.

chickpea fries - fall HERBS and ROMESCO - good fritters, like the herbs, again another substantial starter to lead off with.

On to the garden.  When each of us singled out a favorite dish of the night, we all chose different dishes. In other words, the quality of the main dishes was uniformly high.  A few of them in order of my preference:

forono and albino BEETS baked in vegetable embers - rancho gordo red quinoa, alpine STRAWBERRY, baby MACHE
- just a fantastic combination and some of the most flavorful quinoa I've had.

Pumpkin filled donut with burrata - I don't have the list of ingredients but the seasoned burrata went perfectly with the slight sweetness of the pumpkin donut.

Salad of OCA  - again not sure of the ingredients but the composition was delicious and beautiful on the plate.

carta da musica - a selection of items from their garden, different arugulas and other greens from their garden with pecorino and hazelnut dirt (?)

rustic rancho gordo yellow eye bean stew with ROSEMARY, torn bread, CHILI, and black KALE - the most rustic dish of the night,though the portion was small, a balanced hearty soup.

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