My friends always ask me why I love going home so much (I go home as often as possible – heck, I even go back for my birthday, which is in October)… and one of the main reasons why is because my family and I always go to amazing restaurants, new or old favorites. And so this spring break, my family and I went to Napa for brunch at Redd. (we also went to Bouchon Bakery, but that might be a post for a later time)
From their website, (paraphrased) the facts are… opened in November 2005, a first venture for Northern California chef Richard Reddington (formerly of Masa’s and Jardiniere in San Francisco, and Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley). The cuisine offers influences from Asia, Europe, and Mexico. Haha, my parents were a little skeptical about the Asian influences that were very much evident in some of their dishes and as a result, we actually didn’t end up ordering too many Asian-inspired dishes.
The interior is very modern, very open – with lots of space and high ceilings, as well as plenty of light from their many windows (despite it being an overcast day). They have a bar up front and to the right is their dining area. Brunch is apparently only served on Sundays or something like that. But they also serve from the lunch menu when they serve brunch so you can choose when you make your reservations. The staff here are friendly and polite, service is fast and very accommodating – you’ll never feel suffocated but your glass will always be full of water and your table cleared.
The menu… (which is also available on their website, which uses flash, so if you’re trying to view it on an iPad or iPhone, you’ll be unsuccessful). I actually looked over their brunch menu for a long time before deciding what I wanted because the options seemed a bit more limited compared to their lunch menu. However, my family had actually visited Redd without me the first time and all loved the pancakes (which was why they brought me along this time) so we went with the brunch menu.
In the end, we ended up getting three main dishes, two “appetizers”, and two sides to share.
Brunch cocktail menu. Neither of my parents drink and even though I’m 21… I didn’t really feel like getting a cocktail since honestly, I’m not in the habit of drinking either. So I just took a photo and looked it over to see what they had to offer. I did see a lot of people order their Bacon Mary which is absolutely disgusting to me because I hate tomato juice and I dislike Bloody Marys in general. But if you like Bloody Marys (and bacon) then I think you’d probably enjoy it, hah.
Huevos rancheros, fried tortilla, black beans, chorizo, avocado, scrambled eggs, spicy salsa.
This was my brother’s choice and because I was sitting across from him (and because he wanted to start eating)… this photo turned out blurry and ugly. :( He actually ordered this the first time they came to Redd. I didn’t try any of it but I guess it had to be pretty good if he was willing to order it a second time.
My brother also got a side of bacon, which I sampled. I thought it wasn’t crispy enough (but then, I like bacon that’s crispy to the point where it’s basically like a chip). My brother and dad both really liked it – and I do have to say that it was good, quality bacon.
Shortrib sandwich, horseradish aioli, onion rings.
This was my dad’s dish of choice, but he didn’t really like the sandwich itself, except for the fried garlic slices. However, he loved the onion rings. The onion rings were surprisingly ungreasy and the batter was very light… almost like tempura. I personally thought there wasn’t enough of an onion taste. My dad ended up finishing the onion rings and side salad, but he cut up the shortrib sandwich to share (my brother ended up eating half of it). I tried just a bit of the short rib itself and didn’t find it particularly amazing. I don’t like horseradish on principle (and wasabi, which is basically a spicy kind of horseradish) and I could taste the horseradish aioli, so that didn’t really help. The meat itself was tender though.
My dad also got a side of breakfast potatoes because my brother had gotten it last time and liked it. Again, nothing particularly special but they were as good as breakfast potatoes are, I suppose.
Skatewing, creamy jasmine rice, clams, chorizo, saffron curry nage.
I suggested this to my mom after reading through Yelp reviews (as you guys know, I always read through Yelp reviews of any restaurant before I go) because one reviewer wrote that the server told them that this was a dish that had never left the menu since the restaurant opened in 2005 (though the dish is usually made with sole, a different kind of fish). My mom found the skatewing to be a little too salty for her taste but she loved the blend of flavors in the curry. I tried it and loved it too – it was as if I were eating paneer tikka masala, haha. Overall, a well-balanced dish. The chorizo bits were delightful as they weren’t overly salty as certain kinds of chorizo can be.
Smoked salmon, country bread, herb cream cheese, pickled onions, scrambled eggs.
This was my choice… and I think I kind of regret it, haha. I didn’t want to choose the same dishes that my parents had gotten the last time they came here (the omelette and the lobster club), so I went with something different. In hindsight, I probably should have ordered the scallops because that dish in particular had rave reviews on Yelp, but I didn’t really feel like scallops that day. (who eats scallops for brunch, right?)
Anyway, this was just pretty average. The smoked salmon was generous and it paired well with the rest of the ingredients. The side salad was pretty plain – most likely just olive oil, lemon, and salt for a dressing. Also, I dislike capers, so… hahaha I don’t know why I ordered this instead of the shrimp and grits – which looked to be interesting, at least.
Yellowfin tuna tartare, asian pear, avocado, chili oil, fried rice.
And in saving the best for last… this was the dish that everyone in my family loved. Obviously I ordered it. ;) I was deciding between this and the hamachi with sticky rice because both looked appealing and both had garnered positive reactions from reviewers… but in the end I went with this dish.
My brother loved it because he enjoys avocado and the fried rice (which actually has a different name in Chinese… 鍋巴 and comes in squares… and in packages that can be purchased at Ranch 99) – I was actually surprised that he liked it because he usually doesn’t eat sashimi. My parents loved it because of the Asian influences in the dish. My mom loved it so much that she actually wants to recreate it. And I don’t think it would be too hard. All you’d need is sashimi grade tuna, the “fried” rice, fresh avocado, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and asian pear. Or at least, that’s what I could taste in the dressing along with the ingredients listed on the menu. The dish wasn’t spicy at all, despite the chili oil that was listed.
All done with our dishes… and ready for dessert!
Buttermilk pancakes, apple huckleberry compote, vermont maple syrup.
For dessert we ordered two servings of their pancakes. Each serving had two pancakes so my dad and brother shared one, while my mom and I shared one… in other words, we each had an entire pancake to ourselves. The last time my family went to Redd, my dad raved about their pancakes and how they were supposedly the best that he ever had… so I thought, okay… well, let’s see.
The buttermilk pancakes were indeed light and fluffy, but… I didn’t find them to be so extraordinary. The pancakes came topped with the apple compote… and then a small side of huckleberry compote/syrup to pour over. And of course, what’s pancakes without syrup?
Oh, and there was also a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
I don’t know man, I don’t know… I didn’t find anything spectacular about this pancake… or maybe I’m too cynical. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Maybe it was because one pancake per person is too much, because my dad wasn’t raving about it this time. He still really loved it but, I think having one entire pancake is a little overwhelming.
Overall, I thought Redd was… all right. But I’m not a fan of most brunch menus, for some reason. So I don’t think I can fairly judge them based solely on brunch. However, I do want to come back to try their lunch menu because they have FOIE GRAS MEATBALLS. Yes, you read that right, foie gras meatballs. How amazing does that sound? Also, I want to try their actual desserts, not just pancakes. I’m sure we’ll probably come back when we visit Napa because my dad loves road trips, no matter how short, and we all love Bouchon Bakery (especially their epi baguettes).
Though I think I’d want to try Thomas Keller’s ad hoc first before repeating Redd, since my family and I loved The French Laundry so much. I’m sure Thomas Keller won’t let us down with his other restaurant. (So yes, there will be a post about The French Laundry later).
6480 Washington St.,Yountville, CA 94599