By Kimberly Wilson
Do you have an eight?
Nope, go fish.
Do you have a three?
Nope, go fish.
Remember this game? I'm sure you do. One could spend hours and hours playing. I particularly enjoyed it because for some odd reason I had a knack for beating my brother every time we played. There's a certain pleasure in telling someone to "Go fish". That being said, don't roll your eyes when I tell you to "Go Fish" on your next trip to Napa Valley.
Cindy Pawlcyn, chef and name behind Mustards Grill and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, has added another restaurant to her empire - Go Fish. Go Fish is a sushi and seafood restaurant located in St. Helena right off Highway 29, next to a local's hangout A&W. Whatever you do, make reservations or you might find yourself eating at the bar because there's not a table available until 10 pm that night.
The food at Go Fish is prepared simply with the focus on quality of seafood, freshness and light seasonings. As a result, the fish actually becomes the focal point of your dining experience, as it should be.
Start off with a couple of sushi rolls or sashimi. The specialty Dragon roll (shrimp tempura wrapped with eel and avocado) - though a whopping $20 - was delicious and would definitely order again. However, if you are strictly a sushi roll fan, the choices are few compared to other sushi houses you might go to.
Be sure to order from the small plate's menu. My party ordered the salt encrusted gulf prawns accompanied by a sweet and sour sauce which was a fun diversion. Our request for the Peruvian Scallop Ceviche Inca corn was met with "Go Fish". Perhaps next time.
Venture into the fish selections featuring salmon, sturgeon and my personal favorite at most restaurants who dare to serve and prepare right - striped sea bass. Go Fish did not disappoint. The sea bass was cooked to perfection - wood-grilled, flaky, melt in your mouth lightly seasoned with a saffron vin blanc sauce. One is allowed to go fishing in any way they like - choose your own method of cooking (wood-grilled, steamed, or sauteed) and choose your own sauce ranging from a lemon caper parsley butter to curry inspired sauce.
Dessert, dessert, dessert....don't be foolish like the couple next to me and dismiss your server with "We'll stop in Yountville for dessert". Stay and try the out of this world roasted banana-rum ice cream sandwich. Paired with a cup of peppermint rose infused tea, desserts in Yountville will have to wait for your next dinner out.
WINE: Great wine selection - by the glass, by the half bottle and pages and pages of full bottle choices. If at a loss, try the Navarro 2004 Gewurztraminer with its slightly sweet, faint effervescence that nicely compliments the lightly-seasoned fish dishes.
PRICE: Expect to open your pocketbook a little wider than usual. Sushi ranges in price from $8 to $30. Entree selections range from $16 to $24. Add on some appetizers, side dishes, a bottle of wine AND dessert. My party of two barely escaped with a $150 tab.
To sum it up, GO FISH if you want a seafood experience to remember.