May 2014 Archives

Good BBQ Eats in Napa Valley

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Some days you just don't want to slave over the barbecue pit or grill for hours perfecting those, succulent, smoky, fall off the bone, perfectly marinated and spiced barbecue ribs. And let's not forget the almighty sauce that makes you want to lick your fingers and the plate! Mmmmm mmmm good! 

So, now that your mouth is watering for some ribs, where are you going to get them in Napa Valley? See a few of the restaurants we've identified as having good barbecue in Napa. (in no particular order)

bountyHunterWineBar_barbecueRibs.jpgBounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ, 975 First Street Napa, CA 94559

While they are known for their famous beer can chicken, but it's the ribs and briskets that keep locals and visitors alike visiting this downtown Napa restaurant on a regular basis. (Okay, and the chicken too....) Order a slab of ribs, or share the Smokin' BBQ Platter with friends. Doing double duty as a wine bar, each menu selection also suggests the perfect pairing. We recommend you indulge in both!

Mustard's Grill, 7399 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 944-2424
If you're looking for some down home comfort food with a twist of Napa sophistication, look no further than chef Cindy Pawlcyn's restaurant "Mustard's Grill" also affectionately known as a "fancy rib joint with way too many wines". Order the Niman Ranch Barbecued Baby Back Ribs - perfectly cooked and tender rack of ribs with a sweet tangy barbecue sauce (ask for extra!) Not to go unnoticed are the sides - apple-golden raisin slaw and cheddar-jalapeno corn stix. Priced at $26.50, indulge to heart's content or take some home!

Tip: Don't forget about Fido. Ask to take the bones home and they'll doggie bag for you! Also, we hear the Mongolian Pork Chop is amazing!!!

Q Restaurant & Bar, 3900 D Bel Aire Plaza. Napa California 94558. 707 224 6600
Whether it's the ribs, pulled pork sandwich or brisket, take your pick and you'll be thanking us we pointed you in the right direction. It's located in a strip mall of sorts, but don't let the front facade fool you. Between the barbecue (if you're in the mood, fried chicken too) and a host of delicious sides (try the mac n cheese and collard greens) you'll wonder why you didn't know about this place before! View menu here.

smoakhouseGrill.jpgSmoakhouse Grill & BBQ,  
1755 Industrial Way, Suite 28 Napa, California 94559

This small outfit located off the main drag in Napa's Industrial Park specializes in classic Southern BBQ. We've got a special place in our heart, as do many others, for their St. Louis ribs and the out of this world "bacon chop" - a huge pork chop with the pork belly still attached.  Only open Wednesday - Saturday (11:30am - 8pm), it's best to get your orders in early before popular items sell out for the day. While they recently started a lunch menu, it is extremely limited, best bets would be their take-out, groups and catering menus. Recent article on them here.

Tip: Sign up up to be on their email list too, they send a newsletter announcing weekly specials!


RECIPE: The Burning Shrub Cocktail

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Submitted by: Tara Heffernon (Bar Manager at Spoonbar in Healdsburg, CA)

Shrub cocktails are all the rage these days! The true magic of a shrub is that the sugar naturally extracts the juices from the fruit or vegetable (we'll be using Jalapeno for this particular recipe). Vinegar rounds out the process by preserving the sweetness and shrubs keep in the fridge for weeks!


First, prepare the Jalapeno Shrub

burningshrubingredients_spoonbar-(2).jpg
  • Use equal parts Jalapeno, Sugar, and Vinegar
  • Halve jalapenos and blend on high for 10 seconds.
  • Mix blended jalapeno with sugar and refrigerate for 3 hours to 3 days. The sugar will naturally pull the juices out from the jalapeno; the longer you let it sit, the more juice will be extracted.
  • Pour vinegar into the container and stir briskly with your whisk. The goal is to make the fruit, sugar and vinegar are thoroughly mixed.
  • Strain the mixture into an empty container (discard the solids) and you've got your shrub! You can use your shrub right away, or wait a few hours to let the vinegar mellow out a bit.
burningshrubcocktail_spoonbar-(2).jpgIngredients for the cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz Frida Blanco Tequila
  • 1/4 oz Mezcal
  • 1/4 oz Jalapeno Shrub
  • 1/3 oz  Agave Nectar
  • 3/4 oz Lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients, shake until chilled and mixed, strain over fresh ice and enjoy!

Zagat Rated - 12 Essential Napa Restaurants

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In case you're in a quandary as to what restaurant to eat at in Napa Valley, Zagat has compiled a list of what they feel are the "essential" 12 Napa restaurants that are "unique, only-in-Napa setting, and have an outstanding food and a compelling drink program".  And, not surprisingly, 3 out of the 12 restaurants are located in the wine and food epicurean culinary capital of Napa Valley - Yountville, CA. Read full article here.

See what the WineCountry Staff picked out as their favorites on the list:

2. The Restaurant at Meadowood

meadowoodRestaurant_dish.jpg
3. Bistro Jeanty
, 6510 Washington Street, Yountville CA 94599

bistroJeanty_coqauvin.jpg6. La Toque, 1314 McKinstry Street, Napa CA 94559

laToque_dessert.jpg

Lamb Burgers with Spicy Tzatziki Sauce

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recipe_ChateauMontelena_Lamb-burger.jpgSubmitted by Chateau Montelena

Enjoy Chateau Montelena's spring red releases with Mediterranean-inspired lamb burgers and spicy tzatziki sauce. Pair with a glass of Chateau Montelena 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or 2011 Montelena Estate Zinfandel!




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