Yountville , California
Tel: 707 944 2487
Concierge.com's insider take:
When Thomas Keller sent a memo to his staff on April 1, 2006, suggesting they take over a recently closed restaurant without any remodeling whatsoever, everyone thought it was an April Fool's joke. The idea was simple: a four-course set menu of American comfort cooking served family-style. The success was instant, and the only change made since day one has been to start accepting reservations. This is soul-soothing food, the place you eat on your second or third night in Napa, after you've had your fill of foie gras and puff pastry. The menu rotates based on the season and whatever's ripe in the restaurant's garden, and you don't know till you arrive what you'll be eating. The only constant is fried chicken every other Monday, when sides include biscuits and sausage gravy, and perhaps ratatouille made from squash picked that morning. Not everyone appreciates the raw simplicity of the place (wine comes in café glasses, not proper stemware), but remember that you are here for sustenance, not splash. And with such little adornment, your attention remains squarely where Keller wants it: on the plate. —John A. Vlahides
Open Thursdays through Mondays 5 to 10 pm, Sundays 10 am to 1 pm.