Dining Bliss at the Restaurant at Meadowood
What can you say about dining at a Michelin 3 star restaurant? It is the service, it is the food, it is the labor and materials that goes into orchestrating a dining experience from the minute you step into the dining to when you leave.
For this wine country trip we dined at one of the two Michelin 3 Star restaurants (the other one is French Laundry) in Northern California. Chef Christopher Kostow did an amazing job acquiring and preparing the ingredients in a way that demonstrates modern culinary technique, without presenting the finished products in foams and gels (too much). The balance of the gastro technique and highlighting of the ingredients is one of the more impressive part of the meal.
Obviously when you are going through a massive tasting menu it is difficult to track it all and also upload all the pictures. Fortunately I was given a copy of the menu with wine pairings for reference :-) I wish I can do a dish by dish note, but Tumblr has a maximum of 10 pics in the photo blog ….. So here we go:
5 courses of amuse bouche including variation in vegetables, carrot cakes that was hand cut into spheres by hand with scissors (basically the skill of a florist and hairdressor combined), pillow pastry delivered on a pillow, finishing off with a macaron.
Yogurt with wild plum and wild pecan shiso
Green tomato clam lovage sea lettuce - Some of he best clam, almost abalone like. I had a long time
Roasted cucumbers Dill braised borage coastal grasses - A play on dill pickles, reinvented. First time I ever had a roasted cucumber and it was good..
Potatoes cooked in beeswax and assorted sorrels - Yes, beeswax. Tasty and unique
Daylily lobster caviar - the Daylily was stuffed with lobster meat. Think of the skill it takes to insert seafood into a flower.
Salmon bean noaple papalo - Gorgeous piece of Salmon
Roasted poultry broth - Almost Asian style consomme to clear the palatte.
Guniea hen summer truffle samp grits morels - Gorgeous pieces of game hen, perfectly roasted skin.
Lamb sunflower ‘tripe” with pickled lime - Lamb served with sunflower seeds compressed to look like tripe… amazing
Pretzel cheddar vinegar - A little starch to finish the dinner. A pretzel filled with cheddar. Fluffy little finish for your dinner
Spicebush bubble tea - yes, it is a play on the asian bubble tea. Unfortunately the photo didn’t do it justice because of the color of the cup and the lighting. Instead of tapioca, it has fruits and other yummy ingredients.
Chocolate cherry tart - The Cherries are actually made of cherries re-composed, sitting on a thin leaf of cholocolate.
"plate of local fruit" - A plate of beautiful fruit, some is actually whole fruit, some are made from fruit.
Birthday cake presented in a box - A small cake held inside a box which the lid holds down the sides. Box is presented on table, top is removed and the four walls of the box falls down to reveal the cake. Very cool, beats using a candle :-)
We also had a chance to visit the kitchen and met the dozen of chefs that worked in the kitchen creating all the wonderful dishes. Amazing dining experience and there is a a kitchen seating that you can special reserve for a 15 course tasting menu and watch the chefs in action.
Definitely worthy of the Michelin 3 Star and a great dining experience.
Meadowood Napa Valley
900 Meadowood Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
Tel (877) 963-3646
Fax (707) 963-3532
Wine Pairings of the meal were as followed:
Schramsberg “J. Schram” Brut North Coast 2005
Massican “Annia” Napa Valley 2012
Failla, Chardonnay “Haynes Vinyard” Coombsville 2011
Bedrock Wine Company “Ode to Lulu” Rose, Californai 2012
Scribe, Pinot Noir, Carneros 2012
Petrichor “Le Trois” Sonoma County 2010
Revana, Cabernet Sauvignon, St Helena 2005
Anderson Valley Brewing, Boont Amber Ale, Boonsville, CA
Brown Butter Bourbon, Cherry Liqueurs, Chocolate Bitters
Since I finally made it to French Laundry I thought I’d reblog the post from almost a year ago when I dined at Meadowood Restaurant, the only other Michelin 3 star restaurant in the Bay area.
The difference I think is the approaches. French Laundry is definitely by its namesake a Thomas Keller classic French approach to wine country fine dining, while Meadowood with Chef Christopher Kostow is a new California wine country cooking that is doesn’t use as much of the sauces technique with French Laundry.