Eating Like a Local in Napa: Redd Restaurant

If you’re in Yountville (which is in the Napa Valley, NOT Napa ’cause Napa is a completely different city, nitpicky nitpicky), walk right past Ad Hoc and go into Redd.

No, I’m not kidding. Do it. Seriously.

Well, actually, call for reservations first. We got ours for Saturday afternoon a mere week beforehand.

I wanted to go to Redd. I’d heard things about it, even here in the far-off Ancient Unicorn Burial Ground called Portland.

But I was worried my parents, being lifelong Napa (city AND valley) residents, would find the place too froofy and too expensive.

Because here’s what I know about dining like a local in Napa: they don’t eat at the froofy and famous places where entrees are 30-50 bucks a pop. Because that’s freakin’ expensive. Heck, even Taylor’s Gott’s Refresher is considered expensive by my cousins.

The ‘rents were willing to chance it, though, for a special lunch. Just for me. Because I’m spoiled.

Because I was in Napa to visit my family, and this Saturday afternoon I was also escorting my grandmother, The Lovely Suzanne, whose birthday was Monday, I left my camera at home. If you need pictures, go here and knock yourself out.

Verdict: It was a fantastic, relaxing, tasty lunch. The servers at the restaurant were fantastic, and I credit them with creating such an awesome environment that added to the memorable meal. Mom and Dad repeatedly said that they would have never gone to Redd if I hadn’t wanted to, but now they’re planning other special occasions, when far-flung family members visit who appreciate finer dining.

We all had different things for each course, and then shared. Redd’s menu is seasonal, but if they have the apple tart, get it. The fish with the jasmine rice and chorizo is what my father had, and he loved it (if you’re reading the other blog post linked above, ignore them. The chorizo had a slight burn that didn’t grab your tonsils and hang around). Mom liked the steak tartine, The Lovely Suzanne enjoyed the pea linguine with morels… and I wasn’t a big fan of the chicken with garlic potatoes. *shrug* It was good, it just wasn’t as spectacular as the rest of the family’s dishes.

Also? I tried foie gras for the first time! And I am not a fan. It’s got the same texture-fat issue that makes me hate avocados. But I tried it!

We spent a lot of the time talking, about the food, of course, and then about life and how to live life, and shared memories of family members, some of whom are no longer alive. There was a lot of laughing at our table.

The tab for the four of us (with appetizers and desserts but no alcoholic drinks) was $150. Considering Redd has a Michelin star, that’s pretty darn cheap. The memories of the day, however, were priceless.

This is part of a series of posts I wrote about my recent trip to the ol’ family homestead in Napa. Here’s the complete list so far:

+ Gott’s Roadside Refresher
+ Norman Rose Tavern
+ Frida’s Mexican Grill
+ Malfatti
+ Redd Restaurant

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