Eat Like a Local in Napa: Norman Rose Tavern

“We’re going to Norman Rose for parmesan truffle fries. I’m bringing champagne.”

Sounds good, right? And it totally was. I recommend the Mumm Brut Prestige to go with the parmesan truffle fries.

Looking at the menu for the Norman Rose Tavern, it resembles any of the fancy gastropubs in Portland. The building is interesting, a mix of rustic sensibilities with the homogeneous sleek furniture I expect of some place like Romano’s Macaroni Grill. The beer selection is fairly robust, and the wines are, well… it’s Napa.

There are two flat screen TVs over the bar, the place is small enough that everyone, even if they had to crane their necks a little bit, could see them. I wasn’t the only one watching the Giants game. The place packed out pretty thoroughly between 5pm and 6pm, and by the time we left around 7ish, it was SRO.

We were waiting for the last member of our party to arrive, and doing our best to ensure no fries were left, and I looked around and said, “What smells so good?” They were cooking up the pan seared snapper sandwich for another customer. I dropped my plan to have the Five Dot burger for the snapper. I’m not much of a cooked fish eater (I do love me some sushi, but even that I only eat on rare occasions), but this? Was fantastic. I even dare to say it was better than a burger, or the Caggiano Bratwurst (which was really, really good too, I had a bite). In describing the evening to my mother later, I said, “Mom, it was so good, I ate mayonnaise.”

“You’re kidding— *you* ate *mayonnaise*?”

“They called it ‘aioli’, but it’s mayo. And I ate it. And it was gooooood.”

Desserts were tasty. I made the misteak of not asking what all was in the coconut parfait. And it had pineapple. Which isn’t my favorite, but the coconut pudding was good and I ate the whole thing, so let that be a lesson to you.

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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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