October 28, 2006

Redd's tasting menu in dual preparations... genius!

yellowfin tuna tartare, avocado, chili oil, fried rice
sashimi of hamachi, sticky rice, edamame, lime ginger sauce
* * *
petrale sole, chorizo, manilla clams, saffron curry nage
caramelized diver scallops, califlower puree, almonds, balsamic reduction
* * *
tasting of cold foie gras preparations, pears, pistachios, brioche
seared foie gras with caramelized figs
* * *
glazed pork belly, apple puree, burdock, soy caramel
veal and ricotta meatballs, celery root puree
* * *
prime new york steak and shortribs, black pepper gnocchi, braised romano beans
young lamb tenderloin, fresh shelled beans, olive, pepper, tomato confit
* * *
panna cotta with chocolate drizzle
date beignets with cinnamon ice cream

We celebrated Lav's birthday this weekend with a dinner at Redd in Yountville. I'll never cease to be amazed at the concentration of significant restaurants in Yountville. What a lucky town.

This blog isn't really intended for restaurant reviews, so I'll just comment on some of the successful dishes and/or components that were really spectacular.

The saffron curry nage that accompanied the petrale sole was fantastic. The nage was done in the style of a loose foam, incorporating the alluring earthiness of saffron with just the lightest hint of curry in the background, all accented by the fresh flavor of the sea. The nage must have been made, in part, by the juice released by the clams -- the aroma was like a savory whiff of ocean air... just perfect for the sole.

We both thought the glazed pork belly was the dish of the tasting. The rich, mouth-coating flavor of the pork was made even more interesting by the crispy texture of the meat. The apple puree and soy caramel had sufficient sweetness to pair beautifully with the unctuously prepared pork.

Lastly, we enjoyed an exquisitely prepared, tiny portion of New York steak, paired with a braised shortrib. The slice of New York strip was richly flavored, yet remarkably tender... seared to form a perfect crust while remaining just under medium-rare on the interior. The shortrib was meltingly tender, complex and earthy in its velvety decadence. The miniscule portion size for this course was ideal... just enough to be able to compare the contrasting flavors and textures of the two different cuts, made with two different preparations. I've never seen a dish come with exactly two micro-gnocchi as accompaniment (until now).

Excellent service; clean, modern design (nifty sinks)... a very enjoyable restaurant. The best part about the meal was the execution of the tasting menu in dual preparations. Since Lav and I each had different courses which shared some broad thematic similarity from course to course, it was like having a progressively designed 12-course meal. Really fantastic... an unexpectedly gracious service element that captures the restaurant's admirable focus on the diner's experience.

Redd Restaurant
6480 Washington St
Yountville, CA
(707) 944-2222

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