3 Michelin starred restaurant within 5* hotel and golf resort in (north) Napa Valley
Meadowood is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant within a luxury resort in Napa Valley. The region is split into 5 main towns and St Helena is the penultimately northern town which feels a little more isolated as a town compared to Yountville for example which holds the other 3 Michelin starred restaurant of Napa Valley, The French Laundry. This experience at Meadowood was altogether a much lighter affair on the palate but pretty much the same on the wallet. Christopher Kostow is the head chef here and does a superb job all round. The restaurant feels like a country lodge and the lovely log fires in the waiting area and bar in general increase the charm of the experience. All these factors, including the wonderful dishes took the sting out of the $1,100 price tag for the dinner for two overall and this was without any excessive wines. So there is always as catch it would seem, but this was a delightful experience which I don’t regret in any way. It’s more a question of logistics and maths of a bank account that will dictate how often this sort of experience can happen(!).
From the moment you walk into this restaurant I think you will feel as I did which is that you are in fine hands. The decor is grand but homely and there is an array of nibbles of fresh vegetables and creations that are full of natural flavour and totalling 5 opening courses of nibbles. Thankfully these were very light and so was a pleasure to have.
There were several moments during this meal that stand out as utterly superb. After a very good foie gras in a delectably thin slice of avocado, the chicken that had been oven cooked in salt bread was the first such moment. This was literally the best chicken I have ever had and saddens me that it might actually overtake the Great British Menu chicken dish by Daniel Clifford, had at Midsummer House. The butter and herb sauce was outstanding but it was the sheer power of the chicken flavour that was the genuinely eye-opening moment.
The second wonderful moment came with the cheese course. In front of our eyes, the candle that had been burning in front of us for the entire meal had secretly been hiding another purpose – it had been gently warming the cheese and truffle sauce that had been placed inside and then sealed inside the candle. Not only was this a lovely piece of theatre that I have not seen before, but the melted cheese and truffle itself was just superb – there was literally nothing I could fault about this in any way and was such a treat. The simplicity and excellence was its perfection and this is where the money goes, into moments like these.
The third moment of genius was the blueberry tart which had been intricately designed but the custard was the best I have ever had in a tart and both at the table were instantly bowled over at the genius of this dish. Tea and petit four were served in the entrance area after the meal with a very good chat with the staff who were simply experts in the art of hospitality. All of this made the hefty price tag less terrible to see and basically forgivable quite easily.
This meal was basically The Sportsman on steroids and I loved every moment of it. It is one of the gems of the world and if I find myself with the means one day, staying here to enjoy the grounds more and having another meal here would be one of the things I must do on my bucket list.
Food Grade: 92%
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