Friday, July 30, 2010
Dinner at Ubuntu, Napa
I love Ubuntu in downtown Napa. My first visit was with AudioDad in late winter. I had heard so much about Ubuntu's seasonal menu. AudioDad didn't quite know what to expect when I told him it was a vegetarian restaurant (and actually, all their dishes can be prepared vegan). But we both loved it and I was really looking forward to going back, especially because I couldn't take many photos- much too dark! So when I recently got together with the girls for dinner, I suggested Ubuntu and was thrilled that we ordered one of EACH! dish on their small plates "garden" menu- "ten dishes inspired by the beautiful bounty of biodynamics, seasonality, and creativity"
our amuse- baby carrotsa starter of glazed cumin nuts (replacing their popular lavender almonds)- at first the cumin seemed odd with the sweetness of the glaze, but they quickly became quite addictive!
pane carasau-Sardinian flatbread with truffled pecorino, early summer leaves and flowers, soil (a really earthy tasting sprinkle of mushrooms possibly?)my favorite dish of the night- a clear cataloupe and sage gazpacho, blackened melon, "rat tail" radish, aloe vera, and spearmint marinated beets and whipped sheep's milk cheese, purslane, caramelized apricots, lavender congee, noyauxsteamed bun with onions and wild plumsone fo the more interesting dishes-savory chocolate financier, smoken pecan, estrella family chevrette, over green tomato mosaic, lemon balmrancho gordo yellow bean stew- you'd never know there wasn't meat in this dish- it's so heartypasta with assorted squash, fennel fiore, lemony carrot top brothroasted potatoes and cucumbers, lady's slipper, horseradishox-heart carrot salad, nasturtium panade, ras el hanout, crushed cherriesarbuckle grits with farm eggs, goat's whey. fennel, strawberry soffritto
Then dessert (again, we went ahead and ordered one of each dish!)...warm white chocolate lavender cookies and strauss milktcho chocolate and smoked cherries, noyaux ice cream, tarragon, cocoa nib tuilefrog hollow peach and corn pudding, popcorn streusel (sooo good- we liked it so much, our server brought us an extra bowlful with our check), blackberries, goat's milk ice creamslow strawberries and torn brioche with basil, verbena & long pepper ice milk, lemon curdThe only dessert I didn't photograph (surprise!)- the blueberry float with shiso soda, lime tapioca, and chamomile granita