I have mentioned my wonderful (and insane) roommates before on this blog – we have lived together for two amazing years and are going on our third (and last…waaahhh :[ ) one together. What I haven't mentioned is that one of my roommates - known as Jen to you, and Ferny to me - has been my roommate since before college even started! We were roommates at orientation, chose to room together freshman year, and have been going strong ever since.
Jen appreciates and accepts my neurotic food tendencies, therefore when we decided to meet in Napa for lunch recently, she gave me the go ahead to Yelp my heart out until I found somewhere that sounded appealing to me.
After some sleuthing, I chose Grace’s Table, primarily because of their concept of “global comfort food” coupled with their emphasis on sustainability/localness that is becoming increasingly popular in Northern California. I also chose it because Jen and I are obsessed with cornbread, and I had heard excellent things about theirs.
So we started with the cornbread. Described as “Iron Skillet Corn Bread with Lavender Honey Butter and Mache Lettuce,” this item was solid. The mache was random and unnecessary (in my opinion), but the butter was interesting and I liked the crispiness of the outside of the bread and the moistness within. It also had little pieces of corn inside, which I liked.
I got the “Potato Gnocchi with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, Baby Spinach and Reggiano Parmigiano.” Is Reggiano Parmigiano different from Parmigiano Regginao? I will never know, but I do know that this was a very tasty dish. Initially I was very interested in the scallops with risotto that was on the menu, but at $24 I couldn’t really justify it for lunch, so I chose this gnocchi. The pesto was one of the best I have ever had, and the tomatoes were excellent. My only gripe is I wish there had been more tapenade.
Jen got the “Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with Roasted Peppers, Pesto Aioli, Provolone, and Butter Lettuce on Foccacia Roll.” It was served with garden pickles and root vegetable chips. I had a few bites of the sandwich and really enjoyed it, especially the aioli and the roll it was served on. The root vegetable chips were also very good, and something I would be interested in recreating at home.
The two big drawbacks of Grace’s Table are the price and the service. While the food was very good, I feel like the lunch prices were slightly high – a lot of things on the menu that appealed to me (scallops, pappardelle, tamale) were close to $20, if not more, and while I understand that Napa is a pricey place, I do feel like lunch prices should be a little lower. HOWEVER, I also appreciate that sometimes locally sourced and sustainable food can be a little bit more expensive – so I do understand that aspect of dining here.
The biggest drawback was the service which was very “meh” and borderline rude. Our waiter was pretty M.I.A, and when he was there he was very disinterested. After he read the special I heard a different waiter talking to another table, and he mentioned two specials to that party that our waiter did not mention to us. I feel like if the service matched up with the prices and the quality of food, this would definitely be one of my recommended places to dine in Napa, however catching up with my roommate was obviously the highlight so there was no way this lunch could really be bad!
PS – Abby and Sydney – your time in the spotlight will come :)