It was a fall day in Yountville, where the air was crisp and the trees had turned a gorgeous palette of gold and red. Nothing about fall that didn’t make me want a stiff drink and warm food in my system. Along the street of the Thomas Keller franchise, Redd sat quietly by the stone mushroom garden, unassuming.
Seated at the bar, we were welcomed by quite the menu of fall drinks. Feeling daring, I had ordered a “Fall Fashion” – Bulleit bourbon, antica formula, butternut squash puree. That’s right, I had proper vegetable in my cocktail. It was smooth and almost earthy, with a faint kick of the bourbon that I so enjoyed. Recommended and thorough good pick on my part, I must say.
We had first a smoked salmon breakfast-style pizza. Eggs were soft scrambled florets graced by capers, thinly sliced chives and tiny dollops of creme fraiche. Sandwiched between signature pink-orange fish and the exceptional crisp pizza crust, this little dish was quite a treat.
On the fish-y extension, we had the yellowfin tuna tartare – tossed together with sweet asian pear dices, creamy avocado, and jasmine puff rice. Dressed in chili oil (and perhaps just a drop of sesame), it was absurdly refreshing.
Their signature steamed pork bun was a natural procession. Pork belly was fried crisp at the skin, but still fat and buttery at the meat, just how I like it. The bun had to be house-made, steaming doughy and soft as a baby’s butt. Yes, a baby’s butt. Sadly, the hoisin was drizzled a bit too generously on the bun; good thing the cucumber slaw backed it up a bit.
A surprise from the kitchen. Sous-chef Jacob Kossmann was testing out menu for his upcoming venture, Reddwood, a new Richard Reddington project to be opened come spring. A squid-ink pasta served cold, tossed in a clean yet creamy jalapeno avocado sauce with hints of cilantro. There was taste of lemon and fresh grass that came from the slightly under-ripe avocado. Mild heat underscore. Squid ringlets were tenderly and perfectly cooked, the pasta al dente. A dish perfect for a hot summer day, maybe with a chilled sauvignon blanc. My favorite of the day.
As if that wasn’t enough, we also received a bonus little prawn tempura to round up this tasting trip. Nothing quite beat the sweetness of fried prawns. So sweet, so plump, so juicy. Fantastic with the red Sriracha aioli that, according to my notes at the time, “hits you in a good way”.
Really, if this was just the bar menu – I cannot wait to return for more. Perhaps for dinner. I wonder what magic awaits.
A special shout-out to Rob, our gracious host/bartender. A good man (and a not-so-secret Phish fan), thank you for making out visit so spectacular.
Redd | 6480 Washington Street | Yountville, CA 94599 | 707.949.2222