Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ad Hoc

6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of the famous Thomas Keller, the legendary chef who opened amazing restaurants like French Laundry, Bouchon and one of my favorite, Ad Hoc. Ad Hoc, which means "for this purpose" was originally opened as a temporary restaurant. But with blooming customers, Ad Hoc became phenomenon.

The thing I like about Ad Hoc is that unlike its fancy and expensive brother restaurants, Ad Hoc serves four courses family style meal that is unique, delicious and affordable! It is just a set price of $49/person. So, you get a taste of Thomas Keller's food around $50 instead of say like $300 at the French Laundry. Also, Ad Hoc uses local produces that taste very fresh!

I'd been to Ad Hoc two times so far, and each meal I had there was very memorable. One of the courses that I always look forward to is their salad. I know! Salad sounds so simple, but not Ad Hoc's. So far, they "wow" me with interesting ingredients that surprisingly taste good together.

Black Mission Fig Salad

I love this salad so so much! How come? Well they have the basic lettuce, and then they add bunch of really sweet black mission figs, cooked and marinated broccolini, and sunchokes! Now, sunchokes made this salad super interesting and delicious. I love it so much, I asked if they sell their sunchokes separately, but the waiter said no.

Marinated Beef Skirt Steak

First look at this, and I was like why did they cut the beef that way? The pattern on the meat made me think this skirt steak is going to be really tough to chew. That wasn't the case. The beef was so juicy and tender, and it was cooked to medium rare. The scallion with it tasted super good too even though I usually don't eat it.

White Grite and Tomato Marmalade

This side dish came along with the skirt steak. I never had grite before, but one bite of this, I was addicted! The tomato marmalade added so much flavors to the creamy grite even though the grite already had some taste to it. The creamy texture and subtle taste of the grites and the pasty texture and refreshing tomato paired well with each other. This side dish was pretty simple again, but it was blasted with flavors.

Boere Kaas Gouda and Currant Caper Relish

The cheese plate came after the entree. The flavor of the Boere Kaas Gouda was so strong and overwhelming. Its flavor lingered on my tongue even after swallowing it. I had tone down the flavor by eating it with the caper relish or the honey that came with it. The caper relish was very sweet. It was very enjoyable just eating the caper by itself.

Chocolate Brownie with California Strawberry Ice Cream

The meal ended with dessert. The brownie was super chocolatey and rich. It was also very gooey, which reminded me of lava cake. The homemade ice cream was so fresh and good. The strawberry flavor was very rich.

I enjoy visiting Yountville very much because it is so peaceful and quiet there. I enjoy grabbing snacks from Bouchon and eat outdoor as I enjoy the sun. Then end the night with delicious dinner at Ad Hoc. Even though the drive is about an hour long, it is always worth it!