Thursday, July 10, 2014
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch - St Helena, Napa Valley California
When researching where to have dinner for our second night in Napa Valley I kept reading review after review stating how good Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch was. From what I could gather it was an extremely local farm-to-table restaurant that raised their own beef and pork. It was also located in St Helena, which was where we were going to be anyway so we made a reservation and planned for our evening meal to be there.
We arrived a little early so we bellied up to the bar for a cocktail until our table was ready.
My friend ordered a Ginger Julep (buffalo trace bourbon, citrus, simple syrup, mint, ginger beer $10) and I ordered a Porch Swing (titos vodka, st. germain, lemon, strawberry puree, simple syrup $11).
Mine was sweet and extremely tasty.
I also went outside to use the bathroom and I must say that it was a highlight in itself, unusually modern and very cool.
When I returned our table was ready so we grabbed up our drinks and were promptly seated.
Our server Lauren was outstanding, she had a bubbly charm and an in-depth knowledge of both the menu and of food/food preparation in general.
I highly recommend that you request her if you go there for dinner.
Now before I get to the food I want to mention the decor at Farmstead.
There are extremely high ceilings and several different styles of seating that can accommodate both intimate and large parties alike.
They also made very smart choices at our particular table by placing containers of flower-filled water jugs between us and our adjacent party of four, it was just enough to give us each plenty of privacy even though we were actually right next to each other.
So as soon as we were seated we put in our appetizer order of the Bay Area Artisan Cheese Board $16.
It consisted of samplings of three local cheeses (goat, cheddar and blue) with apple slices, toasted bread, almonds and local honey.
We ate every bite of this Cheese Board and felt that it was an amazing start to our culinary adventure here at Farmstead.
Next course was three items... Wood Grilled Peaches with La Quercia Ham, Bellwether Ricotta and Basil $13
This was unusual, yet scrumptious because of the unique combination of flavors.
Crispy Potatoes with Spicy Mayo $6
and because Lauren had told us it was the best ever... The Mac and Cheese $8
We asked her why it was the best ever and she replied, "Because it is made with three simple ingredients... Sharp Cheddar, Cream and Macaroni"
Turns out she was right. It was by far the best Mac and Cheese I have ever had, and it has also changed the way that I will be preparing Mac and Cheese at home.
So for this I have to Thank both Lauren and Farmstead.
For second course he had the Potato Gnocchi with Grass-Fed Beef Ragu, Summer Vegetables and Herbs $22
I had a bite and it was awesome.
He was so full already though he only had a couple of bites before he had them pack it to go.
I ordered the LMR Grass-Fed Cheeseburger on a Potato Bun with Cheddar, Arugula and Crispy Potatoes $18.
When it arrived I was slightly disappointed because there was Mustard on the top Bun.
This was not in the description and if I had known then I would have ordered it without it (I can't stand mustard).
Now since I was getting rather full myself I decided to simply remove the top bun (think of all the carbs I would be saving...Lol) and eat it knife and fork style.
So I ended up eating the bottom bun which was covered with a delicious bbq sauce (I may hate mustard but I love me some bbq sauce), the thick grass-fed beef patty, and the generous portion of cheddar.
I was in heaven.
I don't think that I have ever had beef this good before.
Something about it being so fresh made it melt in my mouth (and I need to point out that I ordered it well done, and it was still so perfectly tender).
We ended up taking most of his Gnocchi and Ragu, most of the Crispy Potatoes and a little of the Mac and Cheese home with us, however our hotel had both a refrigerator and a microwave so we had a hearty stick-to-your-ribs breakfast of leftovers the next morning.
From my many years of enjoying dining out and reviewing restaurants I cannot think of a better experience then the one I had at Farmstead. From food quality, to decor and ambiance, to service they are truly head and shoulders above the rest and I couldn't possibly give them a higher rating then I do right now.
Keep up the good work Farmstead, you have a fan for life and part of the reason that I want to return to Napa Valley is because of you.
Posted by d at 2:41 AM