Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tra Vigne - Wine Country, California
While staying in Napa Valley, we were driving through St Helena looking for somewhere to have a nice dinner. We had not done any research and were strictly choosing by the feel that we got for a place and from there we were just going to take our chances. We drove past Tra Vigne, and then because of the beautiful exterior and the indoor and outdoor dining we decided to give it a try.
Boy were we glad we did.
As soon as we were seated we knew that we were in for something special. The inside was very spacious and had high ceilings.
We felt like having a cocktail, and they had some very interesting signature drinks on their menu. We decided on the Drop Di Cello (Ketel One Citroen Vodka, Limoncello, Disaronno de Amaretto, Lemon and Cinnamon-Sugar Rim $12) and I must say that it was delicious and refreshing!
Our server greeted us and we could tell that not only had he done this for many years but that he loved what he did. The receipt says his name is Jim and I would highly recommend asking for him. We had our eye on several items on the menu and then when he suggested them as being some of their best dishes we knew we had been thinking along the right lines.
We started with Mozzarella Cheese "Al Minuto" (hand made at the moment ordered, grilled bruschetta, Napa Valley olive oil $14)
For what is obviously their most popular appetizer, a small table is brought out and a carver comes and hand pulls your mozzarella and places it on your grilled bread, then drizzles it with olive oil. It is quite the show, but even more importantly it is absolutely melt-n-your-mouth delicious.
My friend ordered the Sage Infused Pappardelle (braised rabbit ragu, wild mushrooms, grana padano $18)
He loved it, and I might have even had a bite and thought it was pretty good.
As for me, I ordered what our server told us was his absolute favorite dish on the menu... Grilled Hill Ranch Pork Tenderloin (creamed corn with bacon and arugula, baby marble potatoes, fresh cherry sauce $26)
First of all I don't normally order pork tenderloin when I am out because several years ago I got food poisoning from ordering it at a not-so-great establishment.
But this was different, because I could tell that Tra Vigne was a far superior restaurant, plus the ingredients that were served with it sounded to good to let my personal hang ups get in the way.
This was a dish that had a variety of textures and flavors to please all of the senses. The potatoes were small and perfectly crispy, cooked just shy of being burnt and giving the dish a great crunch. The creamed corn, bacon and arugula sat on top of the potatoes and gave the tender pork slices a creamy-sweet-and-salty bed to rest on. Then the entire plate was covered with the fresh cherries and their sweet, rich sauce. When the plate was first brought out I didn't think that I was going to be able to finish it, however it was so incredibly delicious that I somehow managed to make room.
To make it simple, Tra Vigne gets an A+ from me and I highly recommend giving it a try. Great service, ambiance and food and I will remember this experience for a long time!
Posted by d at 3:01 AM