There are so many great lunch options in Yountville ... Bouchon, Ad Hoc and you can't forget the French Laundry. The French Laundry was completely booked. I was looking at the menu at Bouchon and didn't think my friend Jules, who is a raw vegan, would find anything she'd be able to eat and Ad Hoc's menu for the day, although it sounded delicious, was a pork cutlet, so that wouldn't work either. I looked up some other restaurants nearby and saw that Redd had gotten some good reviews and that their chef could accommodate vegan or vegetarian requests.
So we decided to meet here for lunch.
They brought an amuse bouche of yogurt, granola and apples for me.
And apples and strawberries for Jules.
Now for our entree, the chef made her a raw vegetable salad. Very pretty but probably not that filling.
I, being the true midwesterner that I've become, gravitated toward the meat dishes. I ended up ordering the duck confit with mushroom risotto and thyme jus. I totally felt like a cave man eating this with Jules, who was enjoying her fresh, raw salad, but this was an awesome dish.
If an item on a menu has the word confit in it, I order it. I didn't know until last night what that actually meant. Apparently duck confit is a French technique where you poach duck legs in duck fat for several hours, giving it great flavor and making it super tender. The oil acts as a preservative almost so you can actually jar or can the duck and you can keep it for several months. I don't know how that would last in our place, not very long with me around.
The wonder of this dish, however, is the thick, crunchy crust on the duck, it was the perfect compliment to the fall off the bone tenderness of the duck and the creamy risotto below. The frisee was a nice etherel quality to the dish. The portion was huge too and I thought to myself, there is no way I can finish this whole thing, especially since I had an almond croissant 30 minutes ago. What do you know? When something tastes this good, anything is possible ... I think I polished this thing clean. lol.
I had a wonderful time in northern cal and it was a weekend chock full of my favorite things - good food, good wine and good friends. I know Bouchon and Ad Hoc get all the love, but you should also give Redd a shot if you're ever in Yountville.
6480 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599