Redd Restaurant – Yountville, CA
Four Courses in Bliss
I hadn't planned on staying long: a glass of wine, perhaps and
a fritto misto and back to work in a respectable forty-five minutes
or so. This was, after all, a Tuesday and not a time for dawdling
over the menu. Or so I told myself . . . two hours ago.
Sometimes the best laid plans for efficiency need to be thrown
out the window and patiently ignored. Life is short––too
short for wolfing down a turkey sandwich in the car while checking
your phone messages. Crumbs on the carseat and a closet full
of mayo-stained shirts speak volumes about the need to slow down
and smell the foie gras every once in a while. And Redd, which
opened in November, turned out to be just the place to do it.
Chef Richard Reddington, formerly of the nearby Auberge du Soleil
and Masa's in San Francisco, recently revamped the former Piatti
Restaurant in Yountville as his own. With clean lines, bright
natural light and little on the walls as competition, it's a
zen–like retreat made for gustatory contemplation. Each
course glitters and shines against stark white large, oversized
plates while oversized silverware, though a bit awkward in the
hand, makes the diner feel almost child–like in scale.
Go with it and allow yourself to oooh and ahhhh in wonderment
and purposely forget about grown-up things like, say, going back
brings me back to the two hour lunch: unable to pick just one
dish on the menu, I decided to try a tasting menu of four chef-selected
items. The restaurant also offers a 7–course tasting menu,
but frankly, that just seemed a little over the top—at
least for a Tuesday. At the whim of the kitchen, I was ready
Reddington is known around these parts as a talented young chef
with a strong background in classic French cuisine. At Redd,
he breaks free from the constraints of heavy sauces and a menu
dictated by either other chefs or long-time diners and explores
a sort of fusion cooking that brings in ideas from Asian, Californian
and Italian cooking.
Even complicated dishes feel clean and simple, rather than
the complicated everything—but—the— kitchen—sink
entrees that confuse and confound diners before they've even
raised a fork.
Take, for example, my first course: a marinated strip of raw
yellowfin tuna with slices of beets and radish dressed with lemon
oil, salt, pepper and microscopic croutons. Elegant, but exceedingly
Among the other courses: butternut squash ravioli with a ragout
of autumn vegetables tucked neatly under a blanket of parmesan;
braised shortribs with a horseradish crust and bordelaise. And
for dessert, a honey pear napoleon with warm diced pears, ricotta
cream and pear pastis sorbet. Each just as perfect and beautiful
in presentation, that I was literally clapping my hands in glee
at each course.
Two hours of bliss. Well spent, I'd say. Work can wait when
there's lunch to be eaten in Yountville.
Redd Restaurant, 6480 Washington St., Yountville, 707/944.2222.