Lucy Restaurant, Yountville
Lucy Restaurant, Yountville
By Ashok Khanna
Also Posted on bestofsfbayarea.com
In 2009, Bardessono Hotel entered a crowded field of luxury inns and hotels in Yountville, a prime tourist destination. Its distinctive modern design with clean lines and use of glass and salvaged wood emphasizes sustainability. Indeed, it was awarded a Platinum LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design), the highest level.
Bardessono Interior Lounge
Its restaurant, Lucy, vies with a congestion of illustrious restaurants in the small town, including three by Thomas Keller, one of the best chefs in the US. Conforming to the hotel’s premise, Lucy’s Garden, located on-site, provides fresh organic vegetables. Suppliers of other ingredients are carefully chosen for quality and compatibility with its approach and are located nearby, whenever possible.
Lucy’s Executive Chef is Victor Scargle, bestowed a 3.5 star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle at when he was at Copia. Earlier he spent five years with the Michael Mina group, including at Aqua in San Francisco and Pisces in Burlingame. On the Sunday that my daughter and I had dinner there, Alfredo Cortez, the Chef de Cuisine, was in-charge of the kitchen. He has served as the chef in other Napa Valley restaurants, including Boon Fly Café at the Carneros Inn and Hog Island Oyster Company in the Oxbow Public Market.
From the online reservation, the restaurant knew that our visit was to celebrate my birthday. We were seated in the patio where there were about ten tables, between buildings with green vegetation along the walls. Servers brought complimentary flutes of sparkling wine to toast my anniversary. Then came a variety of sliced breads and butter with a streaks of black sea salt morsels that added to the taste. While looking through the interesting menu, we were served an amuse-bouche (a bite-sized starter), a shot glass of chilled pureed tomato with shrimp, lemon oil and basil aioli floating on top, a refreshing shooter.
My daughter’s sweet corn soup was thick and creamy with the panna cotta mixed in, and indeed sweet, a blend of fresh corn with just a hint of basil. For main dishes, the menu provides an option of two portion sizes, the smaller priced at about half the larger. Her order of a small plate of Alaskan Halibut was perfectly poached in grape seed oil with beans, cucumber salad and herbs. The light sauce and vegetables flavored the fish gently.
I opted for the Sunday supper prix fixe menu of four courses for $45. In the cucumber salad with tomatoes and lemon pepper chevre, the tomatoes stood out, reminiscent of those in Italy, the best I’ve had in a long time. The wild king salmon was moist and infused with dark caramelized sherry jus and crushed almonds. The risotto had generous pieces of lobster and was prepared in a broth flavored with white wine and herbs that seeped into the rice and adhered to the lobster, giving it rich substance.
I shared the dessert with my daughter, a couer la crème (usually a heart-shaped, unbaked cheese cake without a crust), that despite its name was not heart-shaped and sat on vanilla shortbread cookie surrounded by blueberries. The cheese was light as a feather and the cookie crumbled in it, lending it texture, with the blueberries adding a fresh, fruity sweetness—a fitting finish to a sumptuous birthday repast.
To synchronize with the restaurant’s name, I ordered a Lucy Rose made of pinot noir grapes by Pisoni, a winery in Monterey County. It was light strawberry in color with a brisk, dry taste. It paired well with my salad and risotto, but was too light for the salmon and sherry sauce. The prix fixe menu offers a wine pairing with each course for an additional $20.
The waiter and other service staff were courteous, knowledgeable, efficient and unobtrusive, appropriate for the occasion. Lucy is definitely holding its own in Yountville.
Lucy is located in the Bardessono Hotel, 6526 Yount Street, Yountville. Website: www.bardessono.com/restaurant_bar. Telephone: 707-204-6030. Valet parking is complementary.