2010 has been a stellar year for Tyler Florence in the Bay Area. He has opened restaurants in San Francisco and Napa within the last 6 months with a third to come in Mill Valley in early 2011. Best know for his 14 year run on the Food Network with shows like “Food 911” and “Tyler’s Ultimate”, Wayfare Tavern is Florence’s first foray into the restaurant biz. I was intrigued to find out if the food that looked so good on TV could be pulled off in person so we made a reservation for my birthday.
We arrived at 6:30 pm on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, Florence wasn’t in the house because he was out on his cookbook tour. We were quickly escorted to the 2nd floor to a table right at the top of the stairs. Wayfare serves up American comfort food in a chic rustic setting (think dark woods, leather, exposed brick and mounted animal heads). To start things off Mike ordered a half bottle of RIDGE red wine. Mike was very impressed with the wine offerings. Unlike some other high end restaurants in the area the wine list is not insanely marked up. We then perused the menu … I really didn’t need to look because I knew they had fried chicken and you all know I never pass that up. Mike decided to go with the steak.
We shared the beet appetizer which was very nice. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the accompanying ricotta was wonderful.
The mains were masterful. My chicken was juicy yet crispy and the squeeze of lemon put it over the top. It did have herbs and I usually don’t go for that but for some reason it worked in this instance.
You can’t go wrong with a Santa Maria tri-tip and a boat load of fries. Mike was in meat and potatoes heaven. He thoroughly enjoyed his meal.
We didn’t have room for coffee and dessert but we got it anyways and didn’t leave a morsel. My favorite part, of all things, was the roasted pear. It was pure sweet goodness.
Hey, Tyler…can you hook a girl up with the recipe?
Soooo did Florence pull it off? Indeed! Yummy food, big portions, reasonable prices, great ambiance, excellent service and a super wine list. What more can you ask for? I can’t wait to try Rotisserie & Wine in Napa.
Note: When we left at 8pm the first level of the restaurant was a mad house (glad we were upstairs). It was packed to the gills with a line of folks out the door trying to get a table …Seriously people?…MAKE A RESERVATION cause business is booming!