Ad Hoc Brunch

Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc serves up Brunch every Sunday from 10-1pm and it’s become supremely popular. We arrived at 10:10 and the placed was full by 10:30. It’s a 3 course meal for $34.¬† I had heard from others that the Brunch menu included Bouchon pastries, yogurt and then a choice of a breakfasty main dish (waffles, pancakes, eggs) but on our visit the format had changed. This is the menu we received on May 16, 2010 (no choices available).

Ice berg lettuce with buttermilk dressing, red onions, apples and walnuts

Steak & scrambled eggs with creme fraiche, wild mushroom ragu and fava beans

Oven roasted potatoes

Beignets covered in sugar with strawberry, vanilla and chocolate dipping sauces

The salad was good but nothing special. The steak and eggs on the other hand was a masterpiece. It still amazes me how every single bite is perfectly seasoned. The man knows how to use salt! The beignets were divine even though they were more like donuts; dipped in a combo of vanilla-strawberry sauce was delish. We left satisfied but not stuffed (which is always a good thing).

Next visit I would make my reservation for a later time. It definitely is more of an early lunch menu than a breakfast. I don’t usually wake up and have a salad with my french press.

See our past Ad Hoc adventures:
Fried Chicken night
Pork dinner

Ad Hoc part II – Fried Chicken Night

THE Fried Chicken everyone goes gaga over

Typical conversation about Ad Hoc:

Have you been to Ad Hoc?
Did you have the fried chicken?
Oh, my gosh it’s the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. It’s life changing bla,bla,bla

Back in May we did go to Ad hoc but not on fried chicken night. We instead had a marvelous pork dinner. If you are not familiar with Thomas Keller’s beloved restaurant in Yountville, Ca read this past post.

Mike and I returned to Ad Hoc to finally try the legendary fowl. We arrived on July 28 super syked and ready to devourer some breasts and wings. Here was our menu for the evening:

First Course - Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad with house cured speck, sweet 100 tomatoes, red torpedo onions, herb-cream dressing

Second Course - Buttermilk Fried Chicken brentwood yellow corn & yukon gold potatoes

Third Course - The Cheese Board with berry jam & medjool dates

Fourth Course - Pecan Tarts with whipped vanilla cream & caramel sauce

The answer to every ones question…Did it live up to the hype? Unfortunately for me – No…as I have stated in the past I like my chicken with a thin salty skin. Keller’s chicken didn’t have either of those components. His chicken has a thick herby skin. Good, but not my style. Mike enjoyed it. At least I can now say — been there, done that!

My favorite parts of the meal were the two sides. The corn was so sweet I didn’t mind the kernels stuck in my teeth and when I die I want to be buried in a vat of that creamy buttery mash. Just because I wasn’t crazy about the chicken doesn’t mean I like Ad Hoc any less. The food is amazing and I love the concept of the restaurant. It still gets 5 drumsticks in my book and I will be back. I look forward to trying a fish and beef menu.

Tasty Tip: If you want to try it for yourself a fellow food blogger has a calendar that lists all the monthly Ad Hoc fried chicken nights. For those of you who can’t make it to Napa Keller’s chick recipe can be found here or to try my version go here.

Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc is a fairly new restaurant in Yountville from the famous chef Thomas Keller (the French laundry/Bouchon). When you enter the building you will feel as though you stepped into a Pottery Barn catalog. The decor is casual and homey yet hip and fun. Ad Hoc is billed as a family style restaurant which usually means everyone at your table orders a few dishes and you share. Here, things are done a little different… Ad Hoc serves ONE 4 course menu every night which you share at your table. So whatever the chef decides to make, you eat. There are no choices to be made. When I first heard about this unique business model I was highly intrigued. With that said I expected every dish to be prepared flawlessly and guess what?…they were! Every morsel was perfectly seasoned. I could actually taste the salt and pepper in every bite.

Here is the menu we were served on May 10th, 2008 ($48/per person):

First course – Frisee salad with beets
I absolutely love beets so I was totally excited about this salad. It was delectable. It was simple yet refined. When you have fresh ingredients you can’t go wrong.

Second course – Stuffed pork with rice, barley, baby carrots, asparagus and apple compote
Mike was drooling…The pork skin was crisp and salty and the meat tender. The veggies and rice were a perfect accompaniment.

Third course – Goat cheese with pinenut brittle and blackberry jam
A combination I would never think of was a symphony in my mouth.

Fourth course – Thin pastry with baked bananas topped with strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream
I don’t know if you notice from previous posts but if a restaurant offers a dessert with bananas and ice cream Mike and I order it. We adore banana anything. It was like this menu was tailor made for us.

The one and only thing I did not care for was the music blasting in the dining room, it really contradicted with the homey vibe they wanted the restaurant to portray. Don’t get me wrong the soundtrack played throughout the night was great but extremely loud. I found it hard to talk with the friends at our table. Around 8ish the music and lights were turned down which was much appreciated.

This was the best meal of the weekend and probably the best I have ever had in Napa. I hear the evenings with fried chicken and chocolate brownies are to die for. Unfortunately, they only post the menu the day of so you can’t plan ahead. It’s the luck of the draw. Make your reservation (far in advance) and keep your fingers crossed. But really unless you are a picky eater I don’t think you can go wrong on any night.

Side Note: We were told by one of the servers that Ad Hoc originally was a temporary fix until Keller could open a burger and half bottle joint but it became so popular that it had to stay. I’m so glad it did!

Rating:

Website: http://adhocrestaurant.com/

Keller cookbooks:
The French laundry
Bouchon

Ad Hoc on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: