Ad Hoc, Napa Brunch

4 Nov

I filled in at the last minute for a space in an Ad Hoc brunch reservation with friends (this seems to be a running theme for me and Yountville restaurants).

It’s a fixed you-don’t-know-what-it-will-be-ahead-of-time menu, and I really lucked out– it hit all sorts of favorite ingredients for me (anise, cured fish, egg yolk, spicy greens, pickles, etc).

We started with bagels with good salmon cured with fennel/Pernod(? — I think that’s what she said), fried capers, and a beet and spicy watercress salad. Unfortunately, the bagels were mediocre– a texture more like a dense bread, not chewy or lactic-acid-fermentation flavorful the way a bagel should be. But as vehicles for the salmon and cheese they were fine.

Beef hash- delightfully tender large chunks of beef (not small-overly-fatty-bits, the way I think beef in hash often is), soft potatoes, rich egg yolk.

We also tried the sweet potato pancakes (good but not great), and a very good bloody mary with olives and pickled pepper.

Overall, it was a delicious brunch, though not inexpensive. As an extra bonus, it was beautiful sunny day to be driving and walking around in Napa Valley.

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