Ad Hoc, CA

Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc, CA

Executive Chef: Thomas Keller
Cuisine: New American, Comfort Food
Price: $$$
Address:  6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599
Phone: (707) 944-2487
Dinner five nights a week: 5:00pm – 10:00pm (closed Tue and Wed)
Sunday Brunch: 10:00am – 2:00pm

One week to Hermielle’s wedding in Napa… T-6

The last time I was back home in California was exactly a year ago in May 2013.  It started out as a hectic visit because I was busy planning a surprise engagement party for my sister.  It turned out to be quite a success and the couple was very happily surprised… the fact that I had just decided a week prior to host the party helped a lot with the secret-keeping.

After the celebration flurry calmed down, it was time for me to unwind with my favorite activity – heading to wine country.  I rotate my Napa Valley drivers each visit home; this time it was my dad.  I convinced my family to spend the day in Napa Valley despite the fact none of them really drink; however, the scenery and food (and presumably my happiness) was plenty reason for them.  Our first stop was the gorgeous Artesa Vineyards and Winery for a tasting and the obligatory photo shoot.  This Spanish-owned winery is easily one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa — the architecture and views are quite spectacular.  The wine on the other hand… I admit I don’t really recall it…

Artesa winery

Our next stop was a 20 minute drive north to Yountville where we had early dinner reservations at Ad Hoc.  Like every Thomas Keller restaurant, this one was high on my wish list, and it was even more so because I have been an avid user of his cookbook Ad Hoc at Home .  Chef Keller first opened Ad Hoc in 2005 as a temporary cafe.  It was to serve as a space filler for 6 months as they prepared the building for a different restaurant.  The restaurant was named literally “for this purpose” and would serve a 4 course family-style menu that would change daily.  The single menu was loosely planned based on available ingredients just a few days in advance.  It was offered five days a week at a flat price ($52 food menu + $45 with wine pairings).

ad hoc restaurant

However, the positive guest response allowed Ad Hoc to take a life of its own, and in 2007, the restaurant stayed permanently open.  Then in 2009, Chef Keller published his Ad Hoc at Home cookbook and in 2011, I bought that very cookbook :).   I have featured a number of those recipes in this blog, and one of my most successful dishes I have made was his Buttermilk Fried Chicken.  It so happened that the menu the day my family visited Ad Hoc was this same dish, and I was able to compare mine against the pros.  I would like to be modest but… I really nailed that recipe!  Yes, I was quite pleased with myself.  See mine below from the blog:

Thomas Keller's Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Okay, done patting myself on the back.  Here’s the rest of the menu we enjoyed that day (note: this restaurant is not vegetarian friendly… it’s very very bacon / lard friendly):

Spring Pimm’s Cup: house made spring pimm’s, aperol liqueur, ginger ale
ad hoc Lemonade: house made spiced lemonade (bourbon or vodka optional)

spring's pimms cup & ad hoc lemonade

Iceberg Wedge Salad: bacon lardons, red radishes, cerignola olives, cherry tomatoes, palladin croutons, buttermilk dressing

iceberg wedge salad

Buttermilk Fried Chicken and cornbread

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Yukon gold mashed potatoes & country-style gravy

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with country-style gravy

Watermelon with fresh mint

watermelon with mint

Pasta Bolognese: house made pasta, parmesan, crispy sage

Pasta Bolognese

Vella Cheese Company’s Mezzo Secco with clover honey and candied pecans

Mezzo Secco with honey and pecans

Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and strawberry jam filling

Red Velvet Cupcakes






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