The Restaurant at Meadowood

One of a handful of Michelin three-star restaurants in the United States is the Restaurant at Meadowood in St.-Helena, California. (The only other three-star venue in Napa Valley is Thomas Keller’s highly respected French Laundry in Yountville.) Although I have stayed at the Meadwood Resort many times, this is the first time I ate at the restaurant. The service was impeccable, they have a fabulous wine list and the food was very creative and singular in style. Chef Christopher Kostow and Sommelier Rom Toulon (who suggested the dry white wine from Austria, the terrific 2008 Weingut Wieninger) are both at the top of their game. I rarely go to three-star restaurants simply because I rarely enjoy the long, long meals and cuisine that often seems to have more form over substance. However, this was very, very good. My favorite dishes include a terrific razor clam dish, the twice cooked foie gras and the crayfish and scallop dish with poached chicken quenelles. I could also add the agnolotti with brie. I never get excited over desserts, but they were light, fresh and full of flavor.

The wines included an excellent non-vintage Blanc de Blanc from Dom Ruinart, the aforementioned, surprisingly full-flavored, intense 2008 Nussberg Alte Reben from Wieninger(a perfect match up wine), and a magnificent red wine from one of the greatest vineyards in Napa Valley, Abreu’s 2005 Thorevilos. While this is an expensive restaurant, I liked the friendliness and outstanding professionalism of the waiters.

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