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Wine Garden Sold!


samgiovese
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Per yesterday's Yountville Sun , the Wine Garden, formerly owned by the Nord Family and recently closed, has been sold to Thomas Keller and his partners. Details are VERY sketchy as of yet, but Keller promises a "new restaurant...something we don't already have in Yountville". As to timing, he reports, "I don't think you'll see anything this year." The other buildings and property on the large parcel will be used as office space and storage to support the restaurant.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

In'n'Out Burger?

I think the point was Wine Garden was a lot like many other restaurants.

Thge orginal chef, Michael Bilger, is a really clever guy and lots of interesting ideas and enthusiasm. I don't know any of the back story but he was gone pretty quick. For me, I couldn't understand why they had a crappy logo, soft-rock hits of the 1970s as foreground music and tacky coupons for cheap dinners, all right out of the gate.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

an inexpensive family one :wink:

Or anything REMOTELY ethnic (besides the local taco joint...)

Chinese? Japanese? Lebanese? Algerian? Turkish? Moroccan? etc...

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

an inexpensive family one :wink:

Or anything REMOTELY ethnic (besides the local taco joint...)

Chinese? Japanese? Lebanese? Algerian? Turkish? Moroccan? etc...

i'd give my right arm for some decent chinese!!! just yesterday i went all the way to santa rosa to gary chu's for my much needed fix!!

and i just gotta say, when i heard that real restaurants was in the running to snag the pinot blanc space, i was just praying for a betelnut!! but cindy got it, and, OH BOY!! we get a fish house instead :raz:

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

an inexpensive family one :wink:

Or anything REMOTELY ethnic (besides the local taco joint...)

Chinese? Japanese? Lebanese? Algerian? Turkish? Moroccan? etc...

Do you guys REALLY think Keller would do ethnic? (not counting French, of course!)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

an inexpensive family one :wink:

Or anything REMOTELY ethnic (besides the local taco joint...)

Chinese? Japanese? Lebanese? Algerian? Turkish? Moroccan? etc...

Do you guys REALLY think Keller would do ethnic? (not counting French, of course!)

there have been whisperings of sushi :blink:

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Okay, I'll take the bait:

What kind of restaurant is NOT in Yountville already?

an inexpensive family one :wink:

Or anything REMOTELY ethnic (besides the local taco joint...)

Chinese? Japanese? Lebanese? Algerian? Turkish? Moroccan? etc...

Do you guys REALLY think Keller would do ethnic? (not counting French, of course!)

there have been whisperings of sushi :blink:

There's a new sushi place opening up in St. Helena, on Main where the Thai place used to be (apparently 1/2 of the space is already open and called Wine Valley Cafe with the old Green Valley chef cooking). Do you think the valley can support 2 sushi places? Keller would probably have to make his VERY up-scale to get people in. Since you're in the biz, I'd like to hear your opinion.

Edited by samgiovese (log)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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I'm with Carolyn and everyone else - something ethnic!!! PLEASE!

And no, sushi does not count. Coming from So. Cal to Napa, this place sucks for food. "Napa Valley Cuisine", while I love it, is damned boring. Give me a place I can suck down pho noodles or eat tandoori and I will frequent it often (open late is even better for a working fool like me). It is a sad state of affairs when you have to eat at Magic Panda for a Chinese fix or drive 45 minutes to the city. The discussions at work have us hoping for some sort of Middle Eastern or Asian cuisine. And not at TFL/Yountville prices (although that'll never happen).

Whatever Keller decides will happen. I've never seen a town kiss someone's ass as much as they do there - unless you're talking Anaheim and Disney.

Devin

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There's a new sushi place opening up in St. Helena, on Main where the Thai place used to be (apparently 1/2 of the space is already open and called Wine Valley Cafe with the old Green Valley chef cooking).  Do you think the valley can support 2 sushi places?  Keller would probably have to make his VERY up-scale to get people in.  Since you're in the biz, I'd like to hear your opinion.

well... my thought is that a place that shares a space w/ another store probably won't be that good. and if st helena does sushi like they do chinese food... well, you get the picture.

i think *if* the WG were to become a sushi bar, and tk was behind it, it'd most certainly be a success. that being said, it ts just a rumor. he could just as likely do a burger joint...

to comment on yountville kissing keller's ass, one just has to read the yountville sun to realize that isn't true at all. the town council has been putting the plans for the new hotel threw the ringer and then some...

Edited by dvs (log)
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  • 1 month later...

In the LA Times article (7 June 2006), "Burgers? Say it ain't so, Tom ...", Russ Parsons informs us that Thomas Keller bought the old Wine Garden restaurant property, and will open a temporary venue called Ad Hoc, serving traditional American food. Wait, there's more ...

Well, it turns out he has an even bigger surprise in store. The new restaurant is merely something to occupy the space until he's ready to unveil his real purpose in buying the building — opening a burger barn.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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It was reported in last week's Yountville Sun that Keller will be putting some affordable housing units in the back of the large Wine Garden parcel, to help mitigate the requirements the Town of Yountville put on his upscale Country Inn project. Now, this purchase is making more sense!

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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A burger place is not surprising as he is a huge fan of In Out burgers...I remember reading about this in some foodie mag a few months ago.

I believe that was the April(?) issue of Food & Wine which showcased California's wine country... the picture was of Keller and the manager of the Napa In-N-Out sitting at a booth together.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its going to be interesting to see how this develops...both AdHoc (which I think is a great idea...there is a huge need for simple, no reservations comfort food beyond Houstons/Rutherford Grill), and the burger joint. Im very curious how upscale/gourmet the burger place will be....i.e. competition for Taylors crowd or more akin to Hubert Kellers Burger Bar (fois gras etc) in Las Vegas...hopefully on the more casual inexpensive side. Seeing what is happening in Yountville lately though, im doubtful..in any event, its sure to be good. I for one would vote to keep it going as AdHoc...its a 5 min drive from my house, and im craving good fried chicken!

Lifes more fun with good friends, a lot of wine and great food!

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  • 1 month later...

Thought folks would like to see the progress with Chef Keller's new restaurant. It was supposed to be open by now, but there were some permitting SNAFUS at the last minute. I understand late August or early September is now the time-frame.

gallery_18838_706_74404.jpg

Here are some shots of Cabernet grapes directly across Washington St. from Ad Hoc. It's a 3 acre vineyard owned by the Villagio Inn. It's amazing to see the verasion that has occurred wiithin the last 2 - 3 weeks. These are probably 4 - 6 weeks away from harvest.

gallery_18838_706_119802.jpggallery_18838_706_56188.jpg

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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  • 1 month later...

ok, so we went on sunday night. no wait to get in at 7pm.

we started off with an heirloom tomato & housemade mozzarella salad. the main course was roasted pork loin w/ braised chard. dessert was chocolate cake (needed ice cream). the salad & the main were served family style and there was plenty of food for the 4 of us.

apparently you will soon be able to call ahead to find out what they will be serving that evening (after 3pm i believe). i will be checking back for the fried chicken :wink:

all in all, a good meal.

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Did you happen to notice if there was a vegetarian option? I have not had a chance to call and find out....

A report on Chowhound indicated that if you ask for a vegetarian option, it is provided...

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