Auberge du Soleil, appropriately named as the “sun inn” in french, overlooks Napa Valley with a stunning view and warm ambiance to accompany the setting sun. Inside the hotel, their Michelin-star restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Robert Curry. Once you step in, it already feels as though you’ve entered a fairy tale.
We started our meal with the Day Boat Scallop, Corn Mousse, Prosciutto, Cranberry Beans, Espelette as well as the Poached Main Lobster, Mango, Snap Peas, Black Sesame, Curry, Cilantro. Both dishes brought together a diverse and eclectic mix of ingredients, including popcorn! However, for us, the combination seemed disjointed and did not pull together.
We hoped that the next three dishes would make up for our first course. From left to right, we ordered the 1) Veal Sweetbreads, Slow Cooked Egg Yolk, Frisee, Fried Capers, Salsa Verde; 2) Heirloom Tomato Risotto, Hopper Shrimp, Bacon, Tarragon, Yuzu; and, 3) Seared Ahi Tuna, Grilled Little Gem, Tzatziki, Falafel, Mint
Following a similar pattern, the risotto and ahi tuna combined flavors that did not seem to completely mesh well. The veal sweetbreads, however, was stellar and lived up to expectations. This kept us hopeful for our next course of entrees: Suckling Pig and Liberty Farms Duck, Peaches, Hibiscus, Arugula, Marcona Almonds, Verbena Sauce.
The Suckling Pig was a special for the night. It came out as a two-part dish, each with its own unique taste highlighting different parts of the pig. Both entrees seemed to play with the idea of bringing savory and sweet flavors together. Overall, it worked. Both dishes were satisfactory and left us both stuffed.
Finally, for the two of us, the desserts were the highlight of the evening. We got the Wild Flower Honey Glazed Figs, Mr. Tam Ice Cream, Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, Raspberries as well as the Trailside Strawberries, Griddled Cornbread, Fromage Blanc Mousse, Celery Leaf Agrumato. We could not get enough of the refreshing and delicious Celery Leaf Agrumato! Both brought in lovely flavors and sweetness to end our dinner on the perfect note.
Though, this setting Soleil fell short of its Michelin star expectations, we walked away content with our meal and impressed by the breathtaking view of the sunset. Satisfied, but not swept off our feet by this fairy tale.