Monday, March 12, 2007

Ad Hoc (Yountville, CA)

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
Mon 03/12/2007, 08:00p-10:15p

Thomas Keller does comfort food? What's this world coming to? Apparently, Keller had always wanted to do a "burgers & bottles" type of restaurant and bought a vacant restaurant down the street from his French Laundry with that very intent. While plans were finalized, a temporary, or ad hoc (get it?), restaurant would be opened so that the space wouldn't go to waste. But it turns out that Ad Hoc was a bit of a smashing success, so the future of the restaurant remains unclear. Reports on the Internet told me that the place was here to stay, but when I asked Ed Keller (Thomas Keller's father, ask me about that story some other time) about the issue, he just smiled...

Ad Hoc's signage is instantly recognizable. The decor is refined yet unpretentious, sleek yet inviting. Approximately half of the restaurant is the bar area pictured above, while the other half is off to the left.

Picky eaters need not apply: Ad Hoc only offers one four-course prix fix menu per night, served family style, centered around one main entrée, fried chicken for tonight. Other main courses have included beef stroganoff, pot roast, and hamburgers. Note our wine selections drawn/written down by our server. Click for a larger version.

We ordered two bottles of wine: the HdV "De La Guerra" Chardonnay 2004 Napa and the ICI/La Bas "Elke Vineyard" Pinot Noir 2003 Mendocino pictured here. They were recommended by our server, who I might add, was very persuasive in his selling of the wine. Both wines were superb and savored immensely by the entire party. In fact, the HdV was thoroughly enjoyed by one diner who was a staunch non-drinker of chards. Note the very informal wine glasses.

1: Hearts of Romaine Salad
With pickled red onions, torn garlic croutons, Hobb's bacon lardons and herbed cream dressing. I'd never had a salad presented in such a manner before! I loved the crispness of the Romaine and the subtle saltiness of the lardons. FYI: Lardons are taken from the rendered back fat on a pig.

2: Buttermilk Fried Chicken
With Blue Lake green beans, cole slaw and garlic whipped potatoes. I will say without hesitation that this was the best fried chicken I've ever had; sorry Colonel! The sides were fantastic as well and we actually had to box some of the chicken and potato to go.

3: Pedrozo Dairy Blondie's Best
With Comice (oft considered the sweetest and juiciest) pears and toasted almonds, which really complemented the cheese. Pedrozo is located in Orland, CA and this is a raw cow's milk cheese named after one of the dairy's first cows.

4: Apple Crisp
Made with Fiji apples and served with vanilla ice cream. My only complaint here was that it was served a bit too hot for me (and thus I had to cool it down with the ice cream!).

Going into Ad Hoc, I thought the concept was interesting, and now I can say that the execution was near flawless. Truly, Ad Hoc demonstrates that food doesn't have to be fancy to be fantastic.


Blogger Tubs said...

Looks like it is still open

Now I have time I am going through all your posts it's making me hungry!!!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Yeah turns out the place was so successful that Keller decided to keep it. Not sure what's going on with the "burgers & bottles" concept...

Thursday, September 25, 2008 1:33:00 AM  
Blogger mattatouille said...

I think I read somewhere that he's opening a burgers and bottles in Vegas...keeping up with the burger trend in LV

Friday, November 07, 2008 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I could see Vegas as a good place for that sort of thing. I'd rather see another fine dining venture from him though.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 2:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Kevin,

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and have been reading, staring, and drooling while looking through all your posts. Please tell me, what do you do to have access to the most delicious foods I've ever set my eyes on?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Do you mean what do I do for a living? Well I started out as an engineer, then went back to business school for my MBA, and now I'm sort of in limbo, unsure of where I'm going to end up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger daniel s. kim said...

you know i really wanted to try that fried chicken...but alas the monday i went (2 days ago) was the OTHER monday when they don't serve it!!!

instead it was the BBQ monday and we had some good briskets and spare ribs (tho i'm not a ribs fan). however they did have fried quail, which was very good. and our server kept telling us she prefers it to the chicken (prolly in order to cheer me up).

did u specifically choose to go on the fried chicken monday?

anyways, thomas keller was in the house when i went. having dinner with his friends just like everyone else.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

No, we actually got fried chicken night out of pure dumb luck! Cool that TK was in the house. That fried quail does sound good though...

Saturday, March 19, 2011 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were did you have your MBA? Sorry, I can't help this curious mind :P

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:06:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I did it at USC.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:31:00 PM  

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