Saturday, March 12, 2011

Epic Eats: Ad Hoc in Yountville

I'm a firm believer that there's nothing a night of good food, good drinks, and good company can't cure. (We had one of those nights last night at Garcon on Mission and 22nd. In a word, ah-maze-balls … a must try.) To celebrate the one-year anniversary of our Bombay wedding, hubby and I dined at Ad Hoc in Yountville. Put simply, Ad Hoc is the poor man's version of French Laundry. (At $52/ahead, that's one rich poor man.)

It was one of those rare dining experiences when every little detail was perfect. It wasn't fancy—no white gloves, no snobbery. The waiters wore converse and jeans and didn't laugh when I asked them what exactly a "sweet bread" was. (F.Y.I. It's thymus gland, an epicurean treasure that tastes kinda like chicken.)

Here's what we ate:
Butter Lettuce Salad with Bacon, Olives, and Blue Cheese
Beef Prime Rib with Buttermilk Onion Rings and Crispy Potatoes
Fried Sweetbreads with Egg
Apple Tart with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

There was some crispy asparagus, a cheese course, and of course a wine pairing. (I used to think wine pairings were for snobby, pretentious mo-fos, but they're actually quite transcending if done right.)

It was a meal that made me feel so happy and so fulfilled that I just had to share the experience. If you're ever in Yountville, and don't have $800 to spend at French Laundry, try Ad Hoc for a night you'll never, ever forget.