Jul 8, 2010

Ubuntu Restaurant in Downtown Napa

Napa cuisine is very recognized and worldly known for its excellence. As part of the so-called Californian cuisine, Napa also takes advantage of the local fresh ingredients, seasonally harvested and mostly organic. 

The healthy vibe mixes with French cuisine techniques, receive Asian influences and voi là, in a nutshell we have a description of Californian cuisine.

In my lay opinion - correct me if I am wrong - I believe Napa comes more towards French with a touch of local&seasonal&organic, then closer to Californian... 

(The art of pairing food and wine has long history, since wine has been a staple member of the dinner table and wine making and culinary developed hand in hand over the years. I will leave the details on the topic for the specialists - who I fully admire - and will keep her just the basic idea: most food and wine experts believe that the most basic element of food and wine pairing is understanding the balance between the "weight" of the food and the weight (or body) of the wine.)

Ubuntu is located in downtown Napa and has a full time yoga studio on the second floor of the restaurant facilities. And it's a vegetarian restaurant. With that in mind, I resisted a little the idea of trying it. I love vegetables and fruits, but surely was doubtful of how innovative and inventive a cuisine can be with restrictive list of ingredients. 

My own bad prejudice didn't keep me from trying. Ubuntu has a comfortable casual environment, high-ceilings, open kitchen, modern cozy atmosphere, not at all resembling what I had imagine for a yoga plus vegetarian restaurant. The noise and lighting was at perfect level. The service was exemplar, friendly and courteous and the food as creative and delicious as any other place. 

The profusion of colors, flavors, use of different ingredients and its combinations resulted in a fabulous meal; for example: lavender flavored marcona almonds, carta de musica (flatbread topped with mixed greens salad, truffled pecorino, wild flowers), onion glazed doughnut stuffed with burrata.

To finish, the deserts were so simple, still amazing. It was one of the best chocolate chip cookies I ever had. Small in size, great chunks of chocolate and paired with local Strauss milk.

The savouring experience was amazing. We could use all the senses, relax and have a great experience at Ubuntu. Indeed, vegetarian cuisine has a new standpoint for me - it takes more innovation to create with "fewer" ingredients. The horizon of opportunities is still widespread. Ubuntu was able to achieve that. 

Ubuntu Info:

Price range: $$$

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