13 Aug Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Dinner at PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley
PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley has been open for 15 years yet in all my visits to Napa Valley, I had never eaten there. That was until this past week. While visiting Davis Estates, we went to dinner at PRESS Restaurant. We selected the tasting menu and bite after bite was so good that I am still thinking about the meal and that is why dinner at PRESS Restaurant in Napa Valley is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
PRESS Restaurant is located in St. Helena. Founded by Leslie Rudd and today run by Stephanie Rudd, PRESS is home to the largest collection of Napa Valley wines. And the menu, which is inspired from around the globe, embraces Napa Valley cuisine. The food is artistic, elegant, and full of flavor. The service is fine dining.
As we sat down for dinner, Master Sommelier Vincent Morrow welcomed us with a glass of Champagne Pierre Morlet.
And we were served a Granita Amuse to get our palates excited.
As a table, we decided to do the tasting menu. But there were a few items on the menu that stood out to us. As they were not in the tasting menu, we decided to also order them for the table.
One dish was the bright-flavored and fresh citrus-cured yellowtail belly with salted celtuce, yuzu curd, and green curry oil.
Another dish was the perfectly charred octopus with black truffle mole, potato salad, and wild radish.
And the third dish was the summer tomatoes with Sungold tomato panna cotta and verbena tea. This dish was so colorful and vibrant which translated to the palate as well.
As we began the tasting menu, we sipped on the 2019 Davis Estates Chardonnay whose elegant acidity paired beautifully with the first few dishes.
The summer tasting menu began with three small bites:
Kumamoto oyster with green strawberry mignonette and whipped sorrel
Golden Osetra caviar with steamed bun and white sesame (a perfect bite that I wish I could have taken over and over)
Blue mackerel escabeche with Sungold tomatoes and fermented pepper
I loved the artistry of the chilled carrot-melon soup with spruce oil and served with a seeded pretzel.
And the pretzel was so good we ordered an entire plate of the seeded pretzel epi with cultured yogurt butter, and sweet onion powder
The delicate ricotta gnudi were two spheres of ricotta wrapped in squash blossom and served in a Parmesan consommé.
We enjoyed two red wines from Davis Estates. The Davis Estates 2018 Zephyr, Private Reserve, Napa Valley is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. A dark, rich red color, the wine has aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, chocolate, and coffee and silky tannins.
Davis Estates 2018 Classic Chase, Private Reserve, Napa Valley is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot and has notes of ripe red fruit, black tea, herbs, and vanilla cola and is smooth, lush, and fruity with integrated tannins.
The Davis Classic Chase paired surprisingly well with the Alaskan halibut with wild ramps, creamed corn, and Benton’s bacon.
The Davis Zephyr was a lovely compliment to the American Wagyu ribeye cap with saucisson en brioche, summer beans and black truffle.
The cheese course was a Rispens Gouda tart with frangipane and tomato-vanilla confit, a savory dish with a touch of sweetness that made this dish a perfect transition to dessert.
And for dessert, it was mochi with white snow peach sherbet and peaches & cream with riz au lait, and suncrest peach soup
I am still amazed that I had never eaten at PRESS prior to this. I had been missing an elegant, flavorful, delicious, and memorable meal. From now own, PRESS restaurant will definitely be on my list for future trips to Napa Valley.