Napa Rose ~ Thanksgiving 2010

Warning: If you’re not hungry before, you may be starving by the time you finish reading Rich’s report on our Thanksgiving dinner at Napa Rose.

Napa Rose Thanksgiving 2010

We were planning to have Thanksgiving dinner somewhere in Orange County, but when our plans changed so that we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, we decided to try to get a reservation at Napa Rose. Fortunately for us, there was a cancellation, and we were able to reserve a table for two for 6:45 p.m.

Although we arrived a little early for our reservation, we were seated promptly at a table for two near a window. The service was wonderful, as usual. And the food … well, Andrew Sutton strikes again. This man is a culinary genius.

1st Course

Kathy

Sautéed Autumn Portobello Mushrooms
Fried Sweet Potato-Brie Cheese Dumplings and Truffled Pumpkin Essence

Rich

King Salmon Potato Cake
Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Frisée and Dried Apricot Vinaigrette

Rich’s Comments: The salmon potato cake might have been the best course of the whole night. The execution was flawless, with the fresh salmon flavor mixing perfectly with the yummy potatoes. Bacon is always a welcome ingredient, and the vinaigrette added a nice sweet touch. I also tried a couple bites of the portobello mushroom dish, and was wowed by the deep, earthy flavors, counterbalanced nicely by the dumpling.

Kathy’s Comments: I loved the Portobello Mushrooms and cheese dumplings, but I had a taste of Rich’s salmon potato cake and I agree – it may have been the best course, although perhaps it tied with my dessert.

2nd Course

Kathy and Rich

Wine Country Harvest Squash Bisque
Braised Beef Short Rib and Tuscan Kale

Rich’s Comments: This soup was sumptuous. Its golden color was an immediate draw. Squash is not one of my favorites, but this thick, rich soup was a delight. And the added flavors of the beef and kale made it practically an entrée.

Kathy’s Comments: This would have made a fabulous entree – the beef short rib was amazing!

3rd Course: Entrée

Kathy

Roasted “American Heritage” Bronze Turkey
Grandmother’s Ragu of Sonoma Mushrooms, Smoked Bacon and Corn Bread Stuffing

Rich

Pan Roasted Wild Striped Bass
Fried Clam Corn Meal Fritters, Jalapeño Tartare Sauce and Rich Tomato Sauce

Rich’s Comments: After the first two courses, I wanted something lighter, so I chose the bass. The fish was cooked to perfection with the crispy skin on top. The fritters, sauces, and the texture of the bass lifted this entrée above an ordinary fish dish. The taste of turkey I had was delicious, but the corn bread stuffing was awesome. I didn’t try the vegetables (big surprise), but the whipped potatoes were a nice accompaniment.

Kathy’s Comments: I decided to go traditional just to see what Andrew Sutton could do with turkey, although I was tempted to order the Buffalo – I loved it at Artist Point at WDW. By the time the turkey arrived, I was full and the turkey wasn’t anything super special – and so much of it. But the dressing, well, let’s just say, for me, Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey – it’s about the stuffing and it was the best ever! But this was my least favorite course.

3rd Course: Dessert

Kathy

Pumpkin Pie Crème Brûlée
Whipped Cream and Dried Cranberry Pear Conserve

Rich

Warm Country Apple Crisp
Fuji Apples with Walnut Caramel Ice Cream and Spiced Cider Caramel

Rich’s Comments: Andrew Sutton is amazing in that he can create wonderful savory dishes, but he also has a hand in the sweet dishes too. The apple crisp was rich and satisfying and paired well with the ice cream and caramel. My only knock is that apples slices were quite large, requiring lots of cutting. This was probably the weakest dish of the night, although still good. I ordered this because I am not a fan of many pumpkin dishes. But the pumpkin pie crème brûlée, done in Andrew Sutton’s signature “inside out” design was excellent, and a better dessert than the apple crisp.

Kathy’s Comments: Normally, I can take or leave creme brulee. But I’ve had Andrew Sutton’s raspberry creme brulee before and I know it’s the most amazing dessert – it’s a whole new approach to creme brulee with a crust on top that oozes a raspberry filling when you cut into it. Rich voiced the concern that it may be a traditional creme brulee and not what I’ve come to expect from Andrew Sutton, but to my delight, it was his usual creme brulee style with pumpkin and whipped creme filling oozing out. This may be the best way to enjoy anything pumpkin.

Wine

As Larry pointed out in the comments, we forgot to mention the wine when we first posted the report. A bit before dinner, we stopped off at the ETicket Club and had a glass of Merlot. So for dinner, we each just ordered a glass of MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir and impressed the waiter with our story about visiting MacMurray Ranch. He was so sure we’d drink the whole bottle, he left it there to tempt us. We were way too full, though, to eat or drink one more thing so we had to disappoint him. 🙂

Full Menu
The full menu for Napa Rose Thanksgiving Dinner 2010 is recreated below.

1st Course (Choice of…) 
• Sautéed Autumn Portobello Mushrooms
Fried Sweet Potato-Brie Cheese Dumplings and Truffled Pumpkin Essence
• King Salmon Potato Cake
Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Frisée, Dried Apricot Vinaigrette
• Maple Leaf Farms Duck Risotto
Wild Rice, Pine Nuts, Leeks and Huckleberry Essence
• Ahi Carpaccio and Lobster Lentil Tian
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Gelée and Crème Fraîche

2nd Course (Choice of…) 
• Wine Country Harvest Squash Bisque
Braised Beef Short Rib and Tuscan Kale
• Autumn Endive and Spinach Salad
Dried Cranberries, Goat Cheese, Candied Almonds and Persimmon Vinaigrette

3rd Course: Entrée (Choice of…)
• Roasted “American Heritage” Bronze Turkey
Grandmothers Ragu of Sonoma Mushrooms, Smoked Bacon and Corn Bread Stuffing
• Grilled Montana Buffalo Filet Rib-eye
Sweet Potato “Tots,” Chestnut Apple Puree and Cranberry Chimichuri
• Pan Roasted Wild Striped Bass
Fried Clam Corn Meal Fritters, Jalapeño Tartare Sauce and Rich Tomato Sauce
• Vegetarian Feast of Thanks
Baked Swiss Chard, Artichoke and Goat Cheese Soufflé
Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Hazelnut Brown Butter and Butter Squash Coulis
* All Entrées are served with “Family Style Vegetables” *<
Including: cranberry Relish, Roasted Harvest Vegetables and Whipped Potatoes

4th Course: Dessert (Choice of…) 
• White Chocolate Pumpkin Crème Brûlée with Dried Cranberry Pear Conserve
• Warm Country Apple Crisp
Fuji Apples with Walnut Caramel Ice Cream and Spiced Cider Caramel
• Best Hot Chocolate topped with Hazelnut Cream Filled Doughnut
• Our Signature Holiday Chilled Cranberry “Soup” with Lime Coconut Semi-freddo

About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.

2 thoughts on “Napa Rose ~ Thanksgiving 2010

  1. Larry says:

    Oh my. Oh my. Words fail. It all sounds so amazing, even the dishes that weren't your first choices. I believe I would have gone with the duck for the first course, followed by the squash bisque, then either the buffalo or the turkey, and then Rich's dessert. Though I might be tempted by the creme brûlée. Wines?

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  2. Kathy says:

    Rereading this, I’m drooling! Wow! Would love to do that again. Actually, before we finalized our plans to move back home, we had Thanksgiving ressies at Carthay Circle, Andrew Sutton’s other Disney restaurant. Will have to reschedule…

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