Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Napa River Grill

As I've said, my husband is not culinarily adventurous, so to try a new restaurant, I usually have to scour the menu and make sure there is at least a selection of chicken fingers from which he can partake. (eye roll) While this makes it extremely difficult to try some new restaurants with my sweetie, occasionally I find one that is a home run for us both.

Napa River Grill was just that.

I know, I know. The Louisville Food Geek had never been to the Napa River Grill? For shame! But, as my excuse, see above. I've been drooling over their menu for quite awhile, mentioning it to the husband unit repeatedly, and finally put my foot down that we were going to drop in on this long-time Louisville establishment for lunch.

The location in Westport Village is beautiful and inviting (as nearly every business in Westport Village is). Walking in, we were greeted by a very cordial host and immediately shown to a table. The settings, decor, and ambiance were all impeccable. After looking over the menu, I decided to try a few of the lunchtime choices by ordering the 3-selection lunch, including their signature house-made tomato soup, Atlas Peak Club Sandwich, and the California Spinach Salad. My husband chose to stick with just the soup and the Napa House Salad. Before any of these goodies came out, however, we were graced with their fresh-baked corn bread, served in a small cast-iron skillet and topped with green chile butter. We started to inhale it the second it hit the table. Sweet, buttery, crumbly, but oh-so-soft, and with a little kick of Mexican flavor from the butter, it was unbelievably good.

Next came the soup. A ramekin covered in a glorious puff pastry which you broke through to get to the creamy soup inside. It was a perfect balance of sweet and salty and the pastry was heaven scooped up with it, the taste and texture of the most perfect croissant you can imagine. At first, the serving was intimidating due to its size, but after taking the first bite, you could see the ramekin was only half filled, giving just the right soup-to-pastry ratio.

When the sandwich and salad were brought out, I was further impressed. The sandwich was a pile of tender, flavorful turkey, which is roasted in-house; along with bacon, tomato, lettuce, havarti cheese, avocado, and a chipotle aioli. While I'm not usually a fan of chipotle (many cooks tend to be heavy-handed and the smokiness dominates many dishes), this sandwich had the perfect balance of all flavors. The salad was tasty, the goat cheese was unbelievably creamy and, overall, the salad was well-balanced with little bursts of sweetness from the raisins.

Napa River Grill is definitely a new favorite and I plan to go back soon. The Asian Ahi Nachos are calling my name!

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