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Friday, July 4, 2014

THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD - ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA

THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD
ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA


THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD
900 MEADOWOOD LANE
ST. HELENA, CA  94574
877-963-3646
877-963-3532 Fax

The Michelin 3 Star Restaurant at Meadowood ended up being the most expensive meal of my life. The food was a bit pricy at $225 per person for the Chefs Tasting Menu but we went overboard on the wine and ended up with a tab that could put a down payment on a home in some States.  Once you make a reservation at Meadowood you are confirmed by email and by phone.  Your credit card information is taken and if you do not cancel 48 hours prior to your meal you will be charged a fee equal to your dinner cost.  I called weeks in advance and was told the only time available was at 9:15 PM.  I took this late dining time and we arrived at 9:00 PM and were asked to wait in the lobby near a fireplace.  They brought over a wine list that was as large as the Honolulu phone book.  It was massive and filled with some pretty darn expensive wines.  We ordered a bottle of champagne that was reasonably priced at around $225 as we waited for our dinner table.  The wait lasted about an hour.  During this time we met one of the Wine persons that help you select a bottle.  I don't think she was a Sommelier but she was good.  We got a little buzzed and were seated at a table in a very plain room that was filled with mostly couples.  Many of whom sat and ate without saying two words to each other.  We had pre-ordered the Chefs Tasting Menu for 3.  As a surprise, we invited our Driver in Napa named Bill.  Bill is an excellent Driver and Guide and he is more like a friend so we asked him to join us at the last minute as he parked the car.  He was amazed.  The service here is impeccable with the exception of a young gal who was not smiling and looked a bit bored.  I turned to her and said "smile".  She stuck her tung out at me.  A little while later she came to my table side like a kid getting in trouble and apologized.  Did not bother me I said just wanted her to smile and have some fun.  We had a lot of fun with the wine here.  Our wine host was given a budget for what we wanted to spend on wine and she maxed it out and then some.  We had some incredible wines landing table side and she poured them with abandon.  Remarkable.   The food however was not as remarkable.  In fact, it was one of the worst fine dining meals of my life.  Some of the dishes like the Chilled Pork Broth were uneatable.  The food kept coming and we all kept thinking it would get better.  Then we were presented with a chicken in a box surrounded by bread. Lovely presentation I thought now lets eat.  What came to my plate was a joke.  One small bite of chicken.  Next up was one slice of beef.  Nothing on this menu stands out.  My buddy said the Abalone was good.  We all agreed that this was not a great meal and not worthy of the price.  This is sad because we loved the people at Meadowood and had a fabulous time eating here.  Based on the dinner shown below, I probably would not return to Meadowood unless someone else was picking up the tab.

WAITING AREA AT THE RESTAURANT AT MEADOWOOD
CHEFS TASTING MENU PRESENTED IN NICE FOLDER
FOLDER IS WAX SEALED WITH YOUR NAME HAND WRITTEN AT BOTTOM 
YOUR PERSONAL CHEF TASTING MENU
PLACE SETTING AT MEADOWOOD
APPETIZER - HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS
SOME RAW VEGETABLES
SOMETHING FROM THE GARDEN THAT DID NOT TASTE TOO GOOD 
TOMATO WILD PLUM BEET
SURF CLAM
OUR WINE GIRL WAS BEST PART OF THE DINNER
BOILED POTATOES
ABALONE 
WILD SALMON
CHILLED PORK BROTH - WTF IS THIS?
CHICKEN BAKED IN BREAD PRESENTED TO TABLE
NOW IT LOOKS LIKE WE GET TO EAT SOME REAL FOOD 
THIS IS WHAT WAS SERVED
KOJI CHANTERELLE BEEF
VINTAGE MADEIRA PORTS TO FINISH THE MEAL

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