On Sunday, since the weather wasn’t very nice in San Francisco, we drove to Napa and stopped at Angele for lunch, by the Napa river. We’ve been there once, while we were staying at Milliken Creek Inn, and had a wonderful time.
The expectations were very high…
and I was wondering if our first experience was just lucky or if this place is indeed that good. I haven’t heard many people talk about it. Folks are all chatty about Bouchon, or other type of French bistro, but I don’t think Angele ever came up in a discussion.
And yet… I rate my lunch there as one of the top 5 meals I had in the last 6 months. Not pretentious, outstanding service, and more important, delicious and tasty food! What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, price… well, most of the entree are between $15 and $19 so I’d put this in the “affordable” category.
My wife and I had scallops to share for a starter. It was a special for the day, and… very yummy! Seared on top (with some syrup that just gave it a great texture!), accompanied by a puree of leeks, cooked perfectly (you know, when it’s almost raw inside!). It was splendid. My parents in law had a “Salade Lyonnaise” (Frisée Salad, De Puy Lentils, Poached Egg and Lardons) which they adored as well as a Classic French Onion Soup that triggers lot of questions such as: “how do I make this at home, this is so good!?”, which tend to be a very good sign.
For the main, I had hand cut pappardelle with cipollini onions, mushrooms, cavolo nero, and parmigiano reggiano. I loved the fact it wasn’t too crowded in my plate (you don’t want too much fresh pasta!). On top of that, the tastes were going gangbuster! It was incredible. The combination of the mushrooms and the cavolo nero worked at perfection.
My wife had the salmon, which she loved (pink inside, very crispy outside) and my father in law had the duck confit which he finished in no time (another good sign!).
All in all, I think this is a splendid place for tasty, fresh and simple food. It will become one of my regular place when I go to the wine country for sure. Much more so than Bouchon!
Site: Angele Restaurant