ubuntu Restaurant Review, Napa
Posted by Foodnut.com
ubuntu is a vegetarian restaurant located in Downtown Napa. “A celebration of our own biodynamic gardens, what shows up at the door and relationships with the local farms in Napa.” Chef Jeremy Fox (Manresa, Rubicon, Charles Nob Hill) originally put this restaurant on the foodie map, but left in February 2010. ubuntu serves up innovative vegetable-inspired daily-harvested cuisine for both omnivores and herbivores. Ubuntu grows food from their own biodynamic garden. They also run a yoga studio. The restaurant is top rated and has a very high 4.5 stars on Yelp. Menu changes almost daily. We went for lunch, dinner costs considerably more.
Decor, Vibe – Quirky atmosphere, recycled wood flooring and furnishings, large communal table down the middle, salvaged patio furniture, a very green spot to serve greens. Lots of tourist and some locals were here for lunch, most were middle aged and casually dressed. Yoga studio upstairs.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
CAPITAL lettered items are from their biodynamic garden.
Cauliflower in a cast iron pot ($14) roast-puree-raw, our vadouvan, CILANTRO sprouts, brown butter toast was well done and beautiful. Very creamy with slight spicey curry hint.
Chickpea fries with garden HERBS ($6, vegan) and romensco sauce were great and a must. Almost like eating french fries. No need to dip them.
Napa “Hummus” ($12, vegan) rancho gord “yellow eye” beans, whole spice aromatics, raw spring VEGETABLES, WILD FENNEL crackers, piment d’espelette was delicious but was devoured in amount 1 minute. Could have use a 4x sized portion.
Homemade fregola ($14.50, vegan) toasted sardinian pearl pasta, SUMMER SQUASH, spicy ROSEMARY broth, AGRETTI
vanilla bean “cheesecake” ($9) in a jar with sour cherries, pine nut sable was awesome. A light creamy layer along with some graham cracker like crust combined with some fresh tart cherries in sauce. A must get.
Castelvetrano olives marinated in NASTRURTIUM pesto ($6, vegan) were on the greasy side. Very fresh but only slight hints of flavor.
Strawberry pizza margherita ($16) with hand-pulled mozzarella four-day napa strawberry soffrito, first BASILS of the year was pretty good sized but very greasy. Crust was not crispy or soggy, but more chewy. Did not taste any strawberry.
Crispy flatbread ($7 Kids) with garden greens and parmesan was pretty light with greens and a super thin flatbread. Not too substantial.
Homemade carrot Mac and Cheese ($8 Kids) was a very weird dish. Carrot flavor made it unique but the cheese was good.
Rhubarb & citrus creamsicle sherbet float ($9, vegan) GERANIUM soda, FORONO BEET tapioca, garden FLOWERS was refreshing but on the kids oriented side. Nice candied kumquats and rhubarb.
Ubuntu vegan milkshake ($7) with house-made almond milk, bananas, spices was light and soft subdued flavor.
ubuntu had friendly and unobtrusive service with good advice, instant napkin folding if you are away, etc. If you are vegetarian, you should definitely visit Ubuntu it is the “French Laundry” of green places with lots of care put into growing, cooking, and presenting items. If you are not but interested in unique sophisticated vegetarian cuisine, definitely pay a visit. The food was more oily than we expected and portion size on some items was very small.
Compared to Greens in San Francisco, this place is far superior. The produce is super fresh and the cuisine far more inventive. Kid’s menu available.
If you need some red meat after a meal full of veggies, visit Cole’s Chop House next door! The Napa Oxbow market is just over the Napa River, so be sure to check it out also. You can also get a burger at nearby Gott’s if you are jones’n for beef.
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