Ad Hoc at Home – This book is full of Thomas Keller’s insights from Ad hoc.
Be sure to check out the French Laundry Cookbook
Ad Hoc is the French Laundry Empire’s family style, lower cost restaurant with a single prix (price) fixed $52 Four course family style meal everyday. Sunday brunch breakfast is now being served for $24. Behind it is addendum, a cash only to go counter serving their legendary Pork Ribs & Pulled Pork or Buttermilk Fried Chicken for $16.50. This is great for those with no reservations. We sampled the Fried chicken in Summer 2012.
There are no options other than beverages at Ad Hoc, and the menu serving American comfort food changes everyday. They do offer a pasta option for kids and accommodate vegetarians. Thomas Keller originally created Ad Hoc to fill the time gap from when he bought the old Wine Garden location to when he was to open a high end burger joint. It is located in the Napa Wine country in the culinary center of Yountville.
The restaurant has subdued decor with a warm inviting atmosphere. It was not as noisy as Bouchon, which is 2 blocks away.
Ad Hoc Menu
Ad Hoc is known for Fried Chicken Mondays and for the 48hr braised short ribs.
Ad Hoc Picks:
Buttermilk Fried Chicken (3 pieces) at addendum ($16.50) with corn succotash, honey cornbread, classic potato Salad was excellent. Crispy outside, juicy and tender on the inside. Definitely deserving of its legendary reputation.
Beef Short Ribs with ratatouille gratin, carnaroli risotto with snap peas was the main entree. The ribs had been marinated for 48hrs then grill and then braised. They were tender and boneless, almost looking like prime rib. They were good but did not have a lot of flavor to them, continuing the comfort food theme.
MouCo Cheese Co.’s Colorouge cheese with tomato conserva, and palladin toast was a surprisingly good course for someone that doesn’t eat cheese for dessert. A low key accessible cheese and really crispy and greasy toast coated with tomato conserva.
Frisee and Jubilee Tomato Salad with big ranch tomatoes, medjool dates, living watercress,shaved parmesean, bacon vinaigrette was a decent starter.
The tomatoes were huge, all ingredients were tasty and fresh. Dressing was barely tasted. A very light healthy salad.
The ratatouille was good with lots of zucchini, tomatoes, and a nice cheese covering. It was presented in its cooking pan.
The carnaroli risotto with snap peas was also good with lots of peas and subdued flavor. This could easily have been salty or very buttery elsewhere.
Strawberry Crespelle with silverado strawberries, candied pecans, whipped vanilla cream, berry sauce was really good. How could a dessert like this be bad? Basically a crepe filled with good cream and fresh berries. Not too sweet, just right.
Strawberries and cream special dessert was very good. Lots of fluffy cream and fresh strawberries. These guys are good at improvising.
Ad Hoc’s service was fair at best. Had to chase down waiters and did not get as much attention as we expected. The food reminded us of Zuni cafe in San Francisco, because both serve high end American comfort food. Nothing too foo foo or way out there.
ad hoc definitely is a good value at $52. You would pay more for similar high end 4 course cuisine elsewhere. The problem is you are stuck with one menu with items you may or may not like. Wine prices are also very high.
Definitely call ahead and ensure you like the food on the day you are reserving. We would try to go on a day Fried chicken was served, assuming you like it! With excellent alternate restaurants within a couple blocks, the choice of good eats is long here.