The long-awaited opening of , Todd Humphries and Richard Miyashiro’s new restaurant at the , officially took place today.
But last Thursday evening, Miyashiro and Humphries opened their doors for a “training meal” – a dress rehearsal for the main event, with locals and journalists (including this one) playing the roles of paying customers.
The restaurant strikes an inviting tone from the outset, its kitchen-white décor reflecting outdoor sunshine; there’s deck dining, too, overlooking the Napa River oxbow.
Though paper menus were supplied last week, Kitchen Door’s food and drink menus are displayed on computer screens at the front counter, where customers place their orders.
Unlike and , two other Oxbow counter-order eateries where electronic pagers let diners know when food is ready, Kitchen Door hands out tall markers to place on the tabletop so servers can deliver the dishes.
There’s also a bar area where you can order food. Silverware, condiments, napkins, water and glasses are self-serve.
My date and I found ourselves sharing a tall, broad community table with fellow Napa invitees including vintner David Mahaffey, - morning host Kellie Fuller and her husband, Tom Fuller. It was much like a party, with old friends and friendly new faces – and the food service went off without a hitch that we could see.
Among the dishes we sampled:
Hen of the woods mushroom flatbread ($13.95), was baked in the wood-burning oven and as good a bit of mushroom cookery as you’d expect from Humphries, who was famous for his way with fungus at the Martini House in St. Helena, his former restaurant with Miyashiro.
Grilled Kobe beef burger ($13.95 with fries, wine-stewed onions, Swiss cheese and a “secret sauce” resembling Thousand Islands dressing), from the wood-burning grill, was perfectly cooked and instantly attained status.
Candy cap mushroom bread pudding (6.95), studded with golden raisins and lapped in maple crème anglaise, was another example of Humphries’ mushroom mastery. I wanted to lick my plate.
Chocolate Strauss Family soft-serve ice cream with fried cinnamon churros ($6.50) tasted somehow just like summertime.
There’s much more on the eclectic menu, including Vietnamese chicken noodle soup ($12 entrée), charcuterie ($11.95 plate), lahmajune (Armenian, $14.50), flammekuche (Alsatian, $13.75) and Korean-style short ribs ($14 with vegetables and bacon-fried rice).
As for the children’s menu--on Thursday, it was one sentence:
“HUNGRY KIDS JUST ASK.”
Check out our video to get a flavor of what Napa’s newest restaurant is all about, and let us know what you think when you try the place out.
For more about Kitchen Door, read Julie Weinstock's .