Just a 15-minute walk from The Inn On First, a bed and breakfast in Napa, is the restaurant Angele. With friends in town we decided to return to the restaurant as it had been awhile since we enjoyed the cuisine. With a new chef in the kitchen I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I can now report we weren’t disappointed.
The marinated beet salad called to me and I was enthusiastic with every bite, especially with the addition of fromage blanc (I have to admit I have a weakness for cheese in all its forms). I split that with Jamie as our friends split the heirloom tomato sald with figs and prosciutto (gladly they shared and we loved it). The quail was my main course, as it sounded just too yummy to pass up with figs and pancetta-leek au jus. Just delicious. Jamie obviously enjoyed the braised rabbit with tomato confit which he reluctantly gave up a bite to me.
Thankfully our friend ordered the Duo de Bouef with a small filet and braised shortrib and the pork shoulder with quinoa. To my disappointment no one ordered the sea bass, and when it was delivered to the table across the way I was sorry we couldn’t squeeze in one more dish. Check out the full late summer menu on their website.
We still think Angele is one of the great romantic restaurants in Napa, right along the river, with great food, perfect ambience, and wonderful service. A great value for your money.
It looks like a small Parisian cafe with candlelight throughout the restaurant and outside the small windows can be seen the lights mirroring off the Napa River. It is a small, intimate restaurant that has an inviting, romantic appeal. We began with cocktails (it is only one of 3 or 4 restaurants in historic Napa that serve cocktails)and they brought a lovely white bean dip with crositini as an appetizer. A nice touch to get the meal started. I ordered the leek and potato soup and was not disappointed by the creamy and velvety texture, and I followed it up with the sweetbreads that came with a fragrant, rich sauce on the plate that coated every piece. On my first bite I was a little overwhelmed by the sauce that I scooped up with my first piece, and quickly learned to leave more of the sauce on the plate and let the sweetbreads with a light drizzle of sauce inform my palate. Afterward it left plenty of sauce on the plate to sop up with the bread they served with the meal. Jamie ordered the mixed green salad and followed it up with the sea bass. The fish was cooked perfectly and came with a light sauce and some veggies on the plate that gave it a nice balance.
Our friends ordered the french onion soup (always a treat at Angele with the stringy cheese pulling at the spoon as you lift that first slurp to your mouth), the winter salad with apples and pears and nuts drizzled with a light vinaigrette, the creme fraiche gnocchi (light and airy pillow puffs that melted in your mouth) and the blackened cod (a nice white fish served in a broth). We paired everything with a Saintsbury Pinot that was delightful (Pinot seems to be the one wine that will go with just about everything). My only regret was that we had to run out at the end to get to our show at Silo’s (night club) so we could not fully enjoy the ambience of sipping coffee over dessert at the end. Alas, another time.