The next chapter in our Napa trip was a stop at Hurley's Restaurant. To give you an idea of what Hurley's looks like during the day I have posted the picture above. It's the ivy covered building you can see from Highway 29 on the right just before the Yountville exit. If you love food that was made to pair with wine and a wine list that was selected around the food, I recommend taking the Yountville exit and getting a table. (Note: Reservations are highly recommended.)
Here's a picture of the front of the restaurant at night, right before we went inside. Yountville of course has a great reputation for fine dining, and Hurley's Restaurant is no exception. The restaurant was opened in November 2002, by head chef Bob Hurley. Before opening Hurley's, Chef Hurley had previously served as a chef Domaine Chandon and then later as head chef at Napa Valley Grille. If there is any particular focus on a cuisine, I would say it is Mediterranean inspired with a focus of seasonal and local use of ingredients.
Pop quiz: What do you do when you are at dinner and one of you wants white wine and the other wants red? Well, you either get 2 bottles of wine, or you pick a fantastic compromise: ZD Pinot Noir. If you prefer white wine and want to branch out, this is a great wine to try. I am partial to Chardonnays, especially in Napa, but the BF wanted to drink red for our meal because of what he planned to order. We get into this pickle often, but this time I let him choose because I chose the wine the night before. ;) It turned out to be a great payoff.
Now I am going to tell you about the best appetizer I have ever eaten. It was from the special Wild Game menu that Chef Hurley devises a few times a year. I will never forget this dish because it was so clever and because of how much flavor was packed into it. It was a pancetta wrapped quail brochette, and here's a photo of it that does not do it justice at all.
I will be replicating this dish at home for sure!
One thing I really like about Hurley's is that they have a regular menu and a menu that is completely gluten-free. These menus are a step that all restaurants should take, because so many people are gluten sensitive, or are like me and choose not to eat gluten or grains at all for vanity reasons. ;)
The BF ordered the wild boar ribs with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. The meat was cooked perfectly and it was very tender. More importantly, it was not overly sauced and the flavor of the meat really stood out!
And instead of an entrée, I opted for a cheese plate. I especially loved the hard cheeses in this ensemble, which included a smoked gouda (I liked best) and some almonds with truffled honey.
The staff, hard at work.
Dining area shot from my table in the corner. By the way, there's a stone fireplace in the room that makes for a very romantic setting!
The menu is located here and it looks pretty amazing... :)
The dinner is $85 per person and each guest will receive a complimentary glass of Domaine Chandon, Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine.