Cracking open a shiny golden apple with the back of my spoon, a thin white chocolate sauce oozed out, bathing the top of a honey crisp apple crumble pie. Served with Dulce de Leche ice cream, it was one of the many highlights while dining at the award-winning Napa Rose Restaurant.
Since its launch in 2002, Napa Rose has received accolades and awards from a number of esteemed organizations.
My husband and I decided to splurge and dine at Napa Rose after a day of exciting rides and admiring the holiday decor at both Disneyland and California Adventure. We were ready to relax and enjoy a good meal.
As we were escorted through the high ceiling dining room near the open kitchen, we learned that the restaurant recently received a kitchen overhaul with a new layout and equipment. It appeared to glow in gold with the installation of new fixtures. The design helps make the kitchen run even more efficiently. There is a freezer in the pastry kitchen, so sorbet and ice cream remains cold as scoops of icy treats are placed next to desserts fresh out of the oven.
Admiring the extensive menu, a lovely bread basket with a variety of olive bread, Parker House rolls and crispy lavash bread was delivered to our table. We sipped a glass of Domaine Chandon, Etoile, Brut Rose’
from Yountville as we discussed what to order.
Our server, Saucy has he been at Napa Rose since the day it opened as one of the first chefs in the kitchen. When I asked him why he stepped out of the kitchen, he told me he enjoys face to face service with his diners. Saucy is also a Level Two Sommelier, Cicceroni and certified cheese professional.
He told us that in 2000, Executive Chef Andrew Sutton arrived in Southern California to head up the kitchen at Napa Rose. With his expertise, he was given the freedom to craft seasonal menus and hand select one of the most highly trained staffs within the restaurant industry.
Chef Andrew offers a “chef’s counter” creating culinary treats with a distinct California style and flair. Guests sit at the counter of the kitchen and interact personally with the golden-haired chef. They receive a house menu or “The Vintner’s Table” prix-fixe menu. Chef Andrew will also create a tasting menu tailored to his guest’s preferences.
Another pro in the hospitality industry is Philippe Tosques, the General Manager of Napa Rose for the past four years. He runs the dining room efficiently and is always around lending a hand to his waitstaff and sommelier.
We learned that one of the most popular appetizers is a plate of pan seared scallops. Saucy recommended a glass of La Crema Chardonnay. The wine offered aromas of Meyer lemon and yellow apple with hints of butterscotch and floral notes. It paired nicely with the golden lobster and lemon sauce with a hint of vanilla that topped the scallops.
We also ordered the Heirloom tomato salad with shredded goat cheese, a sprinkling of pine nuts, candied garlic and crunchy croutons with a coconut-lime vinaigrette. The flavor profiles of this dish tantalized our tastebuds.
For entrees, we ordered the Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with a honey crisp apple coulis and almond gnocchi with pomegranate and a tender petit filet of Angus beef tenderloin with a creamy white cheddar risotto topped with smoked bacon and a chili fig sauce. Both were excellent.
Before ordering our Golden Apple dessert, we noticed a few tables of well behaved children celebrating a special occasion. After their meal, they received a Princess or Pirate chest filled with chocolate cake with white frosting.
After dessert, we both agreed that Napa Rose offers creative cuisine fitting of the rustic, yet elegant farm-to-table restaurant.
Before enjoying Chef Andrew’s four-course Wine Country Holiday menu, step up to the bar and meet Joe, the bartender. With 17 years at Napa Rose, he has some great stories to tell. You can sit at his bar without reservations and order any item off the menu.
On Dec. 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. A Christmas dinner at Napa Rose is available for $100 per adult, and can be paired with a special flight of wines for $45 per person. A children’s menu is also available for ages 3 to 9.
On New Year’s Eve from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., guests sit among silver and black balloons as Chef Andrew serves a 4-course country feast for families for $125.00 per person.
A second seating begins at 8:15 p.m. with live music, champagne and a Napa-style New Year’s five-course tasting menu. Guests receive complimentary hats and party favors for the 2015 countdown. There will be dancing until 1 a.m. for this late night gala dinner and event at $220 per person. A special flight of wines is an additional $65 per person. $$$ 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim (714)300-7170.
This article was featured in the Dec.4, 2014 issue of the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News.