Ubuntu

img_3999From burgers to biodynamic vegetables, we were totally blown away by Chef Jeremy Fox’s vegetable mastery at Napa Valley’s Ubuntu. Give this blog only half a read, and you’ll know that I likes me some steak. But this vegetarian-focused menu of small plates was so flavorful, colorful, inventive and surprisingly filling, I hardly missed the meat. Before I checked out Ubuntu (the spirit of ubuntu translates as “humanity towards others” to the Zulu people of South Africa), I heard it was connected to a yoga studio, and pictured a small, hole-in-the-wall space with rickety chairs and beaded curtains hanging in the doorway. Nothing of the sort, the 19th-century building is spacious, rustic and loft-like with soft lighting and a slightly eerie life-size sculpture by award-winning artist Mark Chatterley of tribal men and women looking out at you with hollow eyes from the center of the dining room. A center communal dining table is made from windfallen redwood and birch trees, and other tabletops are made from reclaimed fir trees. For the daily-changing menu, Chef Jeremy Fox (a 2008 Food and Wine Best New Chef) looks to the restaurant’s masterfully maintained 6-mile garden of organic and biodynamic vegetables to come up with farm-fresh, daily harvested dishes like cauliflower in a cast iron pot, caramelized sunchoke soup and olives marinated in pesto. Tasty, vegetarian-inducing pics to follow. 1140 Main Street, Napa, Calif., 707.251.5656

"Alternative Perspective" by sculptor Mark Chatterley

"Alternate Perspective" by sculptor Mark Chatterley in the center of the dining room

Marcona almonds with lavender, sugar and sea salt..sweet, salty, floral, addictive

Marcona almonds with lavender, sugar and sea salt..sweet, salty, floral, addictive

Castelvetrano olives marinated in pesto z'herbes..equally as addictive (and I hate olives)

I couldn't stop with the Castelvetrano olives marinated in pesto z'herbes (and I hate olives)

Grits smoked with hickory, fried brussels sprouts with parsley and apple barbecue

Grits smoked with hickory, fried brussels sprouts with parsley and apple barbecue

Carrot gnocchetti with tarragon and mimolette, spiced crumble of carrot pulp, almond and mace

Carrot gnocchetti with tarragon and mimolette, spiced crumble of carrot pulp, almond and mace

A bowl of frosted feuilletine, bananas, vanilla ice cream, warm parsnip milk

A bowl of frosted feuilletine, bananas, vanilla ice cream, warm parsnip milk

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under eliz-a-trip, I like to eats

One response to “Ubuntu

  1. The name of the place just makes me think of sweat in my food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s