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03/08 I'm A Cindy Groupie but We won't return to Mustard's? Oh nooo, Mr. Bill....


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03/08 I'm A Cindy Groupie but We won't return to Mustard's? Oh nooo, Mr. Bill....

opinionatedchef | Mar 31, 2008 12:01 PM

When we began our 3 day napa sojourn here the other day, we vaguely remembered being disappointed 2 yrs. ago, and when we left after lunch, we decided that we won't be returning to mustards. Why? Well it's certainly not because of the light, brightly colored, inviting room, or the friendly knowledgeable service, or the wonderful and often very funny artwork. And it's not because of the killer onion ring strings. It might be because of the deafening roar, but it's the roar of very happy people, so who's to complain?

It is because of the rest of the food. It's just off the mark. The entree special -risotto w/ wild mushrooms and scallops- was tasty but overcooked, undersalted and underparm'd. my quail w/ potatoes and leeks and sherry sauce- was soooo greasy; the potatoes were drowning in the same greasy sauce and the leeks were a huge pile and the color of all that white/ light green was unappealing and boring in flavor.the quail itself was succulent/perfectly cooked but undistinguished; the spice rub didn't come through much.
all the salads were just greens- no other components except some nuts. no other vegetables? boring. So what if your garden isn't producing these other possible components?

And, get this. "Local potatoes' starch content is not conducive to good french fries now, so Mustard's and Cindy's Backsytreet Kitchen both serve FROZEN french fries. FROZEN!!!!!! Mustards won't serve cucumbers, sunchokes, fennel etc etc etc etc in their salads because they're not growing in THEIR garden now but they'll serve FROZEN french fries?????? hmmmmm. Time to do some refiguring here. In the meantime, we will happily drive another 1/2 hr. north for the consistently wonderful experience at Cindy's in St. Helena(but we still won't be eating those lousy french fries.)

here's my report on Cindy's:


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