Just got back from an extended weekend with lots of eats in Wine Country.
1) Fremont Diner. This place is just the tops. Charming atmosphere. Wonderful pulled pork sandwich, LOVED the padron peppers with gremolata (had those twice. we stopped near closing time after a disappointing sandwich from Jimtown, had peppers, shake and tried the corn fritters which were yummy too), great vanilla bean shake, great peach baked (not fried) pie, nice and not oversalted beans and hock. Burger was ok fries were nice, go for the pulled pork sandwich instead with those yummy peppers. Nice people, nice dogs, screen porch seating inside, picnic tables outside. Just the best. I only wish it had been open Sunday and Monday of Labor Day (was closed both days) and that I could have tried the fried chicken too.
2) La Sallette. More of a soulful meal than Ad Hoc. Charming patio with twinkly liights on plants and heat lamps, nice dinner rolls. The caldo verde was ok, tasting platter chourico was nice, did not like the octoupus but loved the Portugese sheep cheese with honey. Very nice sea bass on collards, also quite tasty Feiojada. They could use a little more spice in the piri piri fries (or maybe a side of piri piri sauce) Had no room for dessert. Great service.
3) Ad Hoc-Steak night. Nice but small portioned salad with small gems. Fab spiced cashews, I only wish my portion had more than the very (too) few on the plate, nice green beans very toothsome, perfectly done, great sweet corn. Thought the blue cheese dressing was a bit over the top. Smashed small potatoes were great as was the sauteed savoy, the steak however was rather bland and mine was sort of cold (I did not complain, should have). Not wild about how the first course salad came before the wine. Butter was too salty. Portion of the cowgirl creamery cheese was too small. Pear buckle with creme anglaise was nice, homey dessert. Felt somewhat rushed, not much time between courses.
4) Ubuntu. Ok, I know this was supposed to be a transcendent meal, but it just wasn't. I am not a vegetarian, but am veg friendly and the thought of an all veg gourmet experience was quite exciting. Unfortunately, Ubuntu did not live up to expectations. We had the 3 sampler of marcona almonds with lavendar salt and sugar (probably my favorite dish all night and I almost did not get it), fried chickpea fritters and a humous with very greasy fried chip like things. Second courses were vegetable patties that tasted a lot like falafel which were over a sweet corn puree that tasted like creamed corn and heirloom tomatoes with buratta. There were air dried corn crumbles in one of those dishes too. Passed on the $20 special house salad of what looked like leaves and flowers. Two mains were gnochettis with an overly rich and overly salty mushroom sauce and what looked and tasted like veg bacon curls and grits with goat cheese (or milk), whey and green tomato jam. Overall , there was a mushiness to the dishes (and a general lack of solid pieces in what we ordered) and the fried ones were somewhat oily. Bussers also seemed to try and whisk everything away even when some sauce was left on the plates (maybe because the tables are so small?) Dessert was pain perdu with berries, honey ice cream, was missing a zing, and the pain perdu itself was bland. The butter was nice. This was my least favorite of my three dinners.