3 of us indulged last week in a lovely meal at this St Helena newcomer. One of the things I especially liked about the menu was that it is the same for lunch and dinner (with lunch and dinner specials added). Plus they serve the whole menu from lunch through dinner with no break in the afternoon. They have small plates, salads, large plates, and desserts. The wine list was extensive, we tried several glasses that were perfect with our meals, but I am not well versed. The atmosphere has a casual wine country appeal and the service was stellar, friendly and welcoming.
The first courses were very fresh crab cakes with a spicy aioli that sang accompanied with a small arugula salad, a house salad that had spicy greens with a yummy cumin vinaigrette, and an average ceasar (romaine and croutons had good bite, but no discernible anchovy).
We also ordered a flat bread with caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan, and basil which could have been ordinary and was exemplary. The dough was thin, crunchy and flavorful, even under the weight of a lot of tasty toppings.
For second courses we tried their smoky wood roasted pork which came with perfectly steamed torn brussel sprout leaves and crispy potato chunks. The whole dish was dressed in a mustard sauce that was sassy and bold, but not too overpowering. I thought it was a perfect pig dish. We also had a petrale sole dish that was fresh and well executed, but not special.
The portions are large and we were too full for dessert, but they looked very tempting, vanilla bean tapioca creme brulee, a variety of sorbets, the requisite chocolate overkill cake, pineapple upside down cake, etc.. ranging from $5-7.
Our whole meal including 3 glasses of wine, tax and tip was $130. We thought it a great bargain for the quality and dining experience we had. I would definitely go back. Reservations are a good idea although the place is not crazy busy like big sister Mustards.
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
1327 Railroad @ Hunt
St Helena CA