I got to Ubuntu and was very surprised at how stylish and sophisticated the decor was. I guess I assumed that because it was a vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio that it would be all hippie or something. Not at all. But still very friendly vibe.
We ended up ordering 5 courses to share and then our own desserts. I asked the waitress to bring wine pairings for me to match the dishes, which she was happy to do. Our waitress was super nice and knowledgeable. Service was great, all around.
(Though we did see a really weird thing at the start of our meal where a 2-top near us threw down their napkins and stormed out, the guy shouting at the woman bringing them bread that they will NEVER GO THERE AGAIN, and his date giggling. I don't know what was up with that, we had no indication of any problems in service during our visit. I felt really bad for this poor woman who was just bringing them bread and got this anger. Ask for the manager, dude, if you're unhappy, don't scream at the busser)
Anyway, I ordered a Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc at the start of the meal and I enjoyed it with our starting snack, the marcona almonds with lavender, sugar, and salt (so good!!!) as well as our first course which was housegrown heirloom tomatoes with olive oil, basil, pine nuts and we added the burrata cheese, which was an excellent choice, because of the overwhelming awesomeness of every bite of the plate.
For our next course, we had the kohlrabi and black fig "ravioli" with smoked royal trumpet "bacon." Our server brought out a glass of Gruner Veltliner, Hidler, "Loss," Kamptal Austria 2008. Both were excellent. This was my husband's first choice dish, as it contained figs. The way the dish evoked other flavors while still being true to the ingredients was amazing.
After that, we had the roasted and glazed sunchokes (aligote style) with "slow borage condimento, mutsu apple, and albino beet thinnings." basically, it had a mushroom sauce and truffled pecorino. It was completely and 100% umami tastes and so satisfying on the palate. One issue was that one bite of the sunchoke I had was extremely fibrous and tough- I was picking it out of my teeth and mouth for the rest of the evening- it was like I'd eaten the "choke" of an artichoke, which I assume the sunchoke (aka Jerusalem artichoke) shares biological structure with. I mentioned it to the server as more an FYI for the kitchen, but got sort of the runaround on that. ::shrug:: Whatever- every other bite in that dish was wonderful. The server paired it with a Zmor Pinot Noir from Russian River, 2006. The wine paired beautifully- the flavor matched up with the "meaty" umami flavors but didn't overwhelm it- with nice light bright notes.
The next dish was my first choice- grits infused with goats' milk whey with a soft farm egg, spinach, and green tomato jam. Such comfort food!! I loved it. The wine that our server brought out was a Moscata Thurnof "Goldmuskateller" Alto Adige Italy 2008. It was a crisp sweet wine, which cut the fattiness and richness of the grits & egg.
For dessert, I ordered the lemon verdana rice pudding with watermelon granita, pistachios, raspberries, and raspberry sorbet. Good lord, that was good. It was a great way to end the meal. My husband ordered the cornbread pain perdu with figs, ice cream, and ground cherries. also excellent. he ordered it for the figs and stayed for the cornbread pain perdu. Genius!
A great meal, great service (excepting the small sunchoke issue on both counts, but not enough to ding our experience). We both loved it there. I feel like we could eat there all the time, yet it was a special occasion experience.
Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558
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