Last Thursday night (Nov 6), the restaurant Redd in Yountville was showing no signs that the economy is keeping diners away from enjoying outstanding cuisine. When we arrived for our 7 pm dinner at Redd, the restaurant was packed. The bar was standing room only and all the tables were in use or reserved. The place was still jumping when we departed a couple of hours later following a memorable meal.
Richard Reddington Owner Chef
Redd has been open nearly three years and since its opening it has remained a popular dining spot in Yountville. Richard Reddington is the owner and chef. The menu is French based but there is a fusion of California and others in the mix. The atmosphere on this Thursday night was joyous, as though there were no worries. Perhaps the glee came from Obama’s election to the presidency or the relief that the election was finally over. Whatever it was, the atmosphere was one of joy and elation.
Dinner and Service
Of course it always helps when the food is so good. Redd certainly deserves the accolades from the food critics and once again it has received a “One Star” rating in the latest Michelin Guide. For dinner we enjoyed a wonderfully fresh Fall salad with vinaigrette dressing, the butternut squash ravioli, and the soup that was also butternut squash. The service was excellent, no rush, not overbearing, just very appropriate all through the meal. The hostess and servers were polite and very competent; they made us feel very content.
The Redd menu also offers diners a five-course dinner with food pairing. This is an easy way to learn about matching wine and food. The cost is $120 per person for this option.
Our only gripe on this wonderful evening was the corkage fee. Granted the Redd wine list is massive and not lacking for choices of wine. However, we are in the Napa Valley and many diners who come to the Napa Valley are seasoned wine collectors. Why charge $25 to open a bottle of wine? No, that is not a misprint. $25 is excessive for corkage but Redd obviously feels this will not deter people from banging on their doors. This is the most we have been charged for corkage fee at any Napa Valley Restaurant. Most restaurants in the Valley charge $20 or less. Some waive the corkage at the discretion of the server. The Flat Iron restaurant in Calistoga has a no-corkage-fee policy. Please Redd, lower that corkage fee.
The Good: Great food and atmosphere, excellent service
The Bad: Corkage fee excessive at $25