Morimoto – a culinary treasure

07.03.2011 - Banquet Of Life

The picturesque Napa Valley is a truly blessed place to live and work.  The sense of community is clearly palpable with the multiplicity of activities and events that provide for those less fortunate.  Leading the charge are the many world class chefs and wineries that call the Napa Valley home.

If you have read previous posts in the Banquet Of Life you know my predilection for “hole in the wall” restaurants.  Today, our journey takes us completely in another direction.  We have been very fortunate that many fine restaurants have opened in the last few years.  Perhaps the finest is Morimoto in the heart of downtown Napa.

This is the first West Coast endeavor in the culinary empire of the Iron Chef of TV fame.  It is absolutely excellent.  We visited the restaurant for the second time on a recent Friday night and it was bubbling with humanity.  The bar scene was vibrant and if I were to hazard a guess there were few if any tables available during the three hours we were there.

There are so many wonderful dishes on the menu that it is extremely difficult to choose only a few to highlight, but here goes:

Tuna pizza – ahi tuna, anchovy aioli, olives, jalapeño on a crispy tortilla – truly amazing – our favorite on both visits

Kakuni – ten hour pork belly, rice congee, soy scallion jus – so tender it melts in your mouth

Beef curry bread – panko crust, Japanese beef curry – a delightfully unique dish

Chef’s combination sushi platter – exquisite fresh seafood

The restaurant is located at 610 Main Street just South of Third Street.  Reservations are a must and you can reach the restaurant at 707.252.1600.  There is an excellent wine list as one would expect.  If you choose to bring your own wine there is a corkage fee of $25.00.  The corkage fee will be waived one for one for each bottle purchased from the wine list.  Be aware, this will not be an inexpensive evening but it will be worth every penny.