vegan mofo: ubuntu? i hardly know you!

October 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

So, I’m sort of a minimalist. I grew up in a cluttered home, and unfortunately picked up a bit of the clutter bug. I try my best to fight against it, and have grown to hate collecting things. Throwing or giving things away feels SO GOOD. Maybe that’s why I’m such a foodie, and choose to pretty much only spend my money on good eatin’. You buy foodstuffs, you eat foodstuffs, then the foodstuffs are gone. (I won’t mention my often cluttered refrigerator. I like to pretend that doesn’t exist, thanks.)

Anyway, I like to splurge on food! So, in the past 9 or 10 months I’ve gone with my husband to Ubuntu, an all vegetarian (fancy!) restaurant in Napa, CA. We’ve gone for lunch both times to avoid crowds and were better off for it…natural light for crappy camera phone pictures makes a world of difference!

This place, while expensive is THE SHIZZ. People still say that, right? Well I AM. UBUNTU IS THE SHIZZ. Most of their produce comes from their backyard garden, and 3/4ths of the menu is vegan. My three course meal from our first trip there:


Beets! Beet tartar, roasted beets, shaved beets, beet chips, kale chips (candied kinda, and SO GOOD), crushed olives, beet hazelnut “soil”.

Roasted heirloom potatoes, fresh radishes, poached radishes in sauerkraut broth, sauerkraut mousse, and one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted: caramelized sauerkraut. I really have to make that some day.

Dessert was fennel pollen cake (?!) with poached apples (or pears maybe?), meyer lemon sorbet, satsuma orange caramel, and more hazelnut deliciousness.

Meal number two, which I just had last weekend, was technically a two and a half course meal since we split the dessert. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the salads, but I will tell you about them!

Mine was heirloom tomatoes presented in various ways with a creamy corn pudding garnish. The highlight was BY FAR the battered and fried tomatoes. I could have eaten a whole bowl of them! Sadly I have been disappointed with pretty much every tomato I’ve come into contact with in the past year, and these were no exception. For garden grown heirlooms they should have been bursting with flavor! Alas. My husband’s salad was different types of squash presented in different ways, also tasty.

The main courses were suited to our tastes perfectly. Mine was stewed and fried chickpeas with romesco sauce and arugula. Boy do I love me some chickpeas.

His was homemade tiny pasta that they were calling flagiola or something, but all my research on their shape shows that it’s commonly known as acini di pepe (peppercorns), in a smoky spicy brothy sauce. (Shown in the background of the picture above).

The dessert we split was similar to the last, and equally mouth-watering. Meyer lemon cake with pears(?), pluot reduction, black olive caramel, olive oil sorbet (some of the most refreshing stuff I’ve ever eaten), and some crazy delicious hazelnut brittle. The olive caramel was probably my least favorite thing on the dish…it didn’t quite compliment the cake in my opinion. Interesting flavor though, not at all bad by itself!

If you’ve got a bit of extra cash on hand and happen to be in Napa, I highly recommend this place. But hey, it’s got a Michelin star, so my recommendation probably isn’t worth much…

PS. I know “tomorrow” turned into “three days from now”, but I will make up for it by posting a bonus entry later today!


Entry filed under: lunch. Tags: .

vegan mofo: rain! vegan mofo bonus post: the cake is a truth!

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