NAPA VALLEY GRILLE
WINE COUNTRY MEETS HOLLYWOOD AT WESTWOOD VILLAGE GEM
A Westwood Village dining landmark for the past 11 years, Napa Valley Grille is the embodiment of wine country perfectly pairing with Hollywood. Known for creating tasty menu items consisting of local, seasonal ingredients and a vast array of delicious wines served in a rustic, yet refined setting suitable for a pre-theater dinner for two, or a business lunch with top celebrity clients (including the likes of regular Bruce Willis, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin), a meal here is the ideal time to relax, unwind and indulge the senses.
Featuring first-rate wine country cuisine, the mouthwatering fare is heightened by restaurant’s wine country warmth in the main dining room illuminated by earth-toned hues, wooden harvest table, farm-fresh floral displays, wine artifact pieces, rustic lighting fixtures and an exhibition kitchen.
A stickler for fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients, Executive Chef Joseph Gillard was raised in Freemont, Michigan on a 40-acre homestead where his mother, a single parent, raised goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs, pheasants and cows. The family’s large vegetable garden and market stand where they sold their goods provided sustenance and income for the family, making a lasting impression on Gillard as to the integrity and beauty of local and seasonal food products. As a result, his Napa Valley Grille menu changes on a regular basis according to the availability of seasonal ingredients.
During our recent lunchtime visit, we opted to kick things off with a refined drink from their impressive cocktail menu and started with the mighty Spiced Old Fashioned with woodford reserve bourbon, muddled orange and spiced cranberry. The Hearth Oven Flatbread with butternut squash puree, caramelized pears, toasted pecans and goat Gouda cried out as a starter item. It’s the perfect example of how Gillard likes to keep his dishes as fresh as possible.
Opting to try Chef’s experimental dineLA Restaurant Week menu, which most likely consisted of future additions to his regular menu, the three-course meal, at only $22 per person, was a great deal. The First course featured your choice of Peasant Cabbage Soup consisting of local greens, root vegetables, and bayley hazen blue cheese, a hearty, yet healthy choice; Duck Confit Rillette with toasted country bread, radish salad and tangerine marmalade, a refined and filling option; and the Castel Franco Radicchio Salad with autumn pear, macerated golden raisins and goat Gouda, a refreshing and tasty plate that really should be menu fixture.
The Main course featured a hearty Market Bean Chili with heirloom beans, prime sirloin and beef jerky gratin; a wonderful Skillet Baked Lasagna with herb ricotta cheese, house made pasta and spicy Italian sausage, a robust and delicious item that should also be a regular menu item; and the “Chicken Fried” Natural Chicken with creamy aged cheddar grits and heirloom apple salad. Although not as healthy an option as the other choices, if you want to treat yourself and leave your diet at the door, this comfort food gem is worth derailing your nutritional regimen.
Lastly came Pastry Chef Manuel Ortega’s Dessert selections of Cinnamon Crème Caramel with spiced rum cream, a fantastic and not so guilty selection that finished things off perfectly, as well as the decadent Warm Brioche Bread Pudding, a dessert menu staple, with vanilla gelato and sea salt caramel.
Daily lunchtime options if you find yourself on the go are also available and include Soup, Salad and Sandwich combinations for under $15. Selections consist of the Rutherford with Carrot Ginger Soup, Caesar Salad and Half Roast Beef Sandwich; St. Helena with Carrot Ginger Soup, Celery Root Slaw and Half Grilled Salmon Club; and the Yountville with Carrot Ginger Soup, Baby Lettuce with Balsamic, and a Half Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Committed to locally sourced produce and fresh, seasonal items, you can count on a delectable, unique and organic meal when you desire a local wine country inspired meal.
Napa Valley Grille is located at 1100 Glendon Ave in Westwood Village. Hours: Lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.; dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Friday from 5-11 p.m.; Saturday from 5-11 p.m.; and Sunday from 5-9 p.m. Happy Hour from 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. and on Sundays from 3-11 p.m. Brunch is served on Sunday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Valet parking and street parking are available. Call 310-824-3322
Some Photography courtesy of Napa Valley Grille