Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mustards Grill

Mustards Grill
Yountville, Wine Country

On the side of the Yountville highway, you may spot this little man sporting his stuff. You gotta love the hat...

The interior reminded me of an upscale Italian diner. The tables are Italian, and so is the bar, but look at the floor. It's diner-esque. I liked this place. It's nice, yet still kick-back and casual for the wine-country.

Muscat Canelli, Judd's Hill, 'Hollyhock', Napa Valley, 2005
This reminded me of a light Riesling, and tasted of apple. It was too sweet for me, I don't drink Rieslings any more. It's a good one though for those sweet lovers.

Far Niente, Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2005
So, this is a more pricey wine, and supposed to be better quality, but I've honestly had better. It's too fruity and dry for me.

Maine Crab Cakes
"chipotle aioli, arugula salad, molasses vinaigrette"
These crabs cakes actually mostly consisted of pure crab, and not just breading. What a refreshing discovery for a crab cake. One of my pet-peeves is when people call one of these things a crab cake and stuff it with breading, impairing you from truly enjoying the essence of shredded crab meat. The aioli sauce on these were great. The shells were toasted, but the inside is all tender with very fine shreds of crab and sesame. It came with a side of arugula lettuce on the plate with molasses vinaigrette.

French Country Appetizer Bread
This bread was soft, fluffy, and warm. It was not crispy, and reminded me of ciabatta crust, with the inner portion being silky in texture, with a natural unsweetened butter flavor. This was great bread! I loved it, and just kept tearing it apart and shoving it in my mouth. This was a thicker loaf, but tears beautifully, and it wasn't one of those chewy crusts like you get with well-baked French baguettes.

Onion Rings
"with homemade tomato-apple ketchup"
I actually took this photo from another table. Yes, I'm sneaky. Everyone around us was ordering these, and I think it's one of those famous appetizers of Mustards. We should have ordered these; they looked yummy... very fried though.

Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps
"lemongrass pork filet, mint, lime, nuoc cham"
The pork and the nuoc cham in this were delectable and savory, making my mouth water, they were so flavorful. The pork was absolutely delicious, and tender-cooked with a smooth consistency. The natural juices of the pork were memorable, having a hint of teriyaki, with some lime and honey hints. The grilled flavor on these was tasty. Altogether, the pork was tasty, and not chewy. The dipping sauce, nuoc cham, has green onion and red chili in it, but it rather has a sort of Parmesan flavor -- odd, I know.

Pasta Penne Special
"with lobster and chanterelle mushrooms, pumpkin blossoms, sage, tomatoes, and Parmesan"
You can really taste the cheese and oil and sage in this. The mushrooms were incredible, and I'm really not a mushroom person. They were tiny and long little suckers. So good!

Fish Special: Grilled King Salmon
"with garden vegetable succotash and pepper, white wine cream, and bacon"
The fish was good, the sauce was a little too creamy though, for me at least. My dad had this and gave me a taste.

Our Famous Lemon-Lime Tart
"and that ridiculously tall brown sugar meringue"
This was essentially an exceptional Lemon Meringue Pie with a mountainous dollop of meringue, which actually consisted of brown sugar rather than regular white sugar. The wavy spikes on the top were a work of art by the pastry chef. This was a huge slice! The actual pie is, no joke, about 7-9 inches high at the peak. Imagine, that's tall! Mustards is famous for these tarts. I think the curd was the best I've ever had in a lemon meringue pie, it was rather on the heavy side, I must say. The curd had a light walnut flavor, with lemon and light-soft custard hints. The meringue is marshmellowy in texture and consistency from the outer shell of the pie, and is sugary, but light in your mouth.

Ultimately, the pie was yummy, and very homemade. I won't remember this crust because it was just a crust, really hard, but the lemon curd reminded me a bit of hints of the El Torito whipped sweet butter with it's honey and cinnamon sugar. This was a light cream, but a good homey flavor -- not too sweet, as far as the curd goes. Nor was it tart-lemony or too bold. It had the perfect balance of flavor and I just kept wanting to eat it. I'm still specifically talking about the custard-curd. The meringue wasn't as good as the Five Crowns. This was a heavier, thicker, and more sugary tart, but it was still yummy. The crust was sheet-thin on the bottom, and was actually good with the curd -- buttery, but hard.

Here, I'll remember the pork juices, the bread, and the pie curd.
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