“Experience the True Essence of Excellence in Japanese Cuisine”
Kenzo Restaurant in downtown Napa in the old location of Pearl has been open for just over a year and after earning its first Michelin star has already gained major accolades in the culinary world and the Napa Valley dining scene.
Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto, owners and creators of the spectacular Kenzo Estate, had a vision of creating an authentic, elegant Japanese dining experience in the Napa Valley. This charming power couple is not new to the restaurant world, as they have developed a dedicated following in their home country of Japan with four stunning Kenzo Estate Restaurants and tasting rooms. These successful Kenzo-centric establishments bring avid followers in for their stunning cuisine and Kenzo Estate wines. Upon opening their anticipated Napa location just over a year ago, they have created the ultimate dining experience with their prix fixe menu importing the finest of fresh seafood flown in daily from the most acclaimed fish market in Japan. It is their mission to transform the perception of Japanese cuisine.
Kenzo Restaurant’s intimate atmosphere, situated in a private Zen-like setting, offers a global experience of innovative and unique Japanese cuisine inspired by Michelin Star Chef Eiji Onoyama and Kenzo’s brilliant team of award-winning chefs out of Japan. Kenzo’s inventive seasonal menus fuse Japanese tradition with his innovative, creative techniques and stunning presentations. Each and every course paired with one of the Kenzo Estate wines and premium sakes whisks diners on a culinary journey through Japan.
The intimate 27-seat restaurant offers ten tables and a sushi bar each providing dining guests exquisite presentations in the sophisticated Kaiseki traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. Sometimes compared to French haute cuisine, Kaiseki also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of the various courses in the meal and in some cases creating as many as 12 or more courses. Kenzo Restaurant has taken their “contemporary Kaiseki” to an elevated dining experience.
Having the opportunity to dine at the sushi bar offers a hands-on visual expose of the incredible preparations by the Kenzo master chefs at the helm. The sushi bar recreates the ambiance of a high-end sushi restaurant in Japan offering guests an expedition where they can visit a true Japan without a passport.
A sampling of their delightful dining offerings include:
- Pacific Dungeness Crab Chawanmushishizouka wasabi
- Rice Cracker Crusted Aomori Sawara Mackerel
- Ehime Amberjack Sashimi
- Straw Smoked Chiba Golden Eye SnapperOwan
- Spotted Prawn and Hokkaido Salmon Roe
- Satsuma Wagyu Tenderloin Kuwayaki with Kenzo Estate “Rindo” Reduction
- Matcha green tea pudding and sweet adzuki beans
- Warabimochi bracken starch dumpling with sweet soybean powder and brown sugar syrup
Kenzo owners – Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto and their talented team of chefs have proudly introduced traditional Japanese cuisine “Kaiseki” to the Napa Valley! Congratulations on your Michelin Star honor in your first year!
The Acacia House at Las Alcobas
Chef Chris Cosentino, co-owner of San Francisco’s trendy Cockscomb restaurant welcomes his newest addition, the Acacia House, to his restaurant group along with business partner, Oliver Wharton. This inspired new dining establishment is located on the spectacular grounds of Napa Valley’s newest Luxury Collection Hotel Las Alcobas in Saint Helena embraced by lush vineyard views. In contrast to the stunning contemporary surrounds of this exquisite boutique hotel, the Acacia House is perched on a grand hill showcased majestically a stately Victorian Mansion. The “Acacia House” was the first given name of this historic Georgian inspired estate originally built in 1907.
Cosentino and Wharton’s restaurant group, Delicious MFG & CO also includes Jackrabbit in Portland, Oregon which also recently opened to much acclaim by Cosentino’s culinary following.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Las Alcobas brand where personalized service, discreetly modernized design and intimate ambiance are key ingredients of the experience. Our mutual styles bridge the classical decadence of the region and the progressive, diverse flavors diners crave from a restaurant that is as exacting as it is exciting.” As Cosentino and Wharton enthusiastically stated.
This dynamic restaurant duo devotes their energy to their restaurants with similar philosophies in branding Cosentino’s innovative style of cuisine offering familiar dishes with a refreshing twist of refinement. The Acacia House menu is directly influenced by the grape varietals of the Napa Valley’s original countries of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany infusing the unique flavors of their regions into the dishes created at the restaurant.
Acacia House Hamachi
The Acacia House also offers a selection of well-balanced cocktails as a complement to the restaurant’s dining offerings. You will find timeless classics like the Italian inspired Negroni or seasonally infused Bellinis or their own not-so traditional Bloody Mary, and a crowd-pleaser from the Las Alcobas flagship property in Mexico City, is the signature, Margarita.
Many of the wines off of their extensive wine list of Napa Valley varietals present entertaining historical vignettes on the vineyard proprietors of these showcased vintages. Here is one of them, Farella 2001 Coombsville, Merlot:
“Frank and Tom Farella panted the first Merlot of Coombsville in 1985. A unique horseshoe valley with close-proximity to the bay and the base of Mt. George creates this cooler microclimate. Coombsville is the newest recognized AVA in Napa Valley. The Merlot produced here is a graceful Bordeaux style.”
Menu highlights include:
- Burrata: apricots, almond chili, and lemon verbena
- Lobster Submarine: pancetta, avocado, sundried tomato jam, arugula, lobster roe aioli, and torpedo roll
- Klingeman Farms Park Schnitzel: snap peas, caviar ranch dressing
- Lavender Cornish Game Hen: sugar squash, grilled squash blossoms, and lemon thyme vinaigrette
Acacia House Schnitzel
The Acacia House is open 7 days per week. Breakfast 7am to 10am; Lunch 11:30a to 3pm and Dinner 5-10p
1915 Main Street, St. Helena www.lasalcobasnapavalley.com
Experience Rose at CIA – Copia
Summer wine and food events are abundant around the Napa Valley during the summer months. One of the more unique and refreshing events which took place at the CIA at Copia this summer was The Great Rosé Pairing held this summer at CIA at Copia. Rosé and other pink wines have accelerated in popularity over the past several years with many wineries adding a Rosé style to their wine portfolios. Pink Wines from all over the US and the globe were represented at this lively, colorful event.
Experience Rosé: The Competition Director, Debra Del Fiorentino, describes the growing passion for Rosé: “Right now, we are in what I call “The Rosé Revolution” here in the US. We’ve finally learned what Italy and France have known for ages and we’re jumping on the Rosé bandwagon. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of this year’s event. This competition had all the right elements in play and took off at an astronomical pace in terms of entries and interests. The timing was just right.”
Rosé is a type of wine that extrapolates its pink color from limited contact with grape skins and is one of the oldest known types of wine. The pink color can range from a pale “onion-skin” orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the varietals used and winemaking techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée, and blending. Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from highly dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé wines are made from many different grape varietals and can be found all around the globe, as was represented at the event at The Great Rosé Pairing event.
The event in its fifth year, formerly known as Rosé Today also showcased paired tasty bites created by various teams of CIA student chefs, offering cuisine from six major Rosé producing regions: France, Spain, Italy, as well as Northern, Central and Southern California.
The Six Culinary teams from around the region and the world participated in the paired cuisine:
- Team Spain – Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola
- Team Italy – Pesce Marinato and Negroni Macaron
- Team France – Ratatouille and Lemon Mascarpone French Crêpes
- Team Northern California – Mt. St. Tomato (Sundried tomato crackers with Humboldt Fog and Ricotta mousse topped with jellied consommé cube and a sundried basil and chili infused olive oil snow)
- Team Southern California – Southern California Fusion Fish Tacos
- Team Central California – Burrata with Nectarine Compote on a Garlic Rubbed Crostini and Burnt Honey and Tarragon Ricotta on a Lemon Herb Cracker and Nectarine Compote
The winning culinary team: Team Spain with “Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola”
The rosé cocktails and refreshers that were prepared featured the Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka:
- Team 1: Spritzer — Stop and Smell Rosé / Cocktail — Peach of My Heart
- Team 2: Spritzer — The Golden State / Cocktail — Summer Mule
Winning Refresher: Stop and Smell the Rosé (Team #1)
Winning Cocktail: Summer Mule (Team #2)
The Great Rose Pairing offered 25 wineries pouring their Rose varietals during the event at CIA at Copia, including:
- DRAXTON WINES, 2017 Draxton Pinot Meunier (Best in Show)
- LAZY CREEK VINEYARDS, 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Double Gold)
- SIMPLE LIFE, 2017 Rosé (Double Gold)
- DOMAINE LAURIER, NV Brut Rosé (Gold, Best of Class)
- FLEUR DE MER, 2017 Cotes de Provence Rosé (Gold, Best of Class)
- NICHELINI FAMILY WINERY, 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (Gold, Best of Class)
- Alexander Valley Vineyards, 2017 Dry Rosé of Sangiovese (Gold)
- Blue Sky Vineyard, 2017 Rosé (Gold)
- Domaine Anderson, 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Gold)
- Ferrari-Carano 2017 Dry Rosé of Sangiovese (Gold)
- Fillmore West Vineyards, 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Gold)
- Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery, NV Chambourcin Rosé (Gold)
- Handley Cellars, 2017 Pinot Noir Rosé (Gold)
- Illinois Sparkling Co., 2016 Brut Rosé de Saignée (Gold)
- J Vineyards, NV Brut Rosé (Gold)
- Kokomo, 2017 Grenache Rosé (Gold)
- Le Grand Courtage, NV Brut Rosé (Gold)
- Marilyn Wines, 2017 Marilyn Monroe Rosé (Gold)
- Mathis Wine, 2017 Rosé de Grenache (Gold)
- Moshin Vineyards, 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Gold)
- Muscardini Cellars, 2017 Rosato de Sangiovese (Gold)
- Red Car, 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Gold)
- Twelve Oaks Vineyard (Gold)
- Wilson of Dry Creek, 2017 Dorothy’s Rosé (Gold)
Below is the recipe for the winning cocktail of the day (voted on by attendees) – the Summer Mule. It featured the Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka.
recipe FOR SUMMER MULE
(created by Kenny Belgard and Parker James, students from The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone’s Wine and Beverage program)
- 2 parts ginger beer
- 1 part Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka
- 1 part Rosé wine
- Mint for muddling
- .25 parts lime juice (We had our limes pre-juiced because of time, but it would be better if fresh limes were used. Use 1/4 lime per drink)
- .25 parts Perfect Puree: Red Raspberry (local Napa product – may not need .25 parts – we did to taste)
- Garnish with raspberry halve and lime segment
Muddle the lime and mint together. Strain the mint/lime juice mixture into a mixing glass. Add vodka, rose, and raspberry puree. Mix. Pour into iced glass and top with ginger beer. Mix again and garnish.
Unique Holiday Gift Ideas Created in the Napa Valley
Go Anywhere with GoVino
By Dynie Sanderson
Here are a few really special Holiday gift ideas to take away with you from the Wine Country. Whether it is a gift for under the tree or a gift for a special occasion or gift to yourself, these will surely put a smile on your face. As a matter of fact, these gifts will pair perfect with the wines you bought on your last trip to Napa Valley.
Wouldn’t it be fun to pack up that case of the wine you just bought in Napa and put it in a suitcase custom-made to take your most special vintages with you to your next travel destination or to have a glass when you get home and not wait for a shipment? Absolutely! It used to be that you could travel with a 6-pack carry on as a souvenir from your visit. Though that luxury is long gone, the good news is you can still take it with you!
FlyWithWine is the ultimate wine travel suitcase which was designed exclusively for safely transporting wine. Put your favorite vintages comfortably in this indestructible check-in bag and pick it up with confidence at baggage claim knowing your 2005 Estate Cab is safely intact. And fully loaded with a case of wine it still weighs less than 50 pounds. You can also customize your wine luggage too, as they have a variety of inserts for fit your various bottle sizes and even your special Riedel Wine Glasses.
Though if you want to use all of the space in your customized suitcase for wine, there is an option. Grab a box of your favorite GoVino shatter proof drinkware and put it in your backpack or carry-on and you will be ready-set-go to enjoy a glass or two of the one of your Napa Valley wines as soon as you land in your next destination. These innovative sommelier-approved wine glasses can go with you anywhere and were established in the Napa Valley in 2008 by Joseph T. Perulli.
Go Vino Picnic
The GoVino glasses have quickly been adopted by some of the world’s most renowned wine estates and it is the first shatterproof wine glass of its kind to be accepted by the industry. GoVino offers design driven glassware options for wine, beer, champagne and cocktails and they even have a decanter as well. These are perfect when proper stemware isn’t available or in settings where breakable glass in prohibited. May your Holidays be Smashing … Not Your Glassware! www.govinowine.com
You just packed your FlyWithWine suitcase with a selection of wines from Hestan Vineyards and while there, you had the opportunity to go to The Hestan Barn for an amazing cooking demonstration by Hestan Chef Philip Tessier. He was using an amazing line of cookware, the Nanobond. Hestan just debuted the Hestan Cue: A Connected, Smart Cooking System which redefines the home kitchen. What an amazing culinary innovation. Now that you have Chef Philip’s new book “Chasing Bocuse – America’s Journey to the Culinary World Stage”, The Hestan Cue is a must have in your kitchen.
Hestan Cue is a video-guided cooking system that automatically controls temperature and time, every step of the recipe. Their smart cookware, induction burner and recipe app all communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology and embedded sensors – automatically adjusting the cooking temperature and time as you proceed through each recipe. Cue doesn’t cook it for you – it helps you cook better food, more often. And the best part…you are learning to cook beautiful meals from chefs like Philip Tessier.
The Hestan Cue Team includes acclaimed chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants, pioneering software developers and meticulous designers dedicated to tirelessly reinventing the cooking experience.
You can find the Hestan Cue at William Sonoma and Amazon or at www.HestanCue.com