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The place was full on a Tuesday (perhaps due to fried chicken special night), but our meal and service were also special. Hot and cold Dungeness crab starters were excellent. The vegetarian angioloti as well as Mary's chicken a al pancha with house Andouille sausce were superb. Beingets with creme Anglaise for dessert were perfect. The wine list is extensive and well chosen, with many local producers represented. All in all, a delightful evening.
Badly prepared food is the trademark of this overhyped and overrated Calistoga restaurant. Each dish is a mish-mash of too many flavors, and many of the dishes are overcooked beyond recognition: the pork chop, for example, tasted like cardboard, and the "short rib" tasted like something out of the Pritikin Center Cookbook.
The service is slow, although friendly. The drinks are potent and innovative. You can do better elsewhere.
I'd say this is my favorite upvalley eatery. The setting is lovely, whether indoors or on the patio. The drinks are outstanding, and every dish is artfully prepared, with locally sourced fresh ingredients (yeah, even the vegetables have pedigrees), and ample portions. The service is excellent--they will go the extra mile to accomodate you but are not overbearing. And they manage this while remaining friendly and not snobby.
Something for everybody with this menu; lite for the spa crowd, and hearty for the rest. Complicated offerings show the French Laundry influence. Nice setting during daylight, but the service can be a little fussy anytime.
Amazing food, superior service, highly worth a trip.
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