ubuntu redux

had a really lovely trip to napa this weekend; couldn’t have wished for more beautiful weather, despite the on and off rain lately in the bay. curiosity led me to ubuntu, which if you can remember my sister went to a couple months ago while home for the holidays. my sister didn’t rave too much about it but then again they’d gone and had BURGERS before their VEGETARIAN MEAL so that may have, er, flavoured the trip a bit. i however had faith, being a vegetable lover who goes through bouts of vegetarianism! we also wanted to get a yoga class at their annex studio in; unfortunately we couldn’t find a suitable one that fit into our schedule.

as a sidenote i quite stupidly left my camera on in my bag on the drive up (and hadn’t brought my charger) so that by the time we got to ubuntu there wasn’t really any battery left. i’m shocked i somehow even managed to get these shots; these were obtained by popping the battery in and out of the cam before each shot and not being able to 1) preview the shots, or 2) change any of the settings, including ISO, so it’s a wonder they even came out at all. anyway. on with the food.

my apologies to the poor waiter in this shot; i know it’s kind of hilariously unflattering but it’s also the only shot i got of the open kitchen. we were seated in the middle of the restaurant with a view of the open kitchen where they busily prepared the food.

transcendent butter! i’m a sucker for butter. i’m more of a sucker for fresh butter, mmm

a special of the day, rosemary lemonade. look at that cute, fresh little spring! i was afraid the rosemary might end up overpowering but it ended up just nicely, lightly perfuming the fresh taste of lemon.

borage and lemongrass curry- chard condimento & pickled stems, whipped coconut, preserved lemon
“why little sis,” you must be saying to yourself now, “how on earth is it that you managed to remember everything that went into this soup? usually your posts end up consisting of titles like “this was some kind of green curry soup, bollocks if i remember what was in it”. well, reader, i have a confession to make- i took one of the menus with me. anyway, we LOVED this soup. it was curry, yet it was light. it was fresh, flavourful, and each element was in good balance, we were afraid that either the curry or the lemongrass would overpower. not the case. surprisingly refreshing for a curry soup. we sopped every last drop of this up with bread.

salad of assorted broccoli and cauliflower- miso bagna cauda, sylvetta arugula, meyer lemon, parmesan

yum!!!! i love it when simple dishes are done well. this was an exceptional example of how simple, good ingredients can make a vegetable shine. the miso gave a nice unexpected touch.

cool burrata with a garnet yam-stuffed donut- smoked trumpet “bacon”, foraged green salad, sherry maple

we agreed that this was the most unique of the 3 dishes we ordered. the yam-stuffed donut had the consistency of my beloved japanese curry-pan (a fried bun of bread filled with curry- though in this case it was filled with a sweet yam filling). the contrast of textures between the salad, the creamy burrata cheese, and the fried donut were pretty interesting.

after brunch instead of ordering a dessert at ubuntu we opted to go to the nearby sift bakery for cupcakes and coffee as we’d seen it on our way in and a quick iphone yelp assuaged fears about dubious quality. what a cute little store! half cutesy fashion boutique, half bakery. we split two cupcakes- one that was basically a boston creme pie in a cupcake and the other a chocolate ganache with a white chocolate filling. unfortunately the coffee was subpar and we felt like the fillings of the cupcakes were too near room temperature to be enjoyable and the texture of the cake wasn’t quite right.

sadly this is also around the time my camera died for good. we’d eaten light at ubuntu to be able to keep eating our way all the way to st. helena- such adventures! so many things bought at bouchon bakery! but alas, perhaps another time….

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