Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ubuntu, Take Two

It's a good thing Ubuntu is in downtown Napa rather than San Francisco—otherwise, I'd be making a beeline to this incredible vegetarian (and vegan) eatery all too often, thus doing damage not only to the waistline but also to my wallet. That's not to say the prices are prohibitively expensive. In fact, the 7 of us paid between $60-70 a head and we took a ton of food home with us. Parties of 6 or more get served up family-style: in other words, larger portions of the chef's choosing. Definitely the way to go.

Here then are some of the amazingly rich goodies (you really don't miss the meat. seriously!) that came our way on my second visit to Ubuntu (Zulu for "practice humanity towards others") last Sunday afternoon:

Chunky chickpea fries with herbs sitting on a zesty romesco sauce; castelvetrano olives marinated in a brightly flavored carrot top pesto; and marcona almonds coated in sea salt and a fragrant lavender sugar.

Heirloom tomatoes with basil leaves, crisp fennel crackers, zig zags of concentrated balsamic, the most amazing raw-milk burrata and a heavenly drizzle of fresh corn emulsion.

A massive bowl of the creamiest grits, topped with smoked and maple-glazed trumpet mushroom slivers (that masqueraded as bacon bits), purslane, soft egg yolks, and shavings of parmesan.

Perfectly formed gnochetti in a black truffle fonduta and mushroom jus. So rich and sinful this was.

Cheesecake in a jar with the sweetest berries and the most perfect graham cracker crumble.

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