What better way to follow up an extravagant meal at Meadowood than with an extravagant brunch at Redd?! Although going on a Michelin-starred restaurant spree wasn’t in the plan, I was in Napa with nothing but time and wasn’t going to settle for scrambled eggs. And, since I didn’t have a backup reserve of Knead with me, I figured I’d settle on a couple of pastries from Nicole Plue, the Beard winner for best pastries in the country.
Luckily I caught her before she headed out to showcase her talents at Cyrus, because damn those pastries were good! The pretzel croissant was perfectly crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside, and put most other croissants to shame. The morning bun filled with dark chocolate was decadent and dangerous – it would be easy to devour a few of them before coming up for air and realizing what had happened. And who knew that a pop tart didn’t have to taste like cardboard?! In Plue’s version, rock-hard dough was replaced with a soft, flaky shell filled with fresh, seasonal fruit (huckleberries and apple). It was playful, delicious, and gone in 5 seconds flat.
After filling up on pastries, we decided to follow them up with a couple of light selections: the hangtown fry and the steak and eggs with onion rings. I’m a huge fan of omelets, and my hangtown fry (an omelet stuffed with fried oysters, onion, and pancetta) was one of the best I’ve had in recent memory – moist and perfectly cooked. Meanwhile the steak and eggs, while not entirely my kind of breakfast, was melt-in-your-mouth tender and came with a side of some of the most perfect onion rings I’ve ever encountered.
Finally, we couldn’t turn down dessert: roasted apple tart with crema catalana and sweet fennel ice cream. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the fennel ice cream, it definitely tasted the way it was meant to taste. And the tart itself was nothing less than what you would expect: flakey, perfectly crisp, and delicious.
Although Redd has been on the list of places to try for a long time, the execution of brunch moved it up to the top. Next time I find myself in Napa with nothing but time, I know where I’m headed.