Press: upscale steak house

My first experience of Press?  We were seated at table and a couple was brought to the table next to us; and then two minutes later they asked to be moved.  Jamie and I looked at each other and shrugged.  Then it happened a 2nd time.  Hmm.  I did shower.  Then it happened a 3rd time!  We finally called the waitperson over and asked what was happening: “They all want to sit outside on the patio.”  We both  laughed.  Okay, so apart from the nice patio area and the beautiful Napa evening we were enjoying…I began with a Basil Beauty, a lovely martini with fresh basil that was just yummy.  It was a perfect start on a hot evening.  Our table was along a large bank of windows on comfortable cushions and large chairs.  In the distance you could see the mountains and the blue skies amid the trees that surrounded the patio.  We started with a selection of house-made breadsticks, breads, and biscuits that they delivered to the table.  What an unusual and wonderful combination.  I could have and should have stopped there with a salad.  I went with the chopped salad with bleu cheese and apples while Jamie started with the Bibb Lettuce salad with a mustard vinaigrette.  Both were good, solid starters.  Yet, we were here for the beef, and beef we were going to have.  We both settled on the Kobe beef steaks: filet mignon and a New York strip; and we added two sides: wild mushrooms and english peas.  The mushrooms were phenomenal, and the peas were fresh and lightly crunchy.  I hated peas as a child, but only because they were canned or frozen.  Fresh peas, though, when prepared well, really make a dinner something special, such as at Press.  We enjoyed a bottle of David Fulton ’02 Petite Syrah.  Wow!  It was smooth with a satiny finish.  Perfect complement to the steaks.  A word about Kobe beef.  When all was said and done- I want to be honest- it was hard for me to discern the difference between Press’ Kobe beef vs. Cole’s Chophouse beef (21 day aged) and thus difficult to absorb the price.  I will also state that I am NOT a beef connoisseur and there are those who will say that it is worth the extra price.  I would still recommend Press (they have Kansas beef as well at less of an expense) as the food was good, the ambience inviting, and I thought the cocktails were inventive.

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