Only a fifteen minute drive from The Inn On First, a romantic Napa Bed and Breakfast Inn, is Brix Restaurant. As my friend Donna Kaz was in town from NYC I wanted her to experience the beauty that the Brix Gardens enjoys while dining on incredible food.
As it was a bit later in the afternoon when we arrived (2 pm) we were practically alone on the patio for lunch. With spring blossoms everywhere in sight, as well as bud break beginning to show on the vines all around, the place could not have been more welcoming. We ordered the cold beet soup with a vegan base and a beautiful floral design of creme fraiche on top. It was a perfect accompaniment to a warm spring day. I ordered the asparagus salad, with a variety of white and green asparagus, and a light lemony dressing with petite brioche croutons. So far the meal was perfect.
Donna enjoyed the house salad with butter lettuce, english peas, and a garlic-yogurt dressing, although we were both sorely tempted by the tempura fried green beans and the steak tartare. The dungeness crab salad was tempting, but we tried to keep it light. We decided to split the lamb sandwich on housemade focaccia bread with the most lovely crisp french fries (okay, so maybe we tried to keep it partially light!). The bacon pizza looked delicious as we saw it delivered near us, as did the lamb bolognese.
Prices range from $8 to $18, for soups, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and main entrees. If you are here during the busier summer months I would suggest making a reservation and tell them you want to sit on the garden patio. If you ate my breakfast that morning you probably won’t be hungry again until 2 pm, which is a great time to sit and enjoy an afternoon break from wine tasting.
Jamie and I had eaten at Brix when we first arrived in the Valley last year and enjoyed our dining experience, although I wouldn’t call it a “stand out” meal. Recently, a local Napa city restaurant, NV, closed its doors and the chef took his staff to Brix and redesigned the menu. As my brother was in town with his wife, we decided to return to Brix to see what changes had occurred. We both were “wowed!” by what we ate, as was my brother, Don, and his wife, Sherry. Don started with a butternut squash soup that was light and creamy, Jamie and Sherry both had green salads (the usual standard today with candied nuts, blue cheese, and vinaigrette), and I had the beet napoleon. I asked everyone to taste the napoleon that was layered with roasted beets and a creamy goat cheese and they all agreed that it was superb! I didn’t like beets as a child, but that was because all I ate were canned vegetables. Once I enjoyed a fresh beet, roasted in the oven, I was a convert; and now this dish was taking it to a new level of appreciation. Definitely a winner in my book. The main course….oh my gosh!…was a lobster risoto for Don and me, and they were very, very generous with the lobster! It was creamy, wonderful, luscious and was paired well with the Sauvignon Blanc that was suggested by the wait staff and sommelier. (Side note: Their wine list is great! Very extensive and well thought out). Sherry had the margherita pizza which she thoroughly enjoyed, and Jamie loved his seared scallops on top of…(oh boy, he can’t remember!). All four of us enjoyed the final course with beignets (the best I’ve had in the Valley) with a light cream sauce on one side, and a small boat of chocolate sauce on the other. We all remarked how much we enjoyed our meal there. I would recommend it highly to anyone. (www.brix.com)