Some dear friends were in the process of coming back to L.A after spending some time Napa Valley and we decided to meet for lunch, as I was working up in Marin Co. We picked Farmstead, the restaurant for Long Meadow Ranch. Long Meadow has three locations (including a 90-acre Rutherford Estate, and a 650-acre Mayacamas estate in the Mayacamas mountains) in Napa Valley practicing organic farming methods.
They produce olive oils, beef, fruit/vegetables, and lots of wine. From the moment I stepped on the property I felt like LMR is a place I would really enjoy.
It was a long drive, and I needed something crisp and dry. After tasting several wines that were too ‘Napa’ for me, I elected to try a glass of the 2011 LMR Sauvignon Blanc. This was surprisingly lean and crisp, while I didn’t perceive much minerality, or that cat pee smell I enjoy so much, the balance was great. I picked up on some ‘green’ flavors (coming from the methoxypyrazine chemical compound) as well which were a pleasant background to the tropical fruit nose.
We elected to dine al fresco on the sun drenched patio. While I started putting down glasses of wine, my companion decided on a strawberry lemonade. I tasted it, delicious.
The offerings here were just so multitudinous – with straightforward california cooking augmented by a smoker and farmers market produce.
We started with the potted pig, which was covered with a deliciously salted, pork fat layer of vegan delight. I actually thought it was a little too much fat but the flavor was good. The mustard on the side I felt was a slightly pedestrian complement, stone ground or another condiment would’ve gone a long way (like the mustard we had with the potato salad later in the meal)
After this we decided on a half dozen oysters which were exceptionally fresh. Marin miyagi oysters. These were most likely from Steve and Mike Shellfish Co, and are reputedly the finest miyagi oysters available on the West Coast, these oysters are grown just a mile away from the open Pacific on the north end of Tomales Bay, CA.
The steak tartare with an a LMR egg was a great follow up. The egg apparently was from the ranch chickens, and ranch cattle from the their 500 acre farm in Marin County.
Enjoyed the presentation and taste, although I felt like the toast spears were a little too stiff. The yolk was rich and creamy.
I usually don’t really order ribs. I think you have to be a rib specialist to coax the magic out of this cut of meat, but for some reason I said, why not on a half rack. Probably because we didn’t have enough meat in this meal to begin with. This was a solid effot, the sauce, char, and flavor were all very good.
I think these ribs just needed more cooking time, as they weren’t quite falling off the bone as they should be, they also were slightly on the dry side. Still, I destroyed them. On the side was point reyes blue cheese cole slaw. This was crunchy and enjoyable.
We needed a vegetable, so we decided upon the potato salad with whole grain mustard and benton’s bacon. Smoky and creamy, and most certainly rich. Really liked the staub cookware presentation.
I really enjoyed lunch at Farmstead, the food was solid, delicious, and well made. I would certainly return. Not often does an establishment make great wines as well as food. While tasting their wines I was initially worried because of this unfortunate fact, this meal was pleasantly surprising.
I took the back road through Napa through to avoid the traffic. It was a hot and clear day, the apex of summer. Napa is one of those places that you can go to and visualize a whole community living another life; fresher, cleaner, and healthy. Every trip up there I notice everyone is happy, smiling, and in technicolor. Where is the smog?
I wish I had a horse to gallop rather than a car, a nice hat with a mustache, and Ennio Morricone playing in the background. Maybe a small, hand rolled cigarillo, a pack mule, and a long rifle. I’m a cowboy, but instead of a steel horse, or any horse for that matter, it’s a hybrid Honda Civic I ride.