Review La Toque
Last month we took a trip up to Napa and had dinner at La Toque, which is now located in the Westin near downtown Napa. The restaurant came highly recommended by a number of people. Like many restaurants in Northern California the menu changes constantly to utilize seasonal ingredients. Also like many upscale restaurant a Chef’s Tasting Menu and Vegetable Tasting Menu are available, as well as the option to add wine pairings. La Toque differs from many restaurants with what they call their Options menu. With the Options menu diners choose any three or any four savory dishes from the menu, plus a dessert. This being Napa, wine pairings are also available for the savory courses.
My husband and I decided to do the three course Options menu with wine pairing. For my courses I chose the Japanese Hamachi Salad as a starter, Halibut Nugget and Red Pepper Stuffed with Risotto for a second course, and for my main dish the Rabbit Ballotine with Chard and Cranberry Beans. The Hamachi Salad was my favorite dish of the night. The fresh fish combined with crisp julienned vegetables and citrus dressing was wonderfully prepared with a pleasing combination of tastes and textures. The Halibut Nugget and Stuffed Red Pepper was delicious, but for the caliber of the restaurant I felt like it was a bit ordinary. I was a bit disappointed with the Rabbit Ballotine, but I must preface with the fact that it was my first time ever eating this dish, so I cannot make a comparison. The dish may have been prepared perfectly, but it was not for me. Mainly, the encasement was too bland and chewy. The meat inside was soft and rich and seemed well prepared, but I did not care for the encasement.
My husband chose the Maine Lobster Salad with Mango and Lemongrass; Soft Shell Crab; and Prime Angus Rib Eye with Cheddar Pearl Tapioca. He seemed to enjoy all of his dishes pretty equally. He commented on the unique combination of the mango and lobster, since they are both sweet, the flavors meld together. The Soft Shell Crab was well cooked and presented. The Cheddar Pearl Tapioca was a clever way to pair a comfort-type food with rib eye in an elegant way.
We also chose to do the wine pairings, and all selections were well presented and described, showcasing not only tasting notes, but also the location the grapes were grown and why the particular wine was selected. I highly recommend including the wine pairing with you dinner.
Overall it was a nice dinner, well presented and prepared.
1314 McKinstry Street
Napa, CA 94558