Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is Joachim Splichal's latest restaurant and is located in St. Helena in the Napa Valley rather than down south in Los Angeles with Patina and his other restaurants. It is a very good restaurant, but it suffers a number of flaws which may be systemic rather than being isolated problems.

Before dining at Pinot Blanc we had browsed one of their early menus and were pleased to find it full of great offal dishes, like brains, sweetbreads and marrow. While the latter is not exactly offal and it does have 10,000 calories per spoonful, we consider it offal because it is as hard to find in a restaurant as offal is. When we sat down at our table at Pinot Blanc and browsed the menu we were disappointed. All the offal was gone! We were told that it had been removed due to lack of demand. All I can say is "barf"! Nonetheless, we dined on.

We ordered a Patina like meal which reminded us in many ways of
Patina, Splichal's original restaurant in LA. We had meaty short ribs and a potato lasagna with wild mushrooms. The ribs were great but the potatoes were undercooked. Clearly, the master, with his doctorate of pomme de terrology was not in the kitchen. Still, the flavors were all rich and we loved our cassoulet with duck confit and fois gras. At least popular taste had not blanded down everything. For dessert we had a savory, the fresh ahi tuna in an oriental sushi style. We aren't real big on desserts.

Pinot Blanc is definitely a very good restaurant, but having dined at Patina, at least in the old days, we were disappointed. It may be the brutality of the marketplace, but we had expected much more

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