Everyone that knows me makes fun of me taking pictures of my food, telling them what to order so I can take pictures of their food, and wanting to take pictures of strangers food. If this is something you struggle with on a daily basis, you may want to check out 1313 Main in downtown Napa Valley. Not only is the food beautiful but just as delightful!
Located in downtown Napa on Main Street between Clinton and Caymus, 1313 Main boasts a modern exterior, spacious dining area, large bar and quaint patio. They serve a three or four-course dinner as well as a tasting menu and optional wine pairing. On Sundays, 1313 Main offers up a two or three-course brunch at $35 and $48 respectively as well as a custom Bloody Mary menu.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the restaurant to spread the word about this fabulous brunch. We arrived and got a seat on the patio which was a decent size and could entertain many dinners. We were also greeted with a welcome glass of Ferrari Brut from Trentino, Italy, a nice refreshing start to the meal.
The first thing that caught my eye was the Bloody Mary menu. Usually, I don’t order Bloody Mary’s at brunch because I am more of a mimosa kind of girl, but I wasn’t going to pass up a Bloody Mary with a fresh pureed heirloom tomato base, pepper-infused vodka, and toppings like sriracha salt, Caprese skewers, candied bacon or duck pastrami. While I finished up my Italian sparkling wine, Eric ordered up a monster Bloody Mary topped with Hawaiian black salt, house pickle, Caprese skewer, spicy beef jerky, candied bacon, bacon wrapped dates, fried coconut crusted shrimp, and duck pastrami.
I felt sorry for the person who has to build this cocktail, but when it came out it was pretty amazing! I think I could have just eaten that for brunch and been full, but of course, I ordered three courses and a dessert. What the heck, I didn’t have any plans for the rest of the day.
There were many fun items on the menu, and I chose Carta Di Musica followed by Mushroom Toast and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Eric ordered up Soft Shell Crab Benedict and the Chicken and Waffles. Gina, our more than accommodating host, recommended Lavender Tres Leches Cake for dessert. As I pondered how I was going to eat all this food, I began my assault on the Bloody Mary menu.
I went a little conservative on my version and chose sriracha salt, Spanish chorizo, and a chicken wing, although I am not sure why it was called chicken wing, more like a glorious piece of fried chicken. The “wing” was huge and very tasty, with a beautiful brown color and a nice crunch. The sriracha salt and chorizo added a kick and the bloody mary itself was refreshing with the right amount of spice for me.
As I said, the Bloody Mary contains fresh pureed heirloom tomatoes from 1313 Main’s gardens, one located on the property and one three blocks down the street. All the ingredients for the day are picked at 6 a.m., and the restaurant tries to stay 70 percent sustainable when the seasons allow. We were about to enjoy our first dish which contained many ingredients from the gardens.
The Carta Di Musica, which means “music sheet” is a paper-thin flatbread. Our version was like a shell that encapsulated fresh tomatoes, smoked corn puree, and ricotta cheese. It was topped with beautiful flowers and other edibles from the garden.The flatbread was light, and I felt like I was cracking open a magic egg to see what was inside. It was fresh and bright on the inside with a hint of smoke from the corn puree. The presentation was visually stunning and was the perfect starting course.
Next up was the Soft Shell Crab Benedict and the Mushroom Toast, both vibrant dishes. The Benedict was a symphony of flavors, from the lightly breaded crab and bountiful English muffin to the perfectly poached egg and smashed avocado with a sea urchin hollandaise to top it off. The presentation of the rather large crab cradling the poached egg was brilliant and one of the best poached eggs I have seen.
The Chef, Adam Ross, was kind enough to share some of his insights with us while we enjoyed his culinary masterpieces. Being a former kama’aina as well (local of Hawaii), we reminisced about island life and the ocean. He told us that the actual restaurant has been open for four years and that the current menu format is only about four months old. Chef Adam has quite the resume, which included working with Chef Thomas Keller as well as being on staff at The Restaurant at Meadowood.
After we chatted, I decided it was time to try the Mushroom Toast. With the toast plated off to the side, The gruyere flowed down the toast onto the center of the plate, enveloping the beautiful mushrooms, roasted garlic, and another perfect poached egg. The egg was warm and gooey, and the gruyere was to die for, perfectly complementing the mushrooms. The egg smothered the toasted bread, and the colorful chervil added a touch of visual drama, another dish hitting it out of the park.
I was starting to feel the calories that I was intaking, so I decided to order a glass of wine. 1313 Main has some great choices in both 2, and 5 ounce pours, and Somme’s Selections by the glass. There are also many wine flights to try such as the Bubble Bath flight, Cru 2 Me flight and the Cab Your Enthusiasm flight. Since I had two more dishes on the sweeter side, I went for the 2015 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand.
It was a textbook New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with powerful punches of citrus and crisp, and cleanness that is unparalleled. My Lemon Ricotta and Poppyseed Pancakes were topped with blueberries and one of my favorite cheeses, a triple-cream Brillat Savarin. Tiny lavender flowers were painstaking places equidistant around my pancake. Usually, I wouldn’t think a strong cheese would go with a delicate pancake like this, which is why I am not a chef, I assume, however, the contrast was delightful, and the sweetness of the blueberry glaze married the two.
Eric’s healthy portion of Buttermilk Fried Petaluma Chicken and Buttermilk Waffle arrived with a chili butter. The chicken had that nice breading on it as the “wing” with the same lovely color, possibly a little Keller influence in that coating. It was also a huge chicken breast, all meat and moist in the middle while still keeping that crisp crust. The waffle was also large and a perfect golden brown. I have only had chicken and waffles once, and this did not disappoint yet again. If you do order this course, make sure you have quite an appetite.
We were nearing the end of our culinary journey at 1313 Main, and as full as we were I still managed to finish the Lavender Tres Leches Cake with Silverado Strawberries, Whipped Mascarpone, a Crispy milk foam and Coconut Snow, a stunning dish. The mascarpone was light and elegant and the strawberries fresh with a hint of sweet. The cake was a lovely cloud of delicate flavors, and everything was visually dazzling.
I didn’t have to eat for 24 hours after leaving the restaurant, and I will probably have to go to the gym every day for a week, but it was worth the calories. The people were lovely, the exquisite dishes were perfect art on a plate, and I can’t find one thing I could even point out that would be negative about 1313 Main. The restaurant is a hidden gem in downtown Napa Valley, and I would like to keep it all to myself but that just wouldn’t be fair now would it?
Make it a point to check out Sunday Brunch at 1313 Main; it will not disappoint!
Enjoy… Wine Ho
Sunday Brunch is available from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.