Robin worked as the lead pastry cook here at Solbar; she died in a fatal car accident on her way home from work, this past Tuesday night on the Silverado Trail.
Robin will be remembered as a creative, dependable, talented member of our team. The thoughts and prayers of the entire kitchen, and everyone at Solage Calistoga, go out to her family and friends in this difficult time.
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Sorry for the lack of action here but we are at full tilt boogie in every direction at solbar, including a new bar and kitchen at the Solage pool. It’s going to be . . . the ne plus ultra of the ne plus ultra of poolside dining in NV. But you have to stay at the resort or be a Solage member to enjoy the Ensenada-inspired tacos del hambre (that’s correct).
Changes on the dinner and dessert menu too numerous to count. Our Earth Day all-organic menu was a big sucesss; thank you to those who joined us.
Please call in (707 226 0850) to find out more about the wine dinner we are hosting with the Wagner family of Caymus on May 6.
So many new menu items I haven’t even had time to write them down, much less blog about them. I think I wrote 12 new recipes this week.
We changed the chicken a la plancha to include duck liver-rapini ravioli; got halibut onto the menu; we’re steaming sole with artichokes, saffron-carnaroli rice pilaf, and fava bean-olive salad; sweetbreads are now a first course accompanied by some flavors I think would be great with fried chicken; &c. More soon.
(And of course lots of asparagus and pork . . . )
Many cuisines have a signature pork dish, and seldom does it involve a premium cut like pork tenderloin or pork rack. Baeckoffe, soppressata, carnitas, paté de campagne, char siu bao, North Carolina pork barbecue: all of these are best made with pork butt (the butcher’s name for pork shoulder) because of its flavor and its ratio of fat tissue to lean.
Well, half a whole hog came in via Mike Panza from Long & Bailey Farms in Manteca last week. On Thursday night, we served seven thick, juicy, mesquite-grilled pork chops with crispy macaroni and cheese croquettes (I know, right?), bacon-and-garlic-laced string beans, and sauce piquant. Yahtzee. And then . . .
Brandon Sharp, Executive Chef, Solbar, Calistoga, California. “If you asked me this question 10 years ago, it would be fried bologna, American cheese, barbecue sauce and potato chips wrapped in a tortilla. But now, rice, vegetables and gravy is something that’s really soothing to me whether it’s Thai coconut curry, chili verde or ratatouille.”
On this week’s pizza: salsa verde, house-made ricotta, english peas, bacon, oven roasted tomatoes, fried egg.
In other exciting news from the bar, oysters are now available on a regular basis, though we still feature them on Thursday nights with special pricing. Yesterday we had Beau Soleil, today it’s Pearl Point.
“Solage Calistoga’s hotel restaurant Solbar isn’t just another hotel restaurant. From the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Brandon Sharp, the menu denotes Northern California’s finest and freshest produce with modern French techniques. That “non-intimidating” approach to classic California cuisine is probably what earned Solbar attention from Michelin Guide, though that recognition has hardly stopped the furor of creation (after all, it originated as a bistro with burgers and pizza). “The cooking has French technique and a French backbone to it, but the [entrees] aren’t classical French compositions so they aren’t screaming for Napa Valley Cabs and Chardonnay,” says Sharp. Wine goes hand in hand with any restaurant in the Napa Valley, but sommelier Bradley Wasserman doesn’t feel the need to be bound by local wineries. “It’s a fun juggling act,” says Wasserman about mixing local wineries with those from around the globe.”