Thursday, October 8, 2015

Napa Valley: Atlas Social

Hop into most dining establishments in Napa Valley and it’s likely you’ll have a good meal.  That might be a pretty bold statement to say, but, I think I can stand by it.  One night, on my recent trip to Napa Valley, we set out for dinner, and since it was so late our options were a little limited.  Downtown Napa has a ton of restaurants, and as we walked up and down the strip, one spot caught our attention. 

Atlas Social has a warm and inviting ambiance, with long tables and smaller booths as well.  Atlas Social is a gastropub serving New American cuisine, but this isn’t your typical American fare.  The menu is more of a small plates/tapas offering with an international flair.  Our group decided to ordered a selection of dishes and enjoy a great bottle of Sangiovese red wine. Here are the dishes we ordered:  

 Bruschetta with Pesto, Burratta Cheese & Tomat
     Mushroom & Truffle Mac & Cheese
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks, Bearnaise & Citrus
Shaved Pear & Baby Spinach Salad, Bacon Vinaigrette, Croutons and Sieved Egg
Octopus alla Plancha, Marble Potatoes, Garlic Aioli, Paprika
Masala Spiced Chicken Skewers, Eggplant-Pepper Muhammara & Pine-Nut Syrup

My favorite was the Bruschetta – the most simple of the dishes, but phenomenal.  Burratta is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.  The cheese is incredibly soft and creamy when you cut through the mozzarella exterior; perfect for a nice heavy dollop on top of bruschetta. 

The Octopus was also delicious.  A common Spanish tapas dish, the octopus at Atlas Social was so well made; not chewy in the least, but perfectly tender and full of grilled flavor.  This is hands down a restaurant that will be my “go to” any time I’m in Napa Valley.  Each dish offered surprise after surprise of flavor – I loved the experience, and the staff!  Our waiter was so nice! 

I appreciated the true ‘global experience’ the restaurant’s menu offered.  From the muhammara (a hot pepper dip from Syria) to the Spanish octopus dish to the Italian Bruschetta and Indian spiced chicken skewers, the whole dinner was fantastic.  To me a great dinner starts with an unpredictable, but delicious menu.  I will certainly be going back. 

Rating:  A+ 

The next day we went to Mumm Napa and Long Meadow Ranch for a sparkling wine and wine tasting.  Here are a couple pics of the menu at the tastings, in case you're interested in checking it out.  

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