I recently went to California to celebrate my birthday. The first stop was in Napa for some vineyard touring, wine tasting and good food. The first restaurant I went to was the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in Saint Helena. The restaurant is run by the Culinary Institute of America, and is staffed by the students of the culinary program.
The restaurant is right on the CIA campus, which is gorgeous and castle-like.
I’d been tasting wine all day and needed a break, so I ordered a Moscow Mule to start things off.
The dinner menu was a bit small, but varied. For an appetizer I got the lamb carpaccio, served with risotto crackers and tiny pickled vegetables. It was very good. I love lamb and I rarely see it offered as carpaccio, so it was nice to try something new. The dressing on the frisee was nice and acidic and the pickled vegetables were a good contrast to the lamb. The risotto crackers I could have taken or left, but the rest was quite delicious.
For my main course I had seamless ricotta ravioli, toasted in brown butter, and served over a roasted tomato and cauliflower ragout. I had never seen a seamless ravioli before, and I think that calling it ravioli is a bit of a stretch. The pasta was a bit on the thick side, but inside the ricotta filling was nice and creamy. Flavour-wise, it was great and the ragout had a nice bite to it.
The insides of the ravioli.
For dessert I had the piped cheesecake. It was basically a deconstructed cheesecake, with strawberries and graham cracker crumbs. It didn’t totally work for me. The piped cheesecake was much softer than a normal cheesecake would be, and there wasn’t much that added different textural elements to the dish. I found the plating kind of odd as well. It wasn’t a bad dessert, but it’s not one I’d order again.
Overall, my dinner at the Greystone Restaurant was good. I enjoyed my first two courses quite a bit, they had an interesting cocktail menu, and the prices were reasonable.