February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012
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The homey interior of Napa Valley Biscuits; photo by Deirdre Bourdet.

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Too hot to handle: the original Pastranomy truck design; image from Napa Valley Register website.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

To judge from the first two months, 2012 is looking like another banner year for new restaurants in the Napa Valley. In addition to St. Helena’s two high profile newbies opening in the next few months (Goose & Gander in the former Martini House space, French Blue on Main Street), and the new Turkish/Mediterranean Tarla Grill next to the AVIA Hotel in Napa, two regional American spots are expanding downtown Napa’s restaurant range at the north end of town.

CIA graduate Curtis Lindley and his wife Tara plan to open ~NAPA VALLEY BISCUITS~ by the end of February in the long-vacant spot previously occupied by Frankie’s Deli. Lindley’s grandfather owned and operated a fried chicken restaurant in east Texas while Lindley was growing up, and now that he’s done stints at places like Solage and Martini House, he wants to replicate that kind of quality homemade comfort food in this new venture. He makes all his own barbecue sauces, salad dressings, ketchup, and jams from scratch, but unlike many other (read: ALL the other) Southern comfort food establishments in Napa Valley, Lindley’s restaurant will price its downhome meals at attainable, everyday levels—a half chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and all the fixings will cost $10. Yes, ma’am. Keep an eye out for breakfast biscuit sandwiches, pulled pork sammies, fried chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, red velvet cake, root beer popsicles, sweet tea, and vintage sodas. The plan is to serve breakfast and lunch every day starting at 7am, plus dinner on Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm-9pm. Sounds like Soscol Cafe is about to get some stiff competition for the broke and hungover crowd. 1502 Main St. at Napa St., Napa.

Several major players in the Lark Creek Restaurant Group are venturing into the food truck world with ~PASTRANOMY~, a classic East Coast deli-themed truck. The feisty Napa Planning Commission reluctantly granted a use permit to the project once the backers agreed to repaint all the parking spaces in the private lot where it will live on a permanent basis, and change the truck exterior from a mesmerizing display of pastrami porn to a far less distracting tan background with maroon lettering and silhouette of customers waiting in line. (No joke. See the Napa Valley Register’s coverage here.) While the truck’s signage may have lost some titillation points, its menu still sounds promising: hand-sliced pastrami, corned beef, and Reuben sandwiches, plus cheesecake and Dr. Brown’s sodas. No opening date has been announced, but the permit is good for 12 months. When it’s ready to rock, the deli truck will be parked in the lot at the corner of Main St. and Clinton St. in Napa.