Sidle Up To The Bar At Bistro Don Giovanni
You know the rare restaurant that always makes you feel warm, welcome and satisfied time and time again — no matter if you’re dining solo, too?
That’s Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa to me. I’ve eaten there many times, and never ever had a bad meal.
When I find myself on assignment traveling solo to the Napa Valley, I will often plant myself on a bar stool at the end of the day at this long-time Italian favorite established in 1993 by Proprietor Giovanni Scala and his late-wife Chef Donna Scala.
The glowing strings of light at night in the courtyard can’t help but beckon, as does the on-point Italian food.
I took a seat at the end of the bar last week (paying my full tab) to enjoy a glass of 2015 Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc while I contemplated the menu.
Asparagus Saltimbacco ($16) was a must-order since it gave me my first bite of this year’s crop of asparagus. A stack of thick spears wrapped in Prosciutto, plopped into a pool of thick melted Fontina with sage — what’s not to love about that? I mopped up every bit of cheese sauce with bread, too.
Next, the evening’s preparation of risotto ($26) crowned with spot prawns and wild mushrooms. The risotto was nicely al dente with the perfect loose texture on the plate. After a long drive, it was a taste of luxury and comfort that really hit the spot.
For dessert, I made a beeline for the Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding ($11), which the bartender said was his favorite. I can see why. This is a fancy version — served in a martini glass with a swoosh of chocolate and dollop of whipped cream, as well as a sizeable chocolate-almond biscotti on the side. This is a thick, dense yet incredibly creamy pudding — just the texture I like — with a slightly boozy finish and a deep butterscotch taste that wasn’t cloying. I told myself I was going to eat only half. What a lie. Of course, I finished it.
Why do I always return to Bistro Don Giovanni without hesitation? For meals like this.
More Good Eats in the Napa Valley: Miminashi
And: Two Birds One Stone