Mustard's Grill Review
Yountville, CA 94558
A Napa Valley institution of sorts (20 years old), Mustard's bills itself as a sort of upscale truckstop diner, Napa Valley style (fresh, seasonal ingredients, mixing of ethnic styles, etc.) One of 3 Cindy Pawlcyn restaurants in the area (Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen and Go Fish are the other two)
Mustard's Grill food
There are some in the area who feel that the Mustard's style of food has been copied so often in Napa Valley that it is a bit dated and the pricing seems a bit much for the food. But it's very popular with the tourists, and Mustard's definitely has a group of local users who regularly come in and keep the joint jumping.
There is the seared-Rare Ahi Tuna, wasabi cream, and housemade sesame crackers which made for a nice sashimi-style appetizer although a touch pricey. Pictured below is the Vietnamese lettuce wraps with lemongrass pork filet, mint, lime, and nuoc cham which was a nice, light appetizer with big leafy, flexible lettuce wraps.
Mustard's Grill always has a Truckstop Deluxe option on the menu: "Always meat, usually potatoes, rarely vegetables A.Q." (that's "as quoted" if you're curious) that changes. Our was a ribeye steak in a cabernet reduction and a potato gratin and asparagus. The steak was seared perfectly on the outside, well seasoned, tender, etc., and had a delicious sauce. The potato gratin, I think, might have had gruyere and parmesan. Wife still likes Hurley's aged ribeye better though. But I thought it was about as solid of a meat and potatoes meal as you're going to find.
Here's the Chipotle-rubbed Quail with honey roasted cippolini onions and a dried cherry-Pedro Ximenez sauce. The quail itself was delicious. Tender, moist, well-seasoned, well cooked, etc, and the dried cherry sauce was interesting. Gave it a tart sour combination that I thought went well with the quail. Wasn't that keen on the side of onions and lettuce which was just sort of there.
There are some misses. I had one friend complain that the grilled hanger steak with sweet onion jam, and watercress sauce was just so-so and overpriced at $22.
More often than not, we like Cindy Pawlcyn's restaurants' desserts. Their flagship dessert for Mustard's Grill is probably their key lime pie which we haven't gotten around to yet. We did have their "Jack Daniels' chocolate pecan cake" which was a lighter dessert than you'd think, but it wasn't as exciting as it sounded though although the cacao bits on top were a nice touch.
Mustard's Grill setting and service
Mustard's Grill tries to go for the truck stop ambiance with the cutesy road signs at the entrance and the long square building layout, but the inside has a lot of deep brown earth and wood tones that are fairly common in the area although it swing a bit more towards a bar / tavern feel than say an metropolitan one. Since it's fairly small and well-known, you'll definitely want reservations as Mustard's is frequently crowded. Service overall is usually fine. Professional but more on the casual and friendly side with some chattier than others. Since the crowds can be pretty thick sometimes, you can occasionally get lost in the shuffle.
Price of our meal
We've had meals ranging from $120 (2 glasses of wine, entrees, appetizer with tax & tip) and dinners at around $175 (half bottle, appetizer, 2 entrees, dessert with tax & tip).
Although we like eating at Mustard's overall, the food does seem a bit on the pricey end for the type of food. The food is fine and everything and in some cases, very tasty, but with a lot of appetizers starting in the $11+ range and entrees starting at $22+, the tourist premium is more noticeable than at other restaurants.