Norman Rose Tavern Review
Napa, CA 94558.
Norman Rose Tavern menu
Directions to Norman Rose Tavern
Norman Rose Tavern food
The Norman Rose Tavern bills itself as basically upscale American pub food where you can go and hang out with your friends with some drinks, watch some TV, etc. It's owners are Michael and Christine Gyetvan who are also behind a longtime Napa favorite, Pizza Azzurro.
They have like 4 different types of fries. The one below are truffle salt & parmesan fries. Very tasty. You can actually smell the truffle, and parmesan and fries go great together (parmesan and pretty much anything goes great together.)
We also got a side order of mac and cheese which was fine. The shells still had some firmness to them, and it was plenty cheesy.
A mushroom swiss burger is pictured below. Norman Rose is using mostly local ingredients. The beef comes from Five Dot Ranch which you can get from nearby Oxbow. The buns are Alexis Baking Company's most excellent hamburger buns. So, although the basic flavor of the meat seemed fine, the meat was a little under-seasoned here which is always disappointing to see in a burger.
Just for some variety, we also ordered a fried chicken sandwich which was disappointing. The best part of it was the ABC bun. The fry was reasonably good, but two things: the chicken was dry and it was under-seasoned. So, basically, this was a bland, dry fried piece of chicken. If you ever want to know what a fried chicken sandwich should be like, you should go to Bake Sale Betty's in Oakland which is also about $3-$4 cheaper and much better.
Norman Rose Tavern setting and service
Right now, Norman Rose is the cool place to be in downtown Napa. It's frequently packed given the owner's cache and the lack of taverns here. Service is ok, but they haven't been open for too long so it they have some bugs to work out. They have a great location since they're right across the street from the new Avia hotel. It's pretty loud in there, but it does say "tavern," no? The insides remind me of a more stainless steel version of say the Rutherford Grill with the large, continuous leather seating areas.
Price of our meal
2 sides, 2 glasses of wine, 1 burger, 1 sandwich, tax & tip: $67
This is sort of the sticking point with Norman Rose based on the other reviews that I've seen online. That's a fairly steep tab. Taylor's has a better burger, and the same meal above will put you back $45, and it's not like people consider Taylor's to be cheap. Granted Taylor's didn't have the parmesan truffle fries which were really addictive, but you know, still...
Other Norman Rose Tavern reviews and links
- Yelp reviews
- Examiner pre-opening article
- Rather fawning Inside Napa Valley review (but I guess that's usually the case with INV...)
- Press Democrat review
- Napa Valley Register review