587 St. Helena Hwy South
St. Helena, CA 94574
Reservations for Press
Sample Press menu
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10:00 pm ( closed on Tuesdays)
AppetizersThe bread basket is courtesy of Bouchon, I think. I know it's silly to show you a bread basket, but we're like total suckers for biscuits, and the different types of bread and textures were a nice way to start things off.
Below is the roasted dungeness crab cake in a creamy aioli(?) sauce. I think they would've been better off not having the sauce play such a large role in the crab cake. The crab meat had that naturally sweet crab taste going, but it got a bit taken out by all of the other things going on in the dish. Or maybe I'm just not that big on gourmet crab cakes.
The other appetizer was their asparagus soup with maine lobster and creme fraiche. Unfortunately, my cell phone camera made this dish look like it was a tub of paint which is a shame because it was a lovely, rich soup.
EntreesBelow is my hand-cut filet mignon au poivre, lying in a bernaise sauce. The steak itself was excellent. Flavorful, tender, juicy, perfectly cooked, etc, and although I know some steak purists just want "enough" seasoning on their meat, this was one of the best au poivre pieces of meat I've had before. If they had skipped the bernaise sauce, I wouldn't have minded one bit. That was a wonderful piece of meat, but I'll never say no to a rich sauce.
Pictured below is a rather humongous piece of bone-in ribeye (20 oz although I suppose that's with the bone in). We weren't paying attention to the size of the steak when we ordered it, and this could easily have been enough for both of us. In a way, the size was a little off-putting with the sheer excess. This angle doesn't do justice to the size of the meat, but that is a lot of cow. Although it had this nicely seared exterior for the requested medium rare, one thing that was surprising was that it was noticeably under-seasoned, and we had to add some salt it to get it to perk up some. And for good steak, if you have to add salt after it arrives at your table, you're a bit late to the game.
This one ended up having to come home with us in a doggy bag. We had a rib eye steak at Mustard's that wasn't as gargantuan but was a much better seasoned piece of meat, and so this one was disappointing.
As is common at a steakhouse, you orders your sides separately from the meat. One thing I really regret is that we didn't get the hand-cut Kennebec fries which I suppose is especially odd since I got the au poivre. But (a) we didn't want french fries and onion rings and (b) I've always had this thing for hen of the woods mushrooms after having a fantastic fried one at the French Laundry. Bah. So, we got the onion rings and the whole roasted hen of the woods mushrooms. I thought the mushrooms went really well with my filet mignon so I suppose that was good choice. But..I wasn't that keen on the onion rings. Even though they were rich and seemed a bit buttery, the fry wasn't as crisp as I'd like them to be. Taylor's Refresher has better onion rings to be honest, and the stack of onion rings presentation is a little goofy. The somewhat bland blue cheese dipping sauce didn't do much for us either. And then I went home and read the Fork and Bottle review which said the fries were the best in Napa, and I cried.
We really wanted to, but we were just stuffed. :-(
Press setting and service
Press goes for one of those modern, metro farm house looks with the high farm ceilings and open seating areas. Similar to the FARM at Carneros Inn actually. Our service was fine. I thought the waiter could've done more to sell the menu a bit, but we were looked after fine. We ended up sitting at a table against the wall that faced most of the restaurant where the back of the chair had these plush pillows that you sort of just drowned in when you laid back. Sitting there side by side and facing the crowd felt a little weird as the crowd became a much bigger part of your dining experience since you lose more direct line of sight with your partner. But if you like to people gaze, it could be fun. Speaking of which, the crowd at Press seem to ooze more money (new and old) than most of the other places in the area, and they seem to skew more to the older side. Ours definitely wasn't the young and fabulous crowd outside of the occasional people there with their parents and the "so, do you think she's the daughter or the wife of the old guy?"
(Yes, I know, we're crass.)
Cost of our meal
2 appetizers + half bottle of wine ($60) + 2 entrees + tax/tip = $260Ow. So, if we don't care much about the tab, then Press is our favorite steak house so far. We haven't been to Jonesy's, Flatiron Grill, etc. so maybe that changes down the road. But we have been to Cole's Chop House which is supposedly no piker. That's sort of in the same price range, maybe a little cheaper, but we like the food better overall at Press. That being said, the price tag does make you wince (or maybe that's the cholesterol from the ribeye...)