Rutherford Grill Review
1180 Rutherford Rd
Rutherford, CA 94573
Hours: Sun - Thu 11:30 am - 9:30 pm, Fri - Sat 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Rutherford Grill website
Rutherford Grill menu
Rutherford Grill food
For appetizers, we love their grilled jumbo artichoke. Well-seasoned, smoky, creamy artichoke goodness that goes down just fine even without the artichoke dip. We've also had their kettle potato chips with melted blue cheese. It tasted fine (hard to go wrong with chips and cheese), and I'm not saying we'd never order it again. But looking at the pile of chips with the melted cheese on top, it does seem a little out of place with the atmosphere. Hey, look, nachos! Meh.
Rutherford is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, and so I guess you could argue it is a bit of a chain. But the food is overall excellent if you are a meat-lover. It's not a steak house (steak listings are surprisingly small). It's just robust meaty food although there is the occasional salad lying around. Personally, I think the more meat-centric their dish is, the better off you'll be. Two dishes, in particular, stand out. First, their barbecue pork ribs, are the best I've had in Napa Valley. Sweet, tangy, sticky, just the right amount of char, and it's a full rack. It's hard for me to order anything else when we go. Their roasted prime rib is also very good. Juicy, tender, flavorful everything you want from prime rib (same goes for their prime rib french dip). We've also had their chicken and spinach enchilada as well as their steak and enchilada dishes which were fine, but the enchiladas seemed out of place. Just skip the enchilada and go for the full center-cut filet instead. :) Match up your meal with a nice heavy red wine, and you're set. You'll also want to order their cornbread in a skillet to go along with your meal. Try not to burn yourself on the skillet.
Desserts at the Rutherford Grill are pretty limited. They have an Oreo ice cream sandwich which was just so-so for us. Their banana cream pie (banana cream, bananas, caramel drizzle) was better than we thought it would be mainly because of the crust. We had low expectations on that one, but we were pleasantly surprised. It was a light way to ease yourself off of the heavy entrees.
Rutherford Grill setting and service
The Rutherford Grill is one of the more popular restaurants in the area. It is much more casual than the heavy hitters in Yountville or St. Helena and attracts all types of groups.I don't think they take reservations; so be prepared to wait. They will be quite busy during tourist season for lunch and dinner. Even during non-tourist months, they are still pretty busy because they are a locals favorite.
The Rutherford Grill does a good job of giving you some cozy privacy when you eat which I suppose means less seating and thus a good chance you'll be waiting for a seat when you arrive during heavier months. There are a number of booths with those big 4 foot tall booth seats to seclude you from those sitting in front or behind you. Even the two seat tables are positioned so that you have some good space or a partition between you and the other tables. Although the Rutherford Grill is still plenty boisterous with its casual dining crowd, you're not stuck in the middle of it like a lot of other restaurants in the area. It's actually one of the nicer places to eat at for us as you get the energy from the crowd, but you can still talk to the others there. They have a nice outdoor seating area too.
Service is overall fine. Sometimes, you will get lost in the shuffle, depending on the traffic inside and how they're staffed, if you need something, it's best for you to flag down the nearest waiter you can find rather than wait for your original one to show up (this isn't unique to the Rutherford Grill, btw)
Price of our meal
1 Appetizer + 2 entrees + 2 glasses of wine + 1 dessert + tax/tip = $130
Other Rutherford Grill reviews