ChiswickW4.com gets a taste of things to come
With the Chiswick Moran Hotel almost at full capacity since their opening last month and the Globe Bar fast becoming the place to be at the western end of Chiswick High Road, it is now the turn of Napa Restaurant to take the limelight.
Set to open to the public this Friday 28th July, restaurant staff have been operating a trial opening at around half capacity and our chiswickw4.com ‘guinea pigs’ were invited along for a test drive.
Napa Restaurant is situated on the right hand side of the striking double height entrance lobby and opposite to the Globe Bar.
A light and airy space, the décor remains in keeping with the sleek 70’s retro designs of the entire hotel.
Smaller sized tables and large booths suitable for a party of around twelve occupy a raised area to the left as you enter the restaurant with the main floor occupied by a mixture of round tables and bench seating. Floor to ceiling windows flood the restaurant with natural light and reveal the outside terrace shielded from the bustling High Road by foliage.
Napa’s kitchen is headed up by Chef Ryan Dunn. Formerly of the four star Sopwell House in St Albans and Northampton's Castle Ashby, Dunn has been given the task of creating a "modern British menu with an American twist" in keeping with the hotel's "West Coast meets West London" theme.
When we spoke last month, Dunn promised a menu resplendent with British and American classics with a modern twist alongside a number of his own signature dishes and if the trial menu is anything to go by, he has been true to his word.
"We have taken a simplistic approach to the menu so that diners can easily understand what they are ordering and placing the real emphasis on serving good food at a fair price."
"Napa, has fast become a gastronomic destination as much as it has become a vinous destination. Good wine requires good food and as Napa's reputation for world class wines has grown, a thriving farming and restaurant industry has established itself around it.
"The food here at the restaurant is typified by seasonal fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats and poultry and local cheeses. At its best the food is cooked and presented in a simple but elegant fashion with an accent firmly on the quality and freshness of the produce."
Dinner was a set menu of 2 courses at £19.50 and 3 courses at £24.50.
Starters were a choice of Rillette of smoked salmon and poached salmon with marinated cucumber and water vinaigrette, Carpaccio of herb crusted beef with micro herb salad and blush tomato dressing or Leek and feta risotto with pesto dressing.
Mains offered Loin of pork wrapped in parma ham with roasted peppers, parmesan potato puree and marsala jus, Sautéed fillet of sea bass with saffron and chirizo taleteller, asparagus spears and scallop cream sauce or vegetable begets with a tarragon and pine kernel guerre blanc.
Desserts were Choc-ship charlotte with mint-choc-chip ice cream, Passion fruit and mandarin tart with raspberry and strawberry sorbet or Mango de lice with coconut sorbet.
By unanimous vote the stars of the show were the carpaccio, risotto, pork and passion fruit tart each a temptation to return in its own right. To accompany our food we went with the recommendation of a very agreeable Collage 2002 Zinfandel-Shiraz which priced at £17.50 was reasonable too.
Although the restaurant wasn't operating at full capacity and with a full menu, the evening did provide a good insight into what diners can expect when the restaurant opens properly on Friday. Add to that the already evident Irish warmth and charm that permeates all areas of the hotel's service and the Moran family clearly have another successful enterprise to add to their burgeoning portfolio.
July 27, 2006