Welcome to The Kitchen at Priest Ranch
By the time you read this, the long-anticipated Kitchen at Priest Ranch in downtown Yountville, should be officially open, serving up fast casual food, to enjoy on site, or to take away, all day long. From its cozy patio outback, to its novel airy rooftop lounge, this place is sure to become the place to be and to be seen.
“Yountville really needs something like what we’re offering,” says Executive Chef Daniel Solomon, a Chicago area native who studied culinary arts at the Kendall Culinary Institute. After working at popular restaurants in one of America’s culinary hotbeds for two decades, he came to Napa to work at La Toque, an upscale Michelin-star restaurant, where he learned the finer points of the French approach to farm-to-table cuisine.
Chef Dan told us, “During my time at La Toque, I gained a deep understanding of the relationship between food and wine and how they are ultimately one in the same. When I returned to my hometown, I was determined to bring my newfound philosophy and education to my work, pairing different flavors and ingredients together to create a truly exceptional dining experience that highlights the best of both worlds.”
Now he brings that same experience and passion to the innovative Kitchen at Priest Ranch, where he has a chance to pair his skillful cuisine with excellent Priest Ranch wines sourced from the 1682-acre Somerston Estate in the eastern hills of Napa Valley.
I believe that food and wine go hand in hand and look forward to creating a casual yet delicious menu that perfectly complement Priest Ranch’s portfolio of wines”
– Executive Chef Daniel Solomon
Based on fresh ingredients that change with the season, the KPR menu ranges from fun breakfast items like the “Gas Station Sandwich,” which combines a cheesy egg with braised bacon, local jam and B&B pickles on an English muffin, to lunch sandwiches like the ham panini with Jambon de Paris, Marin French brie, caramelized onion, pumpkin seed pesto and Calabrian chili maple glaze on focaccia. You definitely want the 2018 Peacemaker with that.
Seasonal soups and salads, including the “Kind of Niçoise Salad,” featuring bitter greens, cherry tomato, shaved fennel, olive, marble potato, crispy ham, egg and mustard vinaigrette. You can top that with the optional market fish of the day or grilled chicken. Be sure to pair with the Priest Ranch 2022 Sauvignon Blanc. There’s also a “Hail Caesar!” with gem lettuce, house dressing, aged Parmesan sourdough croutons and lemon: another candidate for pairing with the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc.
While enjoying a meal with a glass of wine typifies the Napa experience, there will also be a grab-n-go area with salads, sandwiches, cookies and premade charcuterie boards. Good, solid, authentic food: all of it.
Chef Dan tells us he’s got a great tomato soup recipe, so expect to see a grilled cheese sandwich joining the menu at some point. “I love food that is homey and nostalgic,” says Solomon. “We’re leaning into cuisine that’s easy to eat and made from the best possible ingredients.”
Based on staff feedback during menu trials, the Herb French fries alone with KPR sauce, with their tender moist middle and crisp perfect exterior, along with the “KPR Angus beef Smashburger,” will make this hot new spot the talk of the town.
For dinner, enjoy “Steak Frites” paired with 2019 Snake Oil, or the pan-seared market fish with shaved fennel, Castelvetrano olives and preserved lemon. There’s currently a fresh egg pappardelle with wild mushrooms, pesto and Calabrian chili, with a suggested pairing of 2019 Double Barrel. Chef Dan will also feature weekly additions driven by what’s fresh and in season.
While the kitchen is small, the flavors are big, and he takes pride in sourcing from the best purveyors. Solomon already gets his amazing pork belly used in the famous Priest Ranch Wine and Bacon experience — which by the way, is so totally worth it — from Baker’s Bacon.
“I believe that food and wine go hand in hand and look forward to creating a casual yet delicious menu that perfectly complement Priest Ranch’s portfolio of wines,” says Chef Dan.
“Our collective goal is to create quality, approachable food that just tastes good. We’re not only feeding people, but we’re also providing an experience.”