Etoile- Yountville

Someone whose opinion we trust suggested that we try Etoile, Domaine Chandon’s fine dining restaurant. We had been there years ago when Phillipe Jeanty was the chef de cuisine, but after he left the restaurant, it just wasn’t very good – think overwrought “continental” cuisine. Well, we decided to give it another try as the new chef, Perry Hoffman was suppose to be very good.

The chef- Perry Hoffman

From their website:

“Born and raised in the Napa Valley, Perry Hoffman literally grew up in fine-dining kitchens. His grandparents, Sally and Don Schmitt, were the original owners of The French Laundry, the Yountville restaurant made famous by its present owner Thomas Keller. In the 1980s, Perry would help his grandmother in the kitchen making croutons, roasting bell peppers and chopping parsley. This early experience sparked Perry’s passion for cooking, which ultimately shaped his chosen career.”

“Perry started working as a pantry chef at a local neighborhood restaurant at age 15. And after stops at the Boonville Hotel in the Anderson Valley, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, the Mauna Lani in Hawaii and two years as sous chef under Robert Curry at Auberge du Soleil, Perry came to étoile in July, 2007. He leads the multidimensional team that involves winemakers, sommeliers and chefs working together to bring the food and wine experience to a world-class level. Perry enjoys creating wine-inspired food, drawing on étoile’s extensive gardens, located just steps from the kitchen door, and his daily interaction with the winemakers. This unique position helps him create fresh, seasonal dishes with the wines in mind. And he’s located less than a mile from where he first started “working” in another Yountville kitchen over 20 years ago.”

The room

Another view of the room

Ryan, our excellent server, helping another patron

The orchid on the table

The wine, especially made for Donna Karan – we liked it so much we bought a case

Miyagi Oysters with bitter orange and shallot mignonette, chive garnish

We decided to be VERY extravagant and order the caviar tasting – serving dish for the caviar

chopped egg whites, capers, chopped egg yolks, diced shallots, chopped chives, creme fraiche with chives – You add the accompaniments to your particular tastes.

Toast for the caviar


We ate every single drop

Beef Tartar- Prime New York steak,  young ginger, allspice, Dijon, shallots, gribiche and the yolk was cooked sous vide

Since we were on extravagant “roll”, we had Alba white truffles shaved tableside

Yes, it was a very expensive lunch and I wouldn’t do the caviar tasting again, given the cost. But there was plenty on the menu to choose from and I would definitely have the beef tartar again.


4 Responses to “Etoile- Yountville”

  1. 1 Loving Annie December 20, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Had lunch there last week, and loved everything.
    Beautiful view, great service, excellent presentation/taste.
    The steak tartate was memorable, but also delicious was the baby beet salad, the salmon and the carmelized pear mille-feuille dessert.

    p.s. (personal side note – the canyon looks absolutely gorgeous with the holiday lights at night! Hope you and husband and dogs are all doing well 🙂

    p.s.s. Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg was superb !
    And Bistro Jeanty was also quite good.

    (Didn’t like either Madrona Manor or Bardessono.)

  2. 2 lizziee December 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Glad you liked Etoile as much as we did. You are right the canyon looks gorgeous for Xmas. Good to hear that Bistro Jeanty is back on track. The dogs were jealous that they had to stay at home.

  3. 3 Joel December 21, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Liz, How did you like the California Estate caviar from Tsar Nicoulai? I ordered 7 oz. of this for Xmas eve. Hope it is good.

  4. 4 lizziee December 21, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Joel, the caviar was quite good, but we did load up on the accompaniments. Something I wouldn’t do with Beluga.

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