If you’re a restaurant in Yountville, it’s tough to stand out in the crowd. Indeed, the town’s 15-or-so restaurants sport six Michelin stars among them.
So rather than battle the competition, the new Hopper Creek Kitchen is seeking to capture an uncharted market: breakfast. In fact, the restaurant, which opened in December inside the still-under-construction Hotel Yountville, serves only that. The farm-to-table themed bistro is open strictly from 7:30 a.m. to noon daily.
What makes a Yountville-caliber early-morning meal? How about a cleverly titled “Duck ‘n’ Donuts,” or fruit risotto, or maple pork consommé? It works wonderfully when it’s crafted by a Yountville caliber chef, Adam Clark, who previously worked at Barndiva, Aqua and Calistoga Ranch, and did an externship at The French Laundry.
That means that diners can start their day with a poultry dish, pairing crisp-skinned duck confit with three bite-size yuzu cream-filled donuts dusted with five spice, over quince agrodolce. The bird falls apart with the touch of a fork, under gloriously crackly skin, and is surprisingly sumptuous with the puffy sweet pastries and the tart fruit. It’s the same idea as duck a l‘orange, in a way.
The risotto is studded with preserved strawberries, lavender mint, apple vincotto and caramelized pears, for a creamy, hearty meal that’s a step way above porridge. Much of the world enjoys rice for breakfast after all, though hardly as luxurious as this.
The consommé, meanwhile, is worthy of a French Laundry trained talent. Chef Clark poaches a Barrett Farm egg at 63 degrees for 45 minutes, rendering it impossibly silky and buttery, bobbing in a maple pork broth and sprinkled with togarashi spice for just a hint of fire.
Even the coffee is special, aptly titled “an experience” as it is brewed and dripped tableside.
Diners looking for more traditional fare can get it, thought in gourmet style. Hotcakes are mixed with black currants, griddled golden, then smothered in farina, Straus Family yogurt, maple nectar, Zinfandel jam, candied Meyer lemon, crème fraiche and crunchy Iranian pistachios. For an egg Benedict, the chef layers crispy Kurobuta pork belly and a 63-degree egg on brioche, then drizzles it in hollandaise.
For the ultimate breakfast, there’s a tasting menu, in a three course feast through the consommé, the duck ‘n’ donuts, and dessert of French toast soufflé sprinkled in huckleberries and banana-pecan streusel in a pool of rum raisin anglaise.
Call it a Grand Slam, Yountville style.
Details: Hopper Creek Kitchen, 6462 Washington St. (in Hotel Yountville), Yountville, 707-967-7900, hotelyountville.com.
Tip: Make breakfast even better, with a stay at the luxurious new Hotel Yountville. And sweeten the escape, with door-to-door car service from Pure Luxury Transportation.