In 2006, superstar chef, Thomas Keller, temporarily opened Ad Hoc, to fill the space of the property he bought while he and his team could develop a different concept. It is located in Yountville, Napa on the same street as his other restaurants, The French Laundry, and Bouchon Bakery, just down the road at 6476 Washington Street, but locals and tourists loved this place from day one, so Chef Keller decided to keep it permanently.
This was a new concept for the area, a daily changing 4-course menu featuring classic American dishes, like pot roast, pork chops, barbecue, fried chicken, short ribs, etc. All courses are served family-style like you would in your own home.
The restaurant is comprised of a casual, low key dining room with zinc tabletops, and a busy, centrally located bar with the menu printed on a chalkboard. It’s a fun, noisy atmosphere, and the place is crazy busy every night of the week (except Tuesday and Wednesday), as well as during their a famous Sunday brunch service.
Our server Christian was helpful and was adept at screaming over the background noise. In addition to changing the menu daily, they also add additional courses at a supplement. The night we were there it was Alaskan king crab and lobster mac n cheese (which to be honest was just, “meh”), caviar, or a 33oz ribeye with French fries in a black truffle shallot butter, which was good and gave a table of ten a nice taste.
The four-course meal goes for a reasonable $56 each. We went on the best night because we were able to order Thomas Keller’s famous buttermilk fried chicken, which was accompanied by delicious creamy Anson Mills polenta and a wonderful green bean casserole. Dinner also included a tasty French Laundry heirloom tomato salad, with olives, garden squash, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese in an aged balsamic. We also received a lovely cheese course with pear butter and freshly made French bread from Bouchon Bakery. Dessert was a heavenly Bouchon Bakery brownie, served warm and topped with a delightful cherry ice cream, filled with good quality chocolate chunks. There was also a supplemental potted lemon curd with mixed berry jam and shortbread.
As you can imagine, the wine list and cocktails were substantial.
Since opening day, the San Francisco Chronicle has given the restaurant a three-star review and it was featured in Food and Wine Magazine as one of the, “25 places to try”.
Addendum, located in the back of the property, offers the buttermilk fried chicken or BBQ picnic lunches to go or to be enjoyed in the garden on one of their picnic tables.
Although the menu is fixed every day, they will accommodate you if you have a food intolerance.
A great place to walk to if you are staying in Yountville and especially if you are craving some family-style comfort food.