I was lucky enough to experience Ad Hoc’s brunch menu on a beautiful Sunday morning out in Yountville, CA. Located just outside Napa, Ad Hoc is among a cluster of restaurants in the area that showcases fresh, local ingredients and creates a great dining experience for its guests. From making the reservation to accommodating specific food preferences, the staff at Ad Hoc was always professional and courteous so I was impressed even before I stepped into the restaurant.
A little background about Ad Hoc:- World renowned chef Thomas Keller (of French Laundry, Per Se and Bouchon fame) originally conceptualized and opened Ad Hoc as a temporary restaurant. The little temp project became so popular that Keller decided to open shop permanently in Yountville. The prix fixe menu changes daily and you literally can’t order anything else unless you are unable eat the food showcased that day due to dietary restrictions.
Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, and this brunch did not disappoint one bit. The meal started with a Salad of Baby Iceberg Rounds served with hobbs’ bacon lardons, lemon cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sweet yellow corn and thousand island dressing. The ingredients were some of the freshest I’ve tasted – the lettuce was crunchy and the tomatoes and corn were super sweet. But obviously the best part pulling it all together was the BACON. Bacon makes everything great, and amazingly they served extra bacon chunks on the side in case we didn’t have enough. I never knew I could like a salad so much.
The main course was the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs with pepper cream gravy, soft scrambled hen eggs, roasted broccolini and smashed new potatoes. Let me just say I’ve never had such great chicken fried steak before. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium and the batter coating the steak was not oily at all. That’s such an amazing feat to me. I have never had chicken fried steak where I wasn’t completely disgusted by all the oil dripping out of the batter until this day at Ad Hoc.
The sides of the main course didn’t disappoint either. The eggs were fluffy and still a bit runny (just the way I like them prepared). The potatoes weren’t overcooked and the broccolini had a nice grilled char on them which made them extra tasty. At this point I have already dubbed this meal one of the best brunches I have ever eaten.
And then the dessert came and just knocked this brunch right out of the park. The dessert was Strawberries and Cream with lemon cake, creme fraiche and coconut streusel. The presentation was beautiful, the strawberries were sweet, the cream was fluffy and light, and the whole dessert came together really perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the meal.
I was so thoroughly impressed with Ad Hoc from start to finish. Great service, great presentation, and most importantly, great food. And brunch at $40 a person for 3 courses was more than reasonable. I would return to Ad Hoc in a heartbeat, especially to try their famous fried chicken and prix fixe dinner menus. I 100% recommend Ad Hoc to anyone willing to drive out to Yountville and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.