St Helena town area is a quaint vicinity with a good choice of restaurants to dine at. We decided on Cook St Helena as we were told by our business associates that it’s good value for one’s buck.
We managed to get a table despite not making reservations and there was already a decent crowd there. Service staff were attentive and recommended dishes that we have to try.
Love love love this grilled octopus. The Paprika-fennel aioli (aïoli is a Mediterranean sauce made of garlic and olive oil and, in some regions other emulsifiers such as egg) with a little bit of lemon, together with the frisee and potatoes to complement the slightly smoky grilled octopus – was a perfect opener for our dinner.
The mussels were fresh and cooked in a spicy tantalising tomato broth together with their house made sausage. It had just the right amount of acidity and spiciness to whet our appetites for the entrées.
With both the appetisers being outstanding, we couldn’t wait for the mains.
We were disappointed with the Fettuccini. The pasta was cooked in a Parmesan Cheese broth and garnished with mushrooms, asparagus, baby carrots and green onions on the top. A little too much of cheese, as you can see there was additional cheese on the top. It lacked a lift from all the creaminess.
I was craving for fish after the first few days of heavy red meat in Napa Valley. I was so glad I ordered this as it was the most balanced dish of the night. The sole was cooked in a saffron broth which is why it’s yellow in colour. With the fresh Manila clams, the broth was infused with the seafood sweetness and beautifully balanced with the crunchy fresh seasonal vegetables that included my favourite leek! Savoury broth with well cooked sole was certainly a comfort for the soul.
I love my greens! Broccoli, cauliflowers and baby carrots were stir fried and topped with Macadamia nuts – a little too much crunch in a bite but I really love the fresh natural produce, tasted so good with just salt and pepper.
We were really full as the portions were American portions but I had to have one of my favourite Italian desserts – Panna Cotta.
Well, that crack in the Panna Cotta was a tell-tale sign that it wasn’t set properly. It didn’t do the perfect jiggle as it was served either. I didn’t finish this as it was too mushy and really disappointing.
There were definitely dishes I wished I could have seconds of and it’s really worth the money for the ingredients used for the dishes. The service was impeccable with the staff coming over to get feedback on the food. There were a lot of choices and lucky for the recommendations, we might have taken another 30 minutes to decide what to eat. Ambience was cosy and comfortable. It was definitely a great meal to have before we leave for San Francisco down town from Napa Valley next morning. Definitely worth a visit if you are in St Helena.
Cook St Helena
1310 Main St
CA 94574 United States