1140 Rutherford Rd, Rutherford, CA | Directions 9457338.459753 -122.421047
One of my favorite in the Napa Valley! – I've dined at La Toque 6 times over the last 3 years. I just wanted to throw that out there to let people know that my two-cents are not based on one visit or any one experience!
THE FOOD: Top notch!! It's a 5 course prix fixe format, and the amount of food presented has always been perfect. It's structured in a classic progression & the intensity of the dishes builds with each course. I've tasted foie gras dishes from all over the country, and I've found the best preparations here at La Toque. If you're a lover of foie gras make sure you don't miss it. Also, don't miss the ravioli with fresh porcini. And, in January when they're in season, they offer a separate 5 course Black Truffle Menu!
THE WINE: As an oenophile, I have to tell you that the best food & wine pairings I've ever had were at La Toque. I once dined there with five of my friends who all work in fine dining restaurants, and we were all blown away by the the sommelier's wine pairing & presentation of each wine. Even with a full dining room, he had the time to pour each of the wines & tell us about the background / history of the wine & why it was chosen to pair with that dish. It was amazing! On another occasion a couple of years ago, the same sommelier recommended a bottle of Sea Smoke pinot noir, and I loved it so much that the next day I joined their mailing list (since then, it's become something of a cult wine).
THE SERVICE: The service has always been warm, hospitable, knowledgable, and memorable. The servers are elegant & professional, but relaxed & unpretentious. I can't recall any requests that were not accomodated immediately!
THE PRICE: Other reviewers have made an issue of the price, and you should know that it's about $425 for dinner for two people -- but it's a great value for dining in one of the Napa Valley's top restaurants (and it's half as much as you'll spend at the French Laundry). If you can afford it, don't miss La Toque. If you can't, don't write a crappy review.
One of the best – We have been going once a year for 5 years and only for 1 year were things slightly below normal. The service is about as good as it gets. The food is spot on. The pairing are often unusual and contain some true hidden gems. The dining room is small and just about any table is good one, but ask to sit near the fireplace if possible (it can get warm, however). If things end up not being to your liking, let them know, they will accomodate you.
If you are ok with $150+ per person, La Toque should not be overlooked, it one of N.Cal's best.
Fine dining, save for the food – Lookit, you pay these prices, you expect... more than this. We got the prix fixe with wine. Veal was like chewing on microwaved kitchen sponges with sink fungus reduction. One of the wines paired with the starter was a browned mess of the last dregs of a $14 bottle (no exaggerating, it was an older white rhone). Service, however, was polished and professional, to plaigerize a prior reviewer, and the room itself was lovely and serene, like my lovely and serene date, who demostrated her superpowers by preventing me from storming the kitchen.
Ignore the bad reviews - try it yourself! It can be a great night out! – Tried La Toque for a birthday dinner treat - after reading dozens of mixed reviews - it really goes to show that reviews can be so subjective! We had a perfectly nice time. Service was friendly, professional, polished, and attentive (not snooty). Went on Sat night for early seating. Dining room was about 75% filled throughout meal. Meal lasted 2 hours. We had the prix fixe ($98 each) and the wine pairings ($62 each). Total bill is about $400 (18% service charge included). Once you know the numbers beforehand, you won't get sticker shock. So just sit back and enjoy. Sommelier v. friendly and knowledgeable (not snooty). 4 courses and 1 dessert course, every course delicious, some more than most (foie gras and slow cooked bream with crispy edible scales stand out). Had table by fireplace, did not "hear other people's conversations" as other reviewers complained. Room is done in a plain, French countrystyle, not super luxe but still quite pleasant. There is outdoor patio seating but not that nice (and can be cold). If on Highway 29, you can miss Rutherford Road turning into restaurant, so slow down it's immediately to the right once you see Rutherford city sign - blink and you will miss it. Please don't complain that "for this price you should get a perfect experience". No experience is perfect regardless of price, and this was an expensive meal but it was worth it IMHO and birthday person was v. happy which is what mattered. Wines are very well picked, too. If you don't do the wine pairings, you might regret or think the food isn't as good on its own, so might as well go for the pairings. Can't understand why some reviewers complained food not enough - was splitting at the seams - this was at least a 4000 calorie meal! Maybe restaurant changed tactics after reading complaints.
Great Anniversary Dinner – I just have to say it is by far the most wonderful dining experience I've ever had. Try the truffle menu! Altough the beginning of the dinner as a little bumpy, it turned out to be a great evening.
Dont bother going – Every one we spoke to in napa said this place was the next French Laundry and we left feeling that the only thing cleaned out were our wallets.With a price fix of $98 a person and a service charge of 18% on both the food and the wine list I felt cheated because the reason for a tip in my view is to reward good service and food both of which we were denied.The menu while looking promising on paper did not live up to what I had herd about this restaurant.Over all I think they should get their heads out of the clouds and start worring about putting people in the seats and keeping them happy or Le Toque will be a flash in the pan.
What a disappointment! – LaToque having been recommended to us as a must, we were looking forward to dining here. However, the experience wasn't what we expected. The service was terrible, even saw our server enjoying a glass of wine at the bar one time while we waited an eternity between courses, which resulted in our food being cold when it arrived to our table. The presentation was good, but cold food just didn't do it any justice. Given the quality of other restaurants we dined at, I would NOT recommend La Toque. The food had the chance to be great but someone should manage this place better. We had to ask our water server to ask our waiter to skip our last course & bring the check so we could leave. For the fixed price ($98pp) and fixed gratuity (18%), we were terribly disappointed. Thank goodness for other good restaurants in the Valley.
Disappointing – We were highly anticipating this meal. It was highly disappointing. In terms of ambience, the room is spartan and cold. We were seated right next to the entrance door. Somehow, a large party failed to notice the "not good for kids" note on this listing and brought their 6 year old and an infant that couldn't have been more than a month old. Amazing. The 6 year old ran around the room a couple of times. Pleasant. The food was good but not even close to being worth the 400 dollars we spent for 2 (with wine pairing). I've had much better meals in SF for much less. Too bad.
The food, service, wine, ambience, down to the wrapped menus I got to take home...everything was impeccable. Maybe we got lucky on the service since it was a Sunday night, and every table had only 2 guests, but there was never a moment when my glass was less than half full. We ordered one pre fixe menu ($98 for 5 courses) and the special black truffles menu ($160 for 5 courses), and every dish was well prepared with the finest ingredients and clean presentation. When we expressed interests in dining and food prep, our waiter offered us a close look at the kitchen and its staff. The overall bill might be quite high, but it's well worth it.
Celebrated wine country chef crafts fine French cuisine out of fresh California flavors. – After earning a prized Michelin star at the tiny location in Rutherford, chef Ken Frank moves his illustrious restaurant to a grander culinary playground in Napa's Westin Veresa. A back-to-back fireplace anchors the modern space, infusing the black and white interior and lush patio exterior with hospitable warmth. High prices draw sophisticated diners, who construct their own prix-fixe tasting menus (two, four, or six courses) from an assemblage of seasonal small plates. Decidedly Franco-Californian fusion highlights include seared foie gras with pineapple quince and pomegranate or Florida frogs legs with fried green tomato. Wine pairings are integrally mapped out through the menu.
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