Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Where to Eat: The All New Sunday Brunch @ Napa Valley Grille

The Eats: An all new Sunday brunch menu, featuring breakfast and lunch staples, such as shrimp & grits, French toast, Benedicts and more

The Location: Westwood

The Vibes: Airy, open, rich in earth tones and muted colors

Good for: Dates, groups, alone

When-To-Go: Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The $$ Factor: Entrees, $7 – $22; Cocktails, $8 - $15

The Names behind the scenes: Executive Chef Adrian Vela

The 4-1-1: Aside from a new brunch, the restaurant’s also offering a limited-time-only, three-course Summer menu

Parking Situation: Valet, very limited metered street parking and nearby public parking structures

I’ll Be Back…: To try the Brunch Board and the Deviled Eggs!

In the past five years, Napa Valley Grille has made its way onto this blog a few times, for seasonal themed events and for dineLA week.

Now, it's back again in 2016, as this unassumingly classy Westwood hideaway is providing even more reasons to stop by. It's celebrating a few significant milestones, such as commemorating its 15th anniversary (congrats!), it went through a $2M, three-month-long renovation, and, it recently launched a Sunday brunch with new executive chef Adrian Vela.

Lots going on!

The all new Sunday brunch menu is simple, featuring 8 brunch selections, 8 lunch selections and 4 sides. Most of the selections are typical brunch items — like frittatas, Benedicts and French toast, one of my favorites. Pictured below and coined the Brioche French Toast, it comprises six perfectly toasted halves of bread drizzled with Nutella, dusted with powered sugar and topped with crunchy candied pecans. It will satisfy any sweet craving and is extremely filling.

The menu also features American standards — such as meatloaf and a burger — but with a few unexpected twists. For example, there’s the Fried Brussels Sprouts with Poached Egg, pictured below. With a texture almost like they’ve been slightly roasted, these veggies have a marvelous buttery flavor and are well seasoned.

All in all, there are enough options ranging from savory to sweet, and to satisfy all appetite sizes. A few other notable contenders…

The Kale Salad, bursting with a diverse mix of yummy ingredients, including sweet rum raisins, quinoa, toasted almonds, romaine lettuce and kale, all tossed in a lemon-Parmesan vinaigrette.

The Prosciutto Benedict Duo, with over easy eggs and slices of prosciutto doused in hollandaise sauce and delicately balanced on top of two toasted English muffins. 

The Shrimp & Stone-Cut Grits — creamy, buttery and filling, with well-seasoned shrimp.

While Napa Valley Grille offers the infamous “cocktail of brunch” — the bottomless mimosa — I would opt for one of the bar's surprisingly light, summery cocktails. They’re fantastic! The Peach Bellini (pictured below to the left) is made with real peach purée and tastes divine; not too sugary and just the right amount of bubbly Prosecco. The Sorbet Sangria (pictured below to the right) blends house-made sorbet, Grey Goose vodka and sparkling red wine together, creating a frothy libation.

Without question, the patio is the place to sit, especially during these gorgeous summer days. Also redesigned during the renovation, the outdoor area has plenty of shaded seating, comfy couches and even a large TV screen. 

The interior also had a makeover, and is now evocative of all things wine. Walls are painted a rich red, reminiscent of a full-bodied glass of merlot. Chairs, booth seating and wall accents are now a light sandy brown, just like a wine cork. And wine barrel accessories — like staves and hoops — have been incorporated into the décor. 

All in all, Napa Valley Grille a serenely sophisticated restaurant that’s a good choice if you’re looking for a satisfying brunch in a subdued and relaxed ambiance. It’s high-end without being pretentious, and most importantly, offers quality fare and libations. It’s also open and airy, and not too crowded, giving you just enough room to breathe and stretch out, as you enjoy dining.

I’ll see you there soon!

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