Monday, March 25, 2013

JoLe - Tasting Menu in Calistoga

Traveling back in time to our visit Napa Valley, this week we will be discussing not just the wine but also the food!  Wine country has plenty of restaurants showcasing California cuisine at its best.  The hard part is selecting which restaurants to sample!  After heading up to Calistoga and settling into our hotel, we poked around downtown Calistoga and picked up our bikes for the next days' excursion.  While down there, we checked out a few of the restaurants suggested by the travel websites and ultimately settled on JoLe.

The restaurant is clean and contemporary with a wood fire grill working all night making bread and other deliciousness.  The husband and wife team of Matt and Sonjia Spector behind JoLe source the majority of their food from local farms and showcase the food each evening via a menu so wonderful and diverse that it was difficult to make any sort of decision!  Luckily, JoLe offers four, five or six course tasting menus with an optional wine pairing.  Nick and I both opted for the tasting menu, and I added the wine pairing - when in Rome, right?!  This way, we could split all the dishes and get the most out of our JoLe experience.  The following is a sampling of the amazing food we had.

Corn Fritter
Sweet Corn Soup with stewed blueberries and truffle oil 
Sea Scallops with Uni, Salmon Roe, Togarashi, Tofu and Yuzu
Grilled Octopus
Lamb T-Bone
Beef Cheek Ragu and Grits
Korean Style Skirt Steak
Toasted Coconut Pie
The service was great and the wine paired with my dishes was well thought out.  The bartender explained each bottle to me and why they paired it.  Although it did get busy, they never lost track of the meal or sacrificed the service.  For $80 I got four complete dishes and wine accompaniments - one the better priced tasting menus I have seen!

JoLe flies a bit under the radar compared to some of the restaurants further south in the Napa Valley, but it is no less deserving of the press.  If you find yourself in Calistoga, I highly recommend seeing what local ingredients JoLe has on the menu that evening.

JoLé on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum! We're going to be in Calistoga in a few weeks, I will definitely keep an eye out for this restaurant.

  2. Looks and sounds like a phenomenal meal/restaurant!

  3. everything sounds delicious, especially that soup- sweet corn and blueberry? what a unique dish!

  4. The beef cheek ragu and grits looks amazing. What a great tasting!

  5. That's definitely a meal to remember! Loving all the corn elements - the fritter and the soup. And those grits look insanely good!


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