KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Here's the Beef!
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
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Saturday, July 23, 2005
Here's the Beef!


Do you ever get the urge for a big, juicy, over-the-top piece of beef? Last week my girlfriend and I donated blood and decided to rejuvenate ourselves by indulging in a meal at Cole's Chop House in the city of Napa. Several of my friends have dined there and highly recommended it to me, and I'd been waiting for the right occasion to dine there. Of particular interest were their signature 21-day dry aged beef and a wine list that has received high marks from various wine publications.
Normally I'm happy to have a multi-course meal with entrees, a salad, and plat du fond, but we decided to skip the warm-ups and get right to the main event. I opted for the 16 ounce dry-aged cut, and my partner selected a veal chop. From the selection of sides served family-style we chose creamed spinach and asparagus in hollandaise. A perusal of the wine list revealed a broad selection of wines from different regions, with prices from reasonable to fantastic. There is even a small stable of half bottles, much to my delight, and I opted for a JC Cellars Ventana Vineyard Syrah from this section.



Our meal was, in a word, wonderful. The vegetable sides were well-prepared and fresh. The wine was excellent, all I had hoped for in a cool-climate Syrah: intriguingly complex aromas of black tea and white pepper, and good structure and roundness on the palate. Not just a good pairing for our fare, but a solid wine in its own right. I'll keep on the lookout for more of this for my cellar.
And the meat? The veal was well balanced, finding a way to be both rich and light at the same time. Hints of lemon and pepper were evident in the preparation somewhere, but they stayed in supporting roles and didn't overpower the sensual veal flavor. My dry-aged steak was.... well. Hmm. Let's see. This was one of the best steaks I've ever had. Just intoxicating. Wonderfully rich flavor, perfect texture, expertly prepared. Heavenly. My only problem was with its size. At 16 ounces, it was far more than I could eat, and I'm sure that reheating such a noble piece of beef wouldn't do it justice the next day. Well, let me take that back -- I don't have a problem with the size of the steak. The steak was wonderful! The problem was with my appetite.
So, the next time you need a red meat fix, consider taking a drive up to Napa to visit Cole's Chop House. And if you try the salads or the delicious-sounding appetizers, let me know how they are. Just save room for the beef.



Cole's Chop House
1122 Main St
Napa, CA 94559
Tel: (707) 224-6328
 
 

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