Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Celebrating 10 years together at ubuntu in Napa.

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

Yesterday, Ryan & I celebrated 10 years as a couple! We kicked things off by exchanging gifts at midnight, due mainly to impatience, but it was a fun way to start the festivities. I was floored & impressed by the matching "Key to My Heart" necklace & bracelet I received; it's very much like a tattoo I recently added to my love themed collection with a heart padlock to Ryan's key. Less sentimental, but still fun, I gave Ryan the gift of Rock Band, which has already distracted us from getting places on time or getting tasks done! ha.

We started the morning with French Toast (Ryan's favorite) & Farmers Market Strawberries, then headed up to Napa to try ubuntu a newcomer in Wine Country serving vegetarian & vegan dishes with a focus on local, sustainable practices. They have a biodynamic garden & grow many of the items you find on your plate themselves! The restaurant is beautiful & welcoming, a lovely place to spend a special night. They knew it was out anniversary & immediately came to the table with complimentary champagne!

We started with the Chickpea Fries with herbs & Romesco sauce, a recommendation from friends, & we weren't disappointed. Crisp, delicious, & flavorful, we had no problem polishing off this dish. Also as a starter, we had the fried Padrons with maldon salt. They were soft & slightly sweet with a zip of lime & while the first few were great, I found them a bit too oily for my liking after a bit.

Next, we shared the Grilled Peach & French Bean Panzanella. Garden grown french beans sat atop a grilled peach puree & bread cubes, garnished with basil stem vinegar & 25 year balsamico. Not only was the plating lovely, but the dish was as well. Nice & refreshing, we enjoyed it, but wished there was a more pronounced peach flavor, as we're such fans.

For our entrees, we started with a Strawberry Margherita pizza. ubuntu has cheese on the menu, quite a bit actually, so we asked for this vegan, as it stated "vegan cheese available by request". When we found out the cheese was Follow Your Heart, we opted for no cheese, as we couldn't see a processed soy cheese adding to the flavors of the dishes here. In the end, it was more like a flatbread with a bit of cooked strawberry jam & basil on top, a very tasty flatbread nonetheless. Next time I think well skip the pizzas or hope that the chefs discover the wonders of cashew cheese!

Our other entree was the Anson Mills Grits finished with Corn Pudding & a Friarelli Pepper relish with more fried Padrons. We loved the creamy corn flecked grits & I found myself scraping for every last bite! The relish was sweet & wonderful with the grits & the peppers worked well with this dish, although I left most of them to Ryan.


Finally, were ready for dessert! Typically the restaurant only has one vegan dessert, from what I can tell, which is a float of some sort, but we spied "vegan carrot cupcakes" on the tasting menu & asked if we could order them along with a float. Luckily, they obliged! The cupcakes were adorable, bite sized, & topped in a swirl of cream cheese frosting, pistachios & a mini sweetened carrot. They were moist & spiced, though a bit heavy on the ginger for Ryan's liking, & a nice little treat. The frosting seemed to contain vegan cream cheese of some sort, possibly Follow Your Heart.

The Raspberry Sorbet Float was our final selection & was downright delicious! This refreshing treat started with a base of rosewater soda & contained a scoop of raspberry sorbet, pieces of fresh watermelon & raspberries, tiny tapioca balls, & was garnished in mint. The flavors all melded well together & we marveled about how lovely it down to the very last sip!


Overall, ubuntu is a nice place to dine if you find yourself in Napa. I'd like to see some vegan entrees on the menu, as every entree had cheese on it & the removal of it seemed to leave some of the dishes low on the flavor scale. That being said, their green practices are to be commended & their food is fresh & won't leave you feeling heavy & overly full. We would certainly dine at ubuntu again & it was a lovely place to spend a milestone in our lives.

41 comments:

shellyfish said...

Oh happy anniversary to you both! 10 years is such a huge mile stone (in a good way...). My sweetie & I will be at your half-way mark in October.

All that food looked amazing, but I'm such a dessert lover, gimme a float & some cupcakies, please!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Happy anniversary you two!! What a fabulous meal, I should start convincing John to make a trip up to ubuntu when we're there in the fall...

Katy said...

Wow, 10 years! Happy anniversary!

Carrie said...

All of that food looks soooo amazing! Happy anniversary!

Animal-Friendly said...

Congrats on your 10 years together! All of the food looks delicious and like the perfect way to celebrate.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like it was a great day! Happy Anniversary!

VeggieGirl said...

10 YEARS?!?!?!??! Melisser, that is extremely heartwarming and admirable - I wish you two a LIFETIME together!!

Amey said...

Congratulations on 10 years. That's pretty rad.

Glad to read about Ubuntu and see some pictures too. I've been curious about it. Hopefully I'll make it up there sometime, it's an obvious fit for me - what with the yoga and all.

and hopefully by then, there will be some more vegan dishes on the menu. I've become increasingly irritated at the dishes-that-become-subpar-when-ordered-without-cheese.

:) Amey

VEGAN TICKLES said...

I totally agree with you about ubuntu adding more vegan options.
My husband and I were greatly dissapointed by their lack of choices.
The food was good, but not great.
We both agreed that MILLENIUM was WAY better.
We ate their twice on our trip to SF.

Nikki Douglas said...

Congrats on your day - I was married for 17 years and I remember our 10th anniversary. It was such a big deal. By the 15th we were like - ah, well! Of course I wasn't vegetarian then so we went to the Melting Pot for a big bowl of melted cheese!

tasteslikeyum said...

Happy Decade! All that good looking food makes me hungry.

Bianca said...

Congrats! Ten years is like forever! Ryan must be one awesome dude. And Rock Band is the gift that keeps on giving! I love that shit!

DJ said...

Congratulations to you guys! The meal looks greaT!

Emilie said...

The food looks great. Good way to celebrate as is Rock Band. I'm so addicted, it's a good thing we don't actually own it. I can rock out "...And Justice for All" on guitar level medium these days I imagine all I would do is get to passable on hard if it were in my house. And yet...I want it. Like I want that meal.

Vegan Invasion! (Ashley Nicole) said...

Congrats! If we ever do find ourselves in Napa, we will be sure to check out Ubunto - sounds like a lovely place (and the food looks great)!

EB said...

Happy Anniversary!

Maria said...

happy anniversary!

you know, we actually ordered the pizzas (we had both, the mushroom & the margarita) with the FYH cheese and on the strawberry pizza, it was super subtle and only made it better (we actually ordered another helping of it our table liked it so much!). and you know, i eat dairy cheese all the time and am pretty sensitive to the super processed FYH cheese.

the chickpea fries & grits were the bomb, though. i agree on that :)

meghan said...

aww...congrats! you deserve every bit of happiness you've got, wonderful lady!
xoxo.
ps: yum!

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
And I think you might have convinced me to move to NoCal someday....soon....
Yummy food. ;)
~Erin @ "Vegan & the City"

Hannah said...

Aw, congratulations, that's such a wonderful occasion to have the pleasure of celebrating. And what a delicious celebration indeed!

bazu said...

Happy anniversary! I'm drooling at those food photos all over again!

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

Yeah! Happy Anniversary!!! I always want to open presents (on any occasion) at midnight.
all that food looks so good!

Amanda Bankert said...

happy anniversary!! and the food looks awesome! :)

Nikki said...

Congrats on the anniversary! That first photo looks like mozzarella sticks...were they the chickpea fries?

meghan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meghan said...

ps:
Melisser...
I've nominated you for a Brilliante Blog Award, for being so awesome! Check out my blog for details. Then copy the award, link to me, as the person who nominated you...and then nominate 7 of YOUR favorite blogs!

gilda said...

all that food looks amazing!!! happy anniversary!!

destinyskitchen said...

What fun. Happy anniversary! That's great!

city said...

congrats on reaching the 10year milestone, very impressive :-) Sounds like you guys had a wonderful day and ate some amazing food :-)

Urban Vegan said...

Congratulations! What a milestone. And it looks like you really celebrated fantastically.

jessy said...

happy anniversary! :) 10 years - WOW! that's awesome! celebrating with tasty food, fun gifts, and frech toast = glorious!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Your anniversary celebration sounds lovely! Congratulations!

I would kill for a sip of the Raspberry Sorbet Float. YUM!

Rural Vegan said...

Happy anniversary! Your meal looks absolutely perfect for such a milestone celebration!

Bake & Destroy! said...

Congrats! It looks like you had a delicious night!

julie hasson said...

Happy belated anniversary Melisser! I hope you guys had a fantastic celebration. The food looks delish! Of course we were all sad that you weren't able to make it up North.

I hope everything is going great with you and the new commercial space that I've been hearing about. Congrats! Email me when you get a chance.

XO Julie

taste memory said...

oh what a great way to celebrate ~ everything sounds luscious!

Lov luv this site by the way + your ease in writing/look forward to reading/seeing more of your posts ~

jennconspiracy said...

I adore ubuntu... *swoon* I might have to treat my sweetie after I pick him up at the airport en route to Harbin on Friday afternoon...

Erin said...

Happy ten years! All that food looks lovely, especially the chickpea fries I think. Maybe the chef will jump more on the vegan train.

VnV said...

we visited ubuntu recently too! and i completely agree with your review. it is a great place to spend a special night. your pictures are great!!
http://veggiemonologues.blogspot.com/2009/02/vegetarian-in-napa-ubuntu.html

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