Napa Valley Grille
 
 

California flavors inspired by wine country

By Jen Jones Donatelli

Back when Kenny Spost was a student at the Culinary Institute of America, the first cookbook he bought was Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook. What he didn't know then was that he was paving the way to his own adventure in wine country cuisine—as executive chef at Napa Valley Grille.

Today Spost spends his time in the kitchen of this always-bustling Westwood restaurant whipping up dishes like oven-roasted whole branzino and Colorado lamb. Though the menu spans everything from seafood to pasta to steaks, a common thread runs through each selection: They're all wine country-inspired, and they’re all enhanced with what Spost calls "a little bit of love."

According to the chef, one of the best-selling dishes is the kale salad, served as a mixture with organic black quinoa, toasted almonds, rum-soaked raisins, and lemon-Parmesan vinaigrette. He's also proud of the harvest salad, which features a carefully prepared sous vide and roasted butternut squash.
Many of the seafood dishes are sourced from local purveyors like Santa Monica Seafood—which recently named Spost its "Chef of the Month." Case in point: the popular cast iron–seared sea scallops, served in a sweet corn puree with charred hearts of palm and ginger-citrus vinaigrette.

Naturally, the wine game is strong here; in fact, Napa Valley Grille was named one of OpenTable's Six Top Wine Bars in 2016. The restaurant even has its own label, the Tavistock Reserve Collection, which boasts eight different wines: one sparkling, three white, and four red. Pair a glass with Spost's carefully curated cheese board, which highlights seasonal artisan cheeses such as Point Reyes blue cheese and burrata-like crescenza stracchino, along with truffle-infused honey, house-made jam, and pecan-raisin bread from La Brea Bakery.

A whole lotta love, indeed.

hours

Mon–Thu 11:30 AM–11 PM; Fri 11:30 AM–midnight; Sat 11 AM–midnight; Sun 11 AM–9 PM

price range

$24 (bucatini pomodoro) to $95 (Wagyu tomahawk chop)
x