Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Napa Valley CA

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I can’t say enough about Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in Napa Valley. I love it so much that we are having our wedding rehearsal dinner there. The food is so varied and fresh — typical Northern California fare that will never disappoint!

A fairly small operation, run by the James beard award winning chef, Cindy Pawlcyn, my mother and I made our way there for lunch. The service was friendly, the menu enticing. I began with the hot soup of the day, tomatillo and roasted poblano soup. It was DELICIOUS — the spice level was just enough, the texture was perfect, the flavors melded so well. A perfect soup if I ever had one. My mother had the opposite of me, the cold soup of the day — a refreshing cantaloupe soup with garden fruit picked strait from the restaurant’s own organic garden.

For our second course — paquillo pepper stuffed with cumin scented shredded beef that was so rich it melted in your mouth. On the side was wood fire grilled corn that tasted like the wood fire grill. Anyone reading this knows I’m a sucker for a wood grill so to say the least, the corn was unbelievable.

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Next up — THE BEST SANDWICH I’VE EVER HAD. An “adult grilled cheese” if you will — freshly baked walnut bread with soft and tangy Chévre topped with baby arugula served with perfectly crispy and soft polenta fries. It was absolute perfection, and incredibly simple. If I could re-create that sandwich for every meal, I would, and I’d never get tired of it. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. There, I said it.

After all of our savory plates, we decided a sweet desert was needed and that we had — a ‘fresh-from-the-garden’ prickly pear and peach sorbet. What a way to end the meal! Its places like Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen that make me wish I lived in Napa Valley. I’d recommend this place to anyone. It’s worth a trip to wine country alone!

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