Thursday, July 30, 2009

Street Food in the Napa Valley? Whatever

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

click to enlarge The view from the Brix patio: Watch out for street urchins. - FTPOED/FLICKR
  • FTPoed/Flickr
  • The view from the Brix patio: Watch out for street urchins.
Jumping the shark. Sooner or later, everything has to, whether it's the Bradys in Hawaii, Blossom in Paris, or that Kara chick on American Idol.

As for local street food, it may have glimpsed its shark today, with the announcement by Napa Valley's Brix (7377 St. Helena Highway, Yountville): three dinners meant to showcase, in the words of the press release, "Executive Chef Anne Gingrass-Paik's passion for exotic 'street food.'" Frankly, that word exotic would make us reach for the clicker, if only this were Blossom. Instead, we're kind of fascinated by the "Brix Unpaved" menus (Mumbai Fare, Bollywood Flair on August 20th, One Night in Bangkok on September 17th, and Street Feasts of Sicily on October 15th).

Now, we're sure chef Gingrass-Paik is super talented,and we've no doubt she's got passion for street food. But come on, ever been to Brix? It's lovely, rambling place backing up to vegetable and herb gardens with vineyards beyond, and there's a gift shop in the lobby. The press release again: "Guests of 'Brix Unpaved' will enter from the north side of the gardens along a decorative bulb-strung walkway where they will find a 'street' lined with food stalls."

You can score advance tickets for $35 ($40 the nights of) -- cheap by Yountville standards, though not exactly streety. And while we're not sure all the dishes will offer authentic tastes of the streets of Mumbai, Bangkok, or any other teeming megatropolis, we're pretty sure you'll catch a hefty whiff of shark mingling with the scent of lavender drifting in from the garden.

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