The last filet mignon

During an exquisite day, today the air is still and warm and ideal, we were sitting on the porch stairs telling stories, stories about slow-cooked tenderloin stew, the dogs were devouring the bones, when I remembered Mustard’s Grill in Napa County. [flash site]

We whooped in agreement that we are fools until we buy a motor home and park it permanently behind Mustard’s kitchen door.

Mustard's Grill, Napa County, CaliforniaWhen I tasted the first morsel of Mustard’s filet mignon I said, “Oh shit.” My friends looked worried and one volunteered to call the waiter.

No need for the waiter. Be calm. I quickly reported that the steak was excellent.

I told my guests the problem: “For the rest of my life every steak I will ever taste will be a disappointment.

My friends on the porch agreed that Mustard’s can do that.

There was a flavor note in the mashed potato. It was a quiet note, a Mozart ding-a-ling that was sometimes high up in the fluffed potato snow or deeply receded in the tuber’s cellar. Aggressively tasting dollops of potato has no social grace and isn’t tolerated even in Napa’s wine country where everyone is rimming glasses with their nose. I was forced to ask the waiter. There’s a hint of horseradish in the mash, he said.

For years I’ve added a spoon of radish or horseradish with the cream and butter. Try it. But try carefully, with different brands and different roots that you find at the Asian grocery.

Google has snippets of the Mustard’s cookbook here. The blurb is all true.

Chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn put down her roots in Napa over 15 years ago, bringing her midwestern sensibility and flair for reinventing American food to the valley. With its ranch house feel, roadhouse welcome, mustard fields and vineyards as a backdrop, and dash of whimsy, Mustards Grill offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.