While most in these parts are focused on finishing up harvest, two local dining establishments made announcements today.
David Frakes named Executive Chef at St. Helena’s a|k|a a Bistro
The man who spent the past 13 years as executive chef at Beringer Vineyards has been named to the same post at St. Helena’s a|k|a a Bistro. David Frakes steps into the kitchen, where he’ll keep a couple of the restauant’s signature dishes, with plans to revamp the menu in his own style. Diners will note a new appetizer on the menu, a golden and red beet terrine with a Pt. Reyes blue cheese center, served with mache and frisee, as well as an ‘herbed beggar’s purse’, which is a a crepe filled with goat cheese, confit of olive and roasted pepper with saffron-grain mustard vinaigrette.
Frakes is also spearheading a new project in conjunction with the neighboring Cameo Cinema, which will be screening Where The Wild Things Are (10/30 – 11/5). a|k|a will offer a ‘Wild Things’ menu, which will include freshly pulled made to order warm mozzarella with pickled wild mushrooms, roasted pearl onions, smoked paprika vinaigrette; a second course of penne with wild boar ragout and warm wild huckleberry clafoutis with lemon verbena sorbet in a wild rice tuile for dessert ($35). The menu will continue every Tuesday until the end of 2009.
New seasonal menu items added at Yountville’s Bouchon Bakery
In Yountville, Thomas Keller’s ever-popular Bouchon Bakery has just added several new menu items to celebrate Fall and the Halloween season. In no particular order, here are the additions:
- Caramel Apple: Fresh, crisp apple smothered in house made caramel ($5.75 each)
- Spider Cookies: Homemade shortbread cookies festively decorated with fondant ($3.50 each)
- Bat TKO’s: Crisp, bat-shaped chocolate cookies filled with sweet white chocolate ganache ($3 each)
- Pumpkin Cupcake: Devils food cupcakes shaped as a pumpkin, complete with a rich, cream cheese center and finished with fondant ($9 each)
- Pumpkin Brittle: Classic brittle fused with pumpkin seeds ($5 per bag)