Goose and Gander, St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
Perfectly Portioned Plates that Pack a Punch
Trust Fund Traveler: Approved!
If you can find this place (it’s tucked behind a grocery store), it’s more than worth the wander. Park at the strip mall, take a questionable stroll down the darkened sidewalk, and you’ll find Goose and Gander nestled like a shining ruby in a crown of thorns. Through the gates you will discover a lush garden flickering with golden bistro lights and intimate tables. Inside the adorable house is a comfortable, upscale pub-like surround. Downstairs is a super cool and clubby cocktail bar serving creative and luscious libations.
The menu consists of four sections: bar bites, appetizers, salads, and entrées. My dining companion and I opted to order off the first three sections of the menu, foregoing entrées. We ordered about twelve different selections, so I have a good gauge of the food. Wow! Their perfectly portioned plates pack a punch. I highly recommend the seared scallops, served over fried green tomatoes with crispy pancetta. The savory dish is pulled together with an avocado crème and a deliciously spicy jalapeno-cilantro sauce.
Goose and Gander’s website claims it serves rustic American classic food. That description is like calling Kim Kardashian the “girl next door.” Goose and Gander has serious food, and this isn’t your typical gastro-pub experience. You’ll find wildly interesting combinations of ingredients in this cuisine, complete with robust layers of flavors and technique. Chef Kelly McCown isn’t shy about putting ingredients on a plate, and if I had to nitpick, I’d say some of the dishes could use a little editing. But don’t get me wrong - I was blown away by this place.
In addition to its mouth-watering food, charming staff, and insane wine list, Goose and Gander is unbelievably inexpensive (our food bill was about $135). I’d pay double and still be thrilled.
Head on over to Goose and Gander, grab a Scarlett Gander signature cocktail, and try the bone marrow. Trust me.
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