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“The Emperor’s New Clothes! ”
Review of Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc
Ranked #12 of 34 Restaurants in Yountville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Ad Hoc is Chef Thomas Keller's casual dining venue for showcasing the American comfort food of his childhood. The daily-changing four-course menu, featuring classic dishes like fried chicken, pot roast and barbeque, is handwritten nightly on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. All courses are served family-style to increase both the conviviality of the Ad Hoc experience and to further recreate the casual comfort of home. The restaurant’s beverage service focuses on the same local producers who can often be found enjoying themselves at the restaurant. While the ability to write a different menu every day provides a significant creative outlet for Ad Hoc’s culinary team they go a step further, frequently offering additional courses as a supplement to the menu showcasing unique or exotic ingredients. Since its opening, Ad Hoc has received a three-star rating from The San Francisco Chronicle and was featured as one of Food and Wine magazine’s “25 Places to Try.”
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Let me start by apologizing to those who wrote poor reviews earlier. I judged you. You were right!!!
My husband and I were greeted by dismissive hostesses. Ok, that happens. They were busy.
Our waiter was very personable and kind. (This was the one good point of the evening.)
Next, the food that was supposed to be amazing... it wasn’t. The chopped salad was good, not amazing. The fried chicken (that is supposed to be the superstar dish of AdHoc) was good, not amazing. Those two points are the only highlights of the entire four course meal. The rest (sides, cheese board, dessert) were only passable - at best!
Truly, the chocolate cake tasted like a baked good you might get from a bad gas station. They would have done better to serve Little Debbies!
I am taking the time to write this simply because my husband and I sat there and thought, “oh my goodness, people have paid so much money to eat here, they have convinced themselves it’s worth it.” IT ISNT! (Thus, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”)
Final note, I said my husband and I “thought” this because it was so loud there’s no way we could have chatted about it! Seriously.
We left laughing. We felt like we had just been the very bad end of a very bad joke. It was that bad.
(Oh, there was a cute pig in the waiting area. -photo included )

Date of visit: September 2019
Thank augustak2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is the first review I’ve written here, but the experience my wife & I had at Ad Hoc last night was really horrible, and I’d like to think my review might save a few people from buying in to all the hype surrounding this restaurant. Like you, I read through the reviews on Ad Hoc before deciding to make reservations. I was aware that some/many of the reviews were quite negative, but I wrote them off as the reviews of easily disgruntled people. Well I was wrong...THEY were right...with almost all of their grievances. We made our reservations a month ahead of time and specified it was our 30th wedding anniversary. When we arrived promptly at our designated reservation time, we were told there wasn’t a table available and to please have a seat. As we sat for 20 minutes we observed at least 20 people come in and be seated. I went to ask if perhaps we’d been forgotten (which we were) and was told (without apology) that she would see what she could do to seat us soon. Strike one. As we waited, and throughout the service, my wife and I were amazed by the loudness of the restaurant! It was impossible for us to talk to one another without yelling. And if my subjective opinion isn’t proof enough, I had just updated my Apple Watch which now had a “Noise” app. When I measured the ambient sound, it registered 83 decibels...well above the “Danger of Hearing Damage” range! Strike two. Regarding the food, I must say the first of the four courses, a Spring Salad, was excellent! From that point forward, however, the food was mediocre to terrible. The fried chicken, a signature of the restaurant, was nothing to write home about. In fact, I’d choose Popeye’s chicken if given a choice between them both. And the “family style” bowl of selected pieces of chicken was all legs and wings...lots of crisp crust, if that’s what you like, but little in the way of meat. The third course, a cheese board, was comprised of two triangles of the same mediocre cheese, over-spiced nuts, and poached strawberries. Woohoo! And finally, the dessert...a Sara Lee version of chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla “ice cream” that never melted (like Cool Whip). Actually, I would have preferred Sara Lee! So Strike Three. I could write more, but it would just be more of the same. Three Strikes...you’re out! So my advice to you readers...folks like me who just want an honest review so they can have a nice dining experience...is believe the negative reviews listed here. Don’t spend lot’s of money on a very poor experience! For the life of me I don’t understand why there are so many people who think this is an awesome restaurant! I really don’t. Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention...no one wished my wife and me a happy 30th anniversary. But while I may have struck out with this restaurant, a scored a home run with her!

Date of visit: September 2019
Thank E7185MZdavidk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We decided to go to Ad Hoc mainly because of Thomas Keller's wildly known culinary skills but ended up enjoying it for a different reason.

When we arrived for dinner at the restaurant, we realized that the place was packed with cheerful clients and loud music. Quite an exciting ambiance, if you're into it, as was our case. Not your cup of tea if you're looking for a calm and more sophisticated environment.

As far as food goes, we enjoyed the four course meal, that changes every day.

Initially, we were presented with a salad of unexplainable quality, made with tomatoes, nectarine, onions and a perfectly balanced oil and vinegar source.

This grand opening came in handy as we navigated to the rest of the meal, since the remaining dishes appealed to a less audacious crowd. Welcome to Keller's conformable food concept.

As second course, we were served roast beef with cheddar souce, followed by a cheese and pretzel platter.

The final course consisted of ice cream and crumbs, which my wife considered delicious. After learning that I am not a sweet tooth at all, the waiter kindly offered me a sorbet. A lovely touch to an overall positive dinning experience.

P. S. Although we did not try Ad Hoc's famous fried chichen, it's worth mentioning that a lot of people around us did indulge themselves adding this dish to its four course meal.

Date of visit: September 2019
Thank julianos0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is a good deal overall for a large group. We were a fairly small group of three, and the food was ample enough for us.

It is fairly pricey for the overall price but it is a Thomas Keller restaurant.

The arugula sald is delicious along with the eggs and the hummingbird cake (my first time to have it!).

The Wagyu beef brisket hash isn't that great but passably good. My regret is that we didn't order the chicken (what they are known for) but there is always next time and perhaps we will go at a slightly later time as we had no appetite for more food.

Date of visit: August 2019
Thank ncsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The meal was not bad but we honestly expected more given it’s a Thomas Keller restaurant. We had the beef brisket which was too salty and not juicy.

Date of visit: September 2019
Thank Luxetravel23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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