As anyone who has spent time in Napa Valley knows, Mustards Grill is an institution in the wine country—the friendly restaurant where locals first started going for a full plate of fabulous food and a glass of Napa’s finest. Chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn, founding chef of San Francisco’s original Fog City Diner, put down her roots in Napa over 15 years ago, bringing her midwestern sensibility and flair for reinventing American food to the valley. Ever since then, Mustards has been affectionately known as the fancy rib joint with way, way too many wines.
Gorgeous full-color food photography from Saveur photographer Laurie Smith.
Awards: 2002 James Beard Award Winner
“Mustards is universally loved by local residents and tourists alike for its smoky, tender, spicy baby back ribs; cornmeal-coated fried green tomatoes; tasty Asian-marinated flank steak; Chinese chicken noodle salad; and, of course, Mustards’ always-crisp tangle of deep-fried onion threads. The enduring vitality of this place comes from the fact [that Cindy Pawlcyn] put all the dishes she loved on the menu: country dishes transformed by her sprightly offbeat style and sparkle.”
—FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISCO
“I have always thought of Mustards as a cross between a roadside rib joint and a French country restaurant,” writes chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn, neatly characterizing the culinary pedigree of her famed Napa Valley, California, dining spot. Pawlcyn’s Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook, written with Brigid Callinan, offers 150 popular recipes from the restaurant, treats like Slow-Smoked BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Ooo-Eee! Sauce, Wild Mushroom “Burgers” with Apple-Jicama Slaw, and Artichokes with James Beard’s Beer Batter and Tarragon Aioli. The recipes can entail a kitchen workout, but they are easy enough to do once the commitment is made. Readers wanting to treat family or guests to sophisticated down-home eating will welcome Pawlcyn’s unique repertoire.
In chapters that cover appetizers, soups, and salads, Pawlcyn presents standout recipes like Crab Cakes with Red Beet and Horseradish Rémoulade; Tomato, Basil, and Tortilla Soup; and Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Noodles and Rice Vinegar Cucumbers. Smoker- and grill-derived specialties, including Half-Slab BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Crispy Yams and Coleslaw and Tea-Smoked Duck with 100-Almond Sauce and Ginger Pickled Mango, receive their own seductive space, as do pan and sandwich delights like Louise’s Bouillabaisse with Rouille and Ahi Tuna and Shiitake Mini Burgers. Desserts such as Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie and Red Raspberry, White Peach, and Blueberry Cobbler follow in the deluxe-diner spirit of the place and should prove an irresistible finale to any meal. They’re further tribute to Pawlcyn’s one-of-a kind restaurant and its instantly seductive cooking. –Arthur Boehm
- Used Book in Good Condition