Wilfred’s Lounge is officially opening in Napa today, so this is an overview of the food and drink from our visit during the soft-open last week.
As a restaurant that is open for both lunch and dinner, Wilfred’s has a variety of appetizers and main courses, though not so much for vegans. We really enjoyed the Salmon Candy Rangoons, a very nice riff on the Crab Rangoon originally developed at Trader Vic’s. Such a nice chance of pace and just the right balance between the fish and the cheese. We also enjoyed the Coconut Shrimp. The Spam Sliders were a bit of a disappointment since the sauce was not particularly flavorful and so the sliders basically ended up as bread and Spam.
For the main courses, these were well-received and fairly large. At our table, we tried the Pineapple Fried Rice, Sticky Ribs, and Chicken Katsu, each of which was quite good.
And the cocktails? With Doc Park (ex-Pagan Idol/Zombie Village) at the helm, you know this is a strength. The 1944 Mai Tai is very solid, featuring rums from Jamaica and Martinique. This Mai Tai leans lighter than I prefer, but is a good fit for Napa’s crowd of tiki newbies. I really liked Batten Down the Hatches, with an exotic rum blend, pineapple, fassionola, lime, absinthe, and Doc’s spic. Very boozy (“limit 2 per customer”) and a ton of flavor.
Mrs. Mai Tai totally dug the Uma Ube with rum, cream of coconut, pineapple, and ube (and a name that’s a nod to a similar drink at Kon-Tiki). It’s a sweet and lovely coconut drink that comes in a really nice coconut mug and will be a big hit. Likewise, Maximum Aloha was the best surprise of the cocktails we sampled. Featuring strawberry-infused rum, lemon, cinnamon, prickly pear, overproof Jamaican rum and topped with a coconut banana whip. You’d think it would be sickly sweet, but it was much more tart than you’d expect, which means that paired with the whipped topping that you can easily adjust the sweetness. And this drink is super flavorful.
So, the summary is to go for the drinks and stay for the food.
Wilfred’s Lounge is great. Make plans to visit downtown Napa soon.