It was our second visit to Mustards Grill in Yountville, Cindy Pawlcyn’s highly-praised cafe right on Highway 29. The restaurant’s been described as “truck stop deluxe,” but it’s just entirely too classy for that designation.
We were given a table right away at the magic hour of 11:15 a.m., and as we sat, I realized Rob was beaming. “They have Pappy,” he said. “They have Pappy!”
A little background: In late April, we had dinner at Plan B West Hartford for Ben’s birthday, choosing that location in particular because they carried the rare and elusive Kentucky bourbon. At $30 for a snifter, it was one expensive sip. But that didn’t stop us from ordering $90 worth of it.
(And we have not seen it since. Not even at Plan B’s new Springfield restaurant, even though the logo is immortalized on an entire wall.)
At Mustards, the 15-year Pappy was $17 for a nip. A bargain. Who knew?
With all the bourbon excitement, I nearly forgot about my own drink order. But this gorgeous prickly pear margarita was mine shortly:
The fruit came directly from cactus plants on Mustards’ property, ensuring beautiful fresh flavor and color. And I will never drink anything “prickly pear” again, because any iterations of this will be a horrible, abject artificial failure.
We placed our order; I went for the ahi sandwich because I’d loved it last time. I asked for the tuna to be rare. “You guys are ordering all the right things,” said our genial waiter.
Pausing for bourbon breaks, Rob took down every bite of the wood-grilled pork chop and its hearty sides: red cabbage and mashed potatoes. The ahi sandwich and its basil aioli were complemented ideally by a little pickled ginger; the fries on the side were the kind you don’t want to get addicted to, with a perfect housemade tomato-apple ketchup.
Sated by his Pappy gold strike, Rob decided not to go for the sky-high lemon-lime meringue pie we’d eyed and he’d coveted two years ago on our first visit. Good thing, because a week later, I think he’d still be eating it.
Mustards Grill, 7399 St. Helena Highway (Highway 29,) Yountville, CA. 707-944-2424, mustardsgrill.com.