Description and review of the Rutherford Grill, located at the crossroad of Highway 29 and Rutherford Road in the Napa Valley. The Rutherford Grill has been serving both locals and hungry visitors who are exploring the area wineries since 1994.
Friends invited me recently to go along with them on a day-trip to the Napa Valley to make a wine pick-up at the Honig Winery. Rain and colder weather had returned to the Sacramento area after a false spring, and on the way the skies were gray and we encountered some heavy rain. Then the sun came out!
See Related Post: Napa Valley Day Trip
The main event of the day was to be a leisurely lunch before heading back to Sacramento. My friends suggested the Rutherford Grill. They had dined there previously and had only good things to say about the service and food which they described as consistently good.
The Rutherford Grill shares a parking lot with the Beaulieu Vineyard tasting room next door, but we had no trouble finding a parking spot.
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We did not have reservations – but we were lucky. We were seated immediately. As a general rule I understand that if you don’t want to wait for a half-hour or more that reservations are the way to go. Likely the rainy weather was in our favor.
We were seated in a comfy booth and our waitress appeared shortly thereafter. She was friendly, helpful and attentive throughout our meal.
Each of us ordered a glass of wine. Individual glasses of wine (7 oz. pour) range in price from $11 to $17. If you bring a “special” bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal the Rutherford Grill does not charge a corkage fee for the first bottle.
One friend was starving – so she decided to order a bowl of the black bean soup – which she very much enjoyed. When her soup was served my friend inquired about the starter we had ordered. Our waitress immediately went to find out why we had not yet been served.
We had ordered the warm spinach and artichoke dip ($15) – which was served with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream. As we dug into the spinach and artichoke dip we all agreed that it was particularly good. It also whetted our appetites.
For our main course one friend ordered the Hickory Burger (bacon, cheddar and onion with the house made hickory sauce) ($16). The other friend ordered the Tri-Tip and Enchilada (wood roasted Snake River Farms tri-tip, Butter Nut Squash and cheddar enchilada with cucumber salad) ($31). I ordered the Grilled Chicken Salad (tortilla strips, local greens, and sliced grilled chicken with honey-lime vinaigrette and peanut sauce) ($18).
The burger was declared to be perfectly cooked. The burger, cheese, house-made hickory BBQ sauce and bacon was a winning combination. I was in awe of the amount of grated cheese adorning the open bun. The burger was served with fries – also very much enjoyed.
My friend who ordered the Tri-Tip and Enchilada made particular mention of the salad served as part of her meal. She enjoyed the enchilada – and shared a bite of the tri-tip with both of us before she had it boxed to take home for dinner. Delish.
I took my time and enjoyed every bite of my Grilled Chicken Salad. The chicken had been very thinly sliced. The salad ingredients combined with the dressing were both delicious and refreshing.
The two friends I was with are into dessert. I usually don’t have dessert unless I am going out specifically for dessert and coffee, but several people sharing one dessert – a few bites each – how bad can that be?
For dessert we had the Oreo Cookie Ice Cream dessert – swimming in chocolate sauce – and it was heavenly. It was also free – which made it even better!
When our waitress brought our bill, after inquiring if we desired anything else, she mentioned that the charge for dessert had been removed from the bill due to our wait time between courses.
Our plan had been to have a leisurely lunch from the start – but it was certainly a nice gesture and much appreciated.
As we left the sun was shining, and I noted the outdoor dining area adjacent to the restaurant. Visiting the Rutherford Grill when the weather is pleasant and dining outdoors on the patio is on my list of things to do.
See related blog post: Annual Sacramento Restaurant Review Recap (2018)
Comments on the Rutherford Grill?
What has been your experience at the Rutherford Grill? Do you have a favorite item on the menu?
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