Press – St. Helena

Press Market Cut RibeyePress
587 St Helena Hwy S
St. Helena, CA 94574

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

When I go out for a meal for a work function, I know I’m going to eat well. A few weeks ago, we had an overnight sales summit at Solage in Calistoga (review to come) and I had the privilege to dine at Press. Dedicated to supporting local farmers and using organic ingredients, this high-end restaurant celebrates the freshness of their food by refusing to use sauces and heavy seasonings. The quality of their ingredients is so fresh, it doesn’t need any additives for it to taste amazing.

The scene:

Our party of 30 sat on the outside patio decorated in white Christmas lights, white table cloths and a large fireplace in the center of our 2 tables. The atmosphere was almost fairytale-like – absolutely beautiful.

To be honest, I didn’t get much of a feel for the service. The menu was set and the only interaction I had with our waiter was when he took my order.

The food:

Our EVP of Sales selected the menu and he definitely was not shy. We had about 6 different appetizers and sides to go along with our entrées. I’ll go through the most memorable below

Chopped Salad – This was the best chopped salad I ever had. The greens were fresh and well seasoned and the quality of their bleu cheese blew me out of the water.

Dry-Aged “Cowboy” Bone-In Rib Eye, Flannery Private Reserve – I just checked the online menu and this 20oz. steak is $49. I can’t believe I ate only half and left the rest at the table! This was the most expensive steak I’ve ever had and you can definitely tell the difference between this and a $20 steak. The grass-fed beef was aged for 28 days for supreme marbeling. The massive steak was so tender, my knife cut though it like butter.

Press Truffle Mac n CheeseTruffle Mac ‘n Cheese – Again, another favorite of mine. Press takes the average mac ‘n cheese to a whole ‘nother level with a shaved truffle and crispy panko crust. I was bummed that I had to share this with others at my table.

Broccolini – Wow, I never thought that I’d love broccoli this much. The green veggie was perfectly al dentè. Staying true to their food philosophy, the broccolini was completely naked so that the devourer can taste the pure freshness of the vegetable.

Strawberry Shortcake – I was 110% full before I got to this dish, but I managed to squeeze most of it in. Although very tasty, it was not the best I’ve had. This strawberry shortcake is made with freshly baked scones, strawberries and home made whipped cream. Bake Sale Betty’s beats this one out of the water.

The restaurant is so beautiful, I’d say it’s an ideal location for a wedding reception or a special date (hint, hint, K). If I could every afford to come back here again, I’d come in a heartbeat.

you might also like...

A day at the Tomales Bay Oyster Company

Tomales Bay Oysters on IceEarlier this month, K and I (with 20 of our friends) kicked off our summer with a “daycation” in Tomales Bay consisting of hiking and oyster-eating. What’s great about the Bay Area is that there are a ton of daycation possibilities an hour or two from the city. All you need to do is pack up a picnic basket and drive.

Two hours north of the city lies Tomales Bay in Point Reyes State Park. This area is best known for its oyster farms, one of which is the famous Hog Island Oyster Co. Both have the same business concept – purchase your oysters and enjoy them at a picnic table overlooking a lackluster bay view. The biggest deciding factor in which we chose Tomales Bay Oyster Co. over Hog Island is that tables are free, whereas HIOC charges $10 per person. Another thing to note is that HIOC does provide you with shucking knives, utensils, sauce, and TBOC does not.

Tomales Bay Oysters

We started the daycation off with a failed attempt to hike on the Jepson Trail in the Tomales Bay Park ($8 entrance fee. And yes, the guys went hiking with beer.). About 20 minutes into the hike, we decided the path was way too overgrown to continue and went to grab tables at the oyster farm 30 min away.

Tomales Bay Raw Oyster Hot Sauce

We instantly dug into some fresh oysters. I admit, I am no oyster fan, but I couldn’t put these down! They were juicy, briney, sweet and succulent. A hit of Tobasco and a squeeze of lemon, and you’ll be in oyster heaven. I want to say we had about 120 oysters between 20 people. The prices vary between sizes, but we stuck with the smalls at $10 for a bag of 12 or $40 for a bag of 50. For non-oyster eaters, they also sell clams and mussels. I was planning on making a clam bake, but the clams were sold out by 12 noon.

Tomales Bay Oyster Menu

Scattered around the picnic tables are BBQ pits for customers to use. Our group brought tons of other foods to cook on the grills including hamburgers, sausages and kalbi ribs.

K even got creative and made a mussel bake with butter, beer, corn and sausages.

Tomales Bay Mussels Cooked

Try throwing some oysters on the grill. It’s amazing how different they taste from their raw form. It has less of an oceany flavor with more of a smoky undertone.

Tomales Bay Cooked Oyster

I was way too full to do this, but I’d suggest stopping by Cowgirl Creamery on the way back into the city. They really do make the best cheese in the Bay Area. So next time you have a free weekend this summer, drive up to Tomales Bay with a few of your friends and have a nice picnic out in the sun. Speaking of sun, I got incredibly sunburned that day and now I’m branded with a big “x” on my back from my razorback tank. :(

you might also like...