Thursday, December 28, 2017


Does Yountville need another Michael Chiarello restaurant? Well, maybe, since this one claims to be fast food, in short supply in this foodie mecca. Platform 8 just opened in the space that used to be Pacific Blues. It is still a good spot to sit out on the deck and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine and a burger.

Visiting a restaurant that has just opened is always a bit of an adventure, as the kinks remain to be worked out. The first challenge is ordering. You order and pay at the bar outside, then sit wherever you want. The condiments and silverware are also only available at the bar outside. So I made more than one trip from my inside table to get what I needed. I didn’t know how I was supposed to get my soft drink and asked someone, who brought it to me. I suspect some of this set up will change. I asked one of the workers what the plan is for rain and he said they haven’t figured that out yet! It would certainly be nice to find ketchup and silverware indoors if that is where you are sitting.
That said, the ordering is being expedited smoothly, as my meal came quickly and was delivered to me hot. The menu is on the pricey side. Well, this is Yountville after all. The standard burger is $9, which is not bad, but the add-ons are all $2.50 each. The zinfandel grilled onions were tasty, but I’m not sure I would pay that much again for a little extra flavor.

The grass-fed beef burger was really tasty, cooked perfectly and full of juice, which is why they serve it with a paper “shop towel.” I liked the square shape, those yummy corners sticking out from the thin English muffin-like bun. The thin bread worked well, although I ended up with sesame seeds all over. The “grey salt” French fries, claimed to be shot from a cannon and cooked multiple times in olive oil, didn’t impress me. They were crisp, but didn’t taste salty at all. This probably depends on one’s personal preferences. I must admit I still think that McDonald’s makes the perfect thin, crisp, salty fry. The worker I asked about the French fry cannon didn’t know what I was talking about.

I took a walk after I finished my $20 burger, fries and coke but returned to try the Nitro ice cream. Chiarello says the ice cream can be made without eggs and without ice crystals because it is quick frozen with liquid nitrogen. The only memorable part, however, was the $5 tab for a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream and a spoonful of tasteless chocolate pearls.