Eat Your Veggies

I had a friend visiting from out of town last week who had, on more than one occasion, expressed to me her frustration with the response she was getting from restaurants in Denver when requesting a vegetarian meal. Having spent many years cooking in restaurants whose philosophy was always, give the customer what they want, I was shocked and disappointed to hear that my friend was receiving such a negative reaction to her simple request.

When my friend recently announced that she would be coming for a visit I knew that it was my duty to show her that in San Francisco vegetarians are treated as equals.

In addition to many local eateries, I secured us a reservation at Ubuntu, a hot new vegetarian restaurant (and yoga studio) in the heart of Napa. Frank Bruni, the New York Times food critic, named Ubuntu one of his top 10 picks for new restaurants in the country in 2008 so I knew we were in for something special.

Ubuntu did not disappoint. We started our meal by ordering a selection of small bites — marcona almonds lightly coated in lavendar, sea salt and sugar, massive, meaty green olives tossed in a luscious arugula pesto and chick pea fries with a romesco dipping sauce. All three were delicious.

We followed next with a number of different dishes, the best of which was a beautifully composed beet salad adorned with surprises like ‘dirt’ made from hazelnuts, an ‘egg yolk’ made from golden beet puree and thin strips of pickled rhubarb. Other highlights were grits topped with shaved, firm goat cheese, a slow cooked egg and arugula beignets; a fresh fava bean stew adorned with peas, garbanzos and micro greens; and their signature dish, cauliflower cooked in a cast iron pot which, that evening, was scented with a subtle curry flavor.

We were underwhelmed by a strawberry-burrata pizza that was somewhat bland and a palate confusing dessert that was composed of mango sorbet, beet tapioca balls, hibiscus juice and fresh fruit. We were, however, blown away by the comfort and beauty of the dining room and by the stellar service.

I would definitely go back to Ubuntu if given the opportunity because chef Jeremy Fox is doing some of the most creative food I’ve come across in ages. The fact that the menu is all meat free and the majority of the produce used is grown by the restaurant or locally sourced just makes the experience all the better.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses