Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine Restaurant Review August 2006.
Boon Fly Café
By “The Gourmet Girl”
You have probably passed the Boon Fly Café many times while driving the Sonoma Highway. The dark red building, reminiscent of a country barn, stands out on the side of the road. It makes you want to look at what’s inside. If you stop and venture in, you will find one of the best places to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Previously, I had been to Boon Fly Café in Napa Valley, only for breakfast and brunch, but I took a peek at the lunch and dinner menu and knew that I would be back for more. When my family decided to spend the weekend eating and relaxing, I thought Boon Fly Café in Napa Valley would be a perfect spot. We arrived at the café at 2:30 on a Saturday hoping to miss the lunch crowd.
The atmosphere of Boon Fly Café in Napa Valley, is a mixture of Modern meets Country. On the front porch, rocking chairs and chair swings invite you to stop, relax, and stay a while. Inside the restaurant, silver steel beams connect to the hardwood floors. White and blue striped curtains sway in the breeze against the suede booths and dark wooden chairs.
When we got our menus, I realized this wasn’t the lunch menu I’d looked up on the Internet earlier; it was the dinner menu. On the weekend, Boon Fly Café serves brunch from 7 am to 2 pm and dinner from 2 pm to 10 pm. On weekdays they serve breakfast from 7 am to 11 am, lunch from 11 am to 4 pm, and dinner from 4 pm to10 pm.
Seeing onion rings on the menu, we decided to begin with an appetizer. We didn’t have to wait long before a massive pile of Beer Battered Onion Rings with Spicy Dipping Sauce arrived at our table. The onion rings were light and crispy while the red and thick dipping sauce tasted like tangy ketchup. The onions rings were only $6.00 and we had so many left over that we took them home to enjoy later. After noshing on the onion rings, we were ready for the main course.
My stepdad decided on Kimball’s Caesar Salad with Vella Aged Jack Cheese and Garlic Whole Wheat Croutons ($8.50). My mother went for the Cow Girl Creamery Farmers Cheese and Red Onion with Ohlone Smoked Salmon, Lemon Cream Flatbread ($11.50). I craved the Oven Baked Housemade Macaroni and Cheese ($10.00).
When our food arrived, we couldn’t restrain ourselves from sampling the selection on each other’s plates. Each meal looked better than the next and we couldn’t decide which one was the best.
The Caesar salad was delicious with just the right amount of dressing covering each leaf. A sprinkling of Vella jack cheese lay like snowflakes on top of the lettuce, while the whole-wheat croutons were the perfect size for each bite.
The flatbread was almost too pretty to eat. Thin layers of pink salmon lay atop the flatbread with white cheese peeking through and lemon cream zig-zagged across the top. The dish was unexpected but an incredible blend of flavors that was light and refreshing.
My macaroni and cheese was a mixture of white cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and parmesan cheese melted over what looked like Orecchiette pasta, but with so much cheese it was hard to tell. My serving had a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs on top and was served in a soup bowl, the perfect size for lunch. The soft gooey cheese and the crunch of the breadcrumbs was a wonderful combination.
Because we were feeling full after lunch, we decided to split the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake. We soon realized that sharing was a bad idea, and began to fight over each remaining piece of this dessert. The chocolate cake came on a bed of almost translucent soft caramel sauce. A dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream couldn’t hide the amazing flavor of three layers of chocolate frosting and chocolate cake. The frosting was so light it tasted like chocolate mousse. Every bite made you want more.
If you have not stopped at Boon Fly Café in Napa Valley you’re missing out on one of the best places to eat in the valley. They also have a kids’ menu and seating at the bar for a quick bite. Chef Kimball was kind enough to give me his recipe for Red Pepper Aioli, which he uses in his dish Seared Halibut with Saffron-Fennel Broth. You can check out the menu for The Boon Fly Café at http://www.thecarnerosinn.com. Boon Fly Café is located at 4048 Sonoma Highway. Phone # (707) 299-4870.