Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine Restaurant Review June 2006.
PJ Steak & Seafood
By “The Gourmet Girl”
I am a simple girl with simple tastes. My two favorite foods are pizza and sandwiches. However, this does not mean I don’t appreciate the finer things in life. Living in the Napa Valley it’s hard not to get spoiled. So every once in awhile I veer away from my normal routine and go to one of the wonderful restaurants the valley has to offer. I had driven passed PJ Steak and Seafood a few times and finally decided it was time to check it out.
The same man who gave us Bistro Jeanty, Philippe Jeanty, owns the restaurant, so I knew I was in good hands. My friend and I arrived at PJ Steak and Seafood on a Friday night. We were given the choice to sit outdoors under the stars or cozy up at one of the candlelit tables inside. We decided to stay inside and enjoy the wonderful charm and old world simplicity that PJ’s had to offer.
We were presented with an amazing wine list that contained wines ranging from inexpensive to absolutely astonishing in price range and selection. While we looked at the menu, we were served fresh bread that our waiter informed us was made daily at the restaurant. The menu offers a wide selection of starters but my friend and I decided to share the tomato soup (yes, this is the same wonderful tomato soup that they serve at Bistro Jeanty). This rich hearty soup comes covered by a puff pastry that is so light and flaky it melts in your mouth. We took the fresh bread from the table and begin to dip it into the soup. We soon realized it was a bad idea to share. Once the soup was devoured we began our main course.
I ordered the New York steak with a cracked black pepper crust and a creamy mushroom sauce. My friend ordered the Salmon Filet with sour cream chives mashed potatoes and bacon jus. PJ Steak and Seafood offers pizza as well. And as we all know pizza is one of my favorite things-so just to make sure we had enough to eat, we ordered the Margharita pizza on the side.
When our main course arrived we realized our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. The steak was tender and soft with a crisp crunch of black pepper. Warning: you must love peppers to eat this steak (luckily I do). The salmon had a crispy exterior but became soft and flaky when cut with a fork. Then it was on to the pizza. It had a thick crust but the pizza itself was thin, soft, and doughy. The sweet tomato sauce slipped between the layers of melted mozzarella and basil. It was messy but delicious.
When time came for dessert, I ordered the gooey chocolate cake while my friend chose the Crepe Suzette. I decided we weren’t sharing at all this round. My cake oozed a river of melted chocolate when I broke into it and I was in heaven. My friend’s dessert was thin and sweet and so large it covered the whole plate. The portions here are not for the faint at heart.
When I asked for a recipe for this article, they were kind enough to give me the secret to their Kobe Beef Short Ribs. These ribs are the most amazing things I have ever tasted. They literally melt in your mouth. I had to take bite after bite just to keep the wonderful flavor in my mouth. Sitting atop a mound of mashed potatoes, these ribs suddenly became my favorite thing on the menu.
PJ Steak and Seafood also has a wonderful bar menu or you can just come in and try one of their cocktail creations. The prices range from moderate to high. But depending on your budget and your mood, you could have a quick bite to eat or a wonderful romantic dinner. The starters and pizzas range from
$8 to $14 each. The main courses range from $18 to $38 per plate. PJ Steak & Seafood is definitely a place you will want to visit and then return to again and again. They even have a Foosball table in the courtyard for the kids or the kids at heart.