BottleRock 2021: the best things to eat and drink at the Napa Music Festival
Located in the small but mighty culinary mecca of Napa Valley, the BottleRock Music Festival always brings it up when it comes to the range of food and drink, fueled by Michelin-starred chefs, deliciously boujee ingredients (from wagyu beef to ears) de cochon), and world-famous wineries.
Still, the amount of amazing options can be overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down for you. These are the best food and drink to look for during the upcoming Labor Day weekend festival.
Blanchard Fried Chicken
10 Piece Whole Bird Bucket, $ 60
Former BottleRocks have hung hundreds of buckets of Thomas Keller’s famous Ad Hoc fried chicken, but Blanchard, a cult favorite of Napa dwellers, will easily fill those shoes in Keller’s absence this year. The recipe of master sommelier turned chef Chris Blanchard is partly adapted from that of his southern grandmother. Her chicken spends 2-3 days soaking in whole buttermilk (plus a few other herbs) and is then dredged in flour, spices, copious amounts of cayenne and a few “secret ingredients”. Here’s the tricky part: To find Blanchard’s Fried Chicken at BottleRock, look for the Mustards Grill stands in the General Admission Garden and in the VIP areas. Buckets are great for sharing with a few friends or for making new ones.
Woodhouse Fish Co.
Maine lobster roll, $ 30
While BottleRock’s culinary lineup focuses on Napa Valley, viewers will recognize a few friendly faces from the bay, like San Francisco’s Woodhouse Fish Co. roll) is a light and refreshing option that won’t give you stomach cramps if you decide to go to the silent nightclub immediately after eating. They’ll also have crab rolls, in case you’d like that better.
Slow-smoked Wagyu Beef Brisket, $ 20
Another tempting option of the Mustards Grill tent (in both VIP and GA Garden) is the wagyu brisket sandwich. Snake River Farms wagyu beef is slowly smoked for 14 hours and served with a fresh coleslaw and homemade pickles. In operation for over 30 years (back when Napa Valley was known as a culinary desert), you can still count on Chef Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mustards to nail on high comfort classics like this.
Sweet and sour pig ears, $ 12
St. Helena’s Press Restaurant will serve one of their staple entrees: sweet and sour pork ears made with espelette frosting and topped with cilantro. It’s definitely one of those “don’t knock until you try it” dishes and in our opinion, well worth a $ 12 bet, as press chef Philip Tessier (formerly of Le Bernardin, Per Se and The French Laundry) knows what he’s doing. The only problem? You will need to access the VIP section of BottleRock to hook them up.
Loveski fries, $ 22
Three Michelin-starred Meadowood chef Christopher Kostow will preview his family’s next ‘Jewish’ grocery store, Loveski (which will open at Napa’s Oxbow Public Market by the end of the year), at BottleRock. While the menu features a classic roast beef sandwich, it’s the Loveski fries (folded cut fries, fondue, crispy pastrami, jalapenos) that perfectly match BottleRock’s “high festival fare” bill.
Goose and Gander
G&G Jr. burger, $ 15
Ask a Napa Valley local where you can get the best burger in Wine Country and there’s a good chance they’ll point you to Goose & Gander. The Saint Helena restaurant will be making a junior version of their famous, incredibly juicy and messy burger at BottleRock (in the VIP section only), consisting of grass-fed beef, gruyere, bacon, homemade remoulade, Manhattan pickles, and gem lettuce. They’ll also have the same Impossible-style burger – and the side of duck fat fries ($ 8) is a must to get the full effect.
Just pink! Californian rosé, $ 10
If we’re being honest, Cabernet on a hot summer day just doesn’t look very appealing. That’s why we’re going to do a be-line for the Fayard Wines hut and a glass of Just Pink! Rosé from California. Made in a Provencal style from Syrah, Grenache and Pinot Noir grapes, this wine is incredibly mouth-watering and refreshing, and would be a great pairing with a bucket of fried chicken from Blanchard or a lobster roll from Woodhouse. It is also made by one of Napa’s best winemakers, Julien Fayard, originally from Provence.
Ace and vine
Boba Thai Chai tea, $ 8
There are a surprising number of alcohol-free options at BottleRock (offered in various restaurant tents), so if you’re looking for something just refreshing, look for Boba Thai Chai tea from Ace & Vine, one of the newer restaurants. of Napa Valley. which doubles as the only card room in town. Think of this as a preview of your BottleRock afterparty.