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May 15, 2012

Goose & Gander Restaurant Opens in Napa Valley

By Ingrid Skjong | Food

Goose & Gander Restaurant Opens in Napa Valley
Courtesy Goose & Gander

Goose & Gander, a Napa Valley restaurant from restaurateur Andrew Florsheim, is poised to make a statement in its newly repurposed location. The eatery took over the iconic Martini House restaurant space, which closed in 2010. Though eager to preserve key aspects of the 90-year-old Craftsman-style bungalow, Florsheim set out to transform it into a cross between a public house (a nod to executive chef Kelly McCown’s Irish roots) and a duck club (duck paraphernalia punctuates the comfortable dark-wood interior). “We want our guests to come in for a quick drink and maybe a snack, or stay a while dining in an environment that is fun and makes them feel good,” says Florsheim.

McCown’s rustic, ingredients-focused cuisine is an excellent reason to settle in and stay a while. Snack on duck and chicken wings with fried pickles and spring green goddess or crispy escargot with Castelvetrano olives and garlic anchovy butter. Then dig into pan-roasted California halibut, hot skillet-roasted white prawns or the G&G burger (grass-fed beef, Gruyère cheese, house-smoked bacon) served with duck-fat fries. For dessert, try coconut cake with banana pastry cream, coconut ice cream or crème anglaise.

The restaurant’s landscaped garden will open after Memorial Day, hosting outdoor dining around a charming koi pond. But be sure to visit the Basement Bar, which Florsheim calls “near perfect.” Bar manager Scott Beattie turns out an impressive selection of drinks focused primarily on bourbon, Scotch and brown spirits, though seasonal cocktails, like the refreshing Cucumber Collins, make frequent appearances. 1245 Spring St., St. Helena, CA; 707-967-8779; goosegander.com.