Friday, September 20, 2013

Wine Country: St. Helena, La Condesa--CLOSED

La Condesa  1320 Main St./Hunt Ave., (707) 967-8111.  L-D daily; $$$.  The addictive thin tortilla chips here are served warm, and you can order a selection of four seasonal salsas to go with them or a special guacamole (I really liked the one mixed with strawberries and toasted pepita seeds).  Huaraches are a house specialty.  Made with a fat handmade corn tortilla bottom that resembles the Mexican sandal in shape, they are offered with an assortment of toppings such as wild mushrooms, housemade wild boar,  chorizo, pork belly, or Dungeness crab.  My husband was pleased with a chile relleno stuffed with butternut squash and quinoa, while I enjoyed the colorful and tasty chicken rojo topped with a pickled corn slaw salad.  The menu also offers elotes--Mexican-style street corn covered with cheese--and fresh ceviche.  Do save a tiny bit of room for the housemade helado (ice cream).  As they often are in Mexico, flavors are unusual—birthday cake, brown sugar banana, ancho chile, oatmeal raisin, tomatillo avocado, hot chai.  I opted for relatively boring, but delicious, coconut-guava.  A knotty-pine tequila bar is decorated with a stuffed bull’s head and offers an extensive collection of more than 200 tequilas and 30 mezcals, but I chose
a pretty pink prickly pear margarita that was both beautiful and delicious and rimmed with black pepper and habanero salt that stings—in a nice way--your tongue and lips.  It gets spicier and spicier and spicier.  On Friday and Saturday nights, a dedicated stage presents live music.

La Condesa on Urbanspoon

More things to do in St. Helena. 

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers   


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