In case you missed my earlier post about this awesome place, Dim Sum Charlie's is Napa Valley's first Asian food truck. It's also Napa's first dim sum eatery. And Napa's first food truck that's actually an Airstream trailer.
Some of these questions remain unanswered, but the guys behind Charlie are Andrew Siegal and Clayton Lewis. The idea for the late-night dim sum social scene was hatched on one of Andrew's trips to London, when he visited a rockin nightlife hotspot called Ping Pong Dim Sum, a place people gathered to socialize, drink, and snack on dim sum late into the night.
Clayton Lewis is the funky glasses, chef-side of the Dim Sum Charlie's equation who helped Andrew restore and remodel the trailer into a shiny and fabulous dim sum steaming machine, and who now controls the kitchen operations day to day. The entire menu is steamed to order (so all you fried lotus ball lovers like my mom are SOL), and uses 100% organic ingredients. To ensure top-notch dim sum quality, they've partnered with one of SF's dim sum house elite--which shall remain nameless--and also plan to start collaborating with Napa rockstars like Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller of Fatted Calf.
In the four days they have been open to the public, I've been twice, and others have been there daily. Obviously, it's an instant addiction. Tender rice flour coatings are neither too thick nor too thin, with just the right amount of chew and transluscency to please the eyes and the mouth. Seafood, veggie, and meat fillings are pristinely fresh, perfectly seasoned, juicy, and truly delicious even without the standard condiment accompaniments (which are of course available on every table). And, delightfully, the menu changes frequently to keep you coming back for more.
|Clockwise from top left: scallop-garlic, shrimp-pea sprout, and lobster-sea bass-shrimp|
|BBQ pork bun says, "We love you long time!"|
Speaking of which, what wine DO you drink with dim sum? The Napa Twitter community certainly had a lot of pairing ideas this past week, and will be putting those ideas to the test this Thursday night (September 30th) for a Dim Sum Charlie's tweetup party coordinated by the Tweetup Queen herself, @CordairGallery---a.k.a. Linda Cordair of the Quent Cordair Fine Art gallery in downtown Napa. I'm inclined to bring a dry Riesling or new world sparkler, but I may just grab a bottle of Mahoney Albarino from the neighboring Taste at Oxbow wine bar for something a little different... or maybe I'll just bring a six-pack of Tsingtao.
Definitely RSVP here if you plan to attend this Thursday's tweetup, though, because the dim sum has been selling out every night since they opened, and is sure to vanish in a flash unless you let Andrew and Clayton know in advance how much food to prepare. So RSVP, now. And don't fret if you can't come after you've said you would, because I will eat your share for you.
If you can't make Thursday's tweetup, Friday October 1st is the Grand Opening party, and I'm sure much delicious merriment will be had that night as well.
The Airstream opens for business at 6pm WEDNESDAY through Friday, and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays (closed Mon-Tues) for now. Follow @DimSumCharlies on Twitter for more updates, and to stoke the fires of dim sum lust until your time to get some arrives.