Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rooftop Brunching FTW!

Napa's newest restaurant opened this summer in one of the city's oldest buildings -- and instantly established itself as my new favorite brunch spot in town.

The Thomas occupies the space best known to Napans as Fagiani's -- the family-owned bar that was shuttered for nearly 40 years following the brutal and senseless murder of one of the owners in the 1970s.  Long before it was Fagiani's, however, the building housed a restaurant called The Thomas, and that original name is still visible painted in white on the exterior north wall. 

According to the Napa Valley Register, The Thomas restaurant rave reviews in 1910 for its excellent meals.  Thanks to AvroKO's tasteful renovations, that legacy is alive and well over a hundred years later -- and thanks to the new third story with its rooftop garden seating, The Thomas now serves the best brunch in Napa every Saturday and Sunday.

The restaurant's weekend menu is generously priced, and generously sized.  A tea-smoked salmon benedict with yuzu hollandaise ($14) comes with a serious hunk of fish -- no paltry, paper-thin slices of lox here.  We're talking a thick, succulent piece of medium rare fillet nestled under those poached eggs.  Gorgeous with some local Domaine Carneros or Schramsberg bubbly, both of which are poured by the glass.

See how it glistens!

If salmon's not your thing, or you're not in an egg mood, check out the truly unbelievable BLAT sandwich on thin-sliced 7-grain bread ($12).  This beast is at least a foot long, and stacked with six glorious pieces of pork, juicy slices of peak-of-the-season heirloom tomatoes, crisp romaine leaves, and probably an entire avocado.  In a word, sensational.

The epic B.L.A.T. -- just do it.

The Thomas also offers a good range of classic brunch dishes like French toast, cornmeal pancakes, a fry-up, and a burger, all of which have a fresh, modern twist.  The French toast, for example, is stuffed with bananas and house-made Nutella; the fry-up comes with meaty sauteed portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and fresh pesto.  There's also a prix fixe option to consider: $22 for a main course of your choice, a brunch cocktail, and a hot breakfast beverage.  Below is a September 2012 menu to whet your appetite (the website only has the dinner menu as of the date of this post):