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The 9 Best Things We Ate at BottleRock

Napa-fied festival food

BottleRock Napa Valley

There were tons of celebrity chef appearances at this year’s BottleRock festival in Napa. The Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage was home to demonstrations from Martha Stewart, Ayesha Curry, José Andrés, Hubert Keller, the Voltaggio Brothers, Chris Cosentino, and more… and, perhaps in part because every chef was paired with a musician, athlete, or celebrity, the chefs drew huge crowds all weekend long. (Read more about the hits and misses here.)

But five years in, BottleRock is as much about eating gourmet food as it is about celebrating it. Which meant all of the running back and forth between the stages trying to hear our favorite bands, we were also doing our best to indulge in as many delicious bites as possible. Here were our favorites:

Daisy Barringer

1313 Main Restaurant

The Spicy Ahi Poke Bowl, $18

We were still making healthy decisions on Friday, and no decision was healthier or tastier than the ahi poke bowl from downtown Napa’s 1313 Main. Chef Adam Ross was in the tent keeping a watchful eye one everything that came out, and doing a great job; our bowl was fresh, flavorful, and had just enough kick to keep us putting our chopsticks back in the bowl and saying, “Just one more bite.” If 1313 Main were located in SF and had this on its regular menu, we’d eat it every week.

Daisy Barringer

The Farmer’s Wife

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Sandwich, $20

BottleRock is three days long, which means there’s probably going to be a hangover involved at some point. Turns out the Chili Maple Bacon, Avocado, Farm Egg, Pepper Sauce & Chevre sandwich was the perfect cure. It was all local and organic and perfect to share. Sure, we wished it came with fries and not salad, but if we’re being honest, a salad was probably more along the lines of what we needed. Well… a salad and a beer.

Daisy Barringer

Mustards Grill

Lobster Roll, $20

The West Coast isn’t exactly known for its lobster rolls, but we were walking by Mustards booth, saw how delicious they looked, and had to go for it. It was served “New England style” (the only way to serve a lobster roll) with celery and pickled onions and it didn’t disappoint… though the food from this 30-year-old Napa restaurant never does.

Daisy Barringer

Goose & Gander

G&G Burger, $18

The key to surviving three days of festivaling at anywhere from eight to ten hours a day is to eat hearty, eat often, and eat well. The G&G Burger fulfilled all three requirements, which is probably why there was always at least a little bit of a line. We just opted for the “regular” burger, which came with gruyere, bacon, remoulade, and pickles, but for those looking for something more indulgent, a foie gras mousse was available to add for another ten bucks.

Daisy Barringer

Marley’s Treats

Ube Cupcake with Flan, $5

At first glance, we weren’t sure what to think of the idea of a flan cupcake, but at second glance, we realized we’d never know unless we tried. And this ombré cupcake topped with an ube leche (purple yam) flan did not disappoint. It was like eating the kind of cupcakes unicorns probably have at their celebrations and that’s probably all that needs to be said about that.

Daisy Barringer

Ca’ Momi

Arugula Mascarpone Pizza, $18

Organic argula, parmigano, reggiano, marscarpone, and organic mozzarella… We literally bought this pizza while leaving the festival, carried it all through the streets of Napa, held onto it while sat in the backseat of our Lyft driver’s car and listened to his album (it was actually good?), and then finally ate it—cold—in the lobby of our hotel. AND IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS.

Daisy Barringer

Brix Restaurant & Gardens

Fried Chicken Sandwich, $15

The way this was advertised, we were expecting a big fried chicken sandwich, but it came out as three fried chicken sliders and that was way better. First, it made it easier to share, but also it meant that every bite was the perfect combination of soft, chewy bun, house-made pickles, and perfectly cooked fried chicken (crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside). We added a side of fries for $6 because that’s just what one does.

Daisy Barringer

Morimoto Napa

Maki Plate, $20

Another healthier option, the chef’s selection of sushi rolls was a little pricey for what it was, but the fish was fresh, the flavors were spot-on, and you can’t eat fried chicken and foie gras burgers for every meal. That being said, the $10 hand roll with a choice of maguro, sake, or hamachi was probably the way to go.

Gourmet Fare

Corn Dog, $6

We love fancy food as much as the next guy or gal, but sometimes at a festival, you just want festival food. Gourmet Fare was there to deliver with a $6 corn dog that was spicy, hearty, and gone before we remembered to take a pic.