After 13 years of Napa Valley fine dining, chef Richard Reddington will the close the doors on his eponymous restaurant, Redd, after service on October 7.
The restaurant opened there as one of the tiny town of Yountville’s few upscale restaurants at the time, joining the French Laundry as an elevated dining destination.
“I wasn’t going to come into Yountville and compete with Thomas Keller in the super fine dining realm, so I just wanted someplace that would be a little more casual, fine dining but not pretentious, and I wanted a fun bar to appeal to the locals,” Reddington told Eater SF in 2015, following a remodel of the restaurant to mark ten years in business.
Buoyed by cocktails and a deep wine list, Redd became a hangout for locals and tourists alike over the years, with a cozy patio, small but busy bar, and menu of casual — but elevated — fine dining dishes. Signature dishes at Redd include glazed pork belly with apple puree, burdock, and soy caramel, and risotto with lobster, lemon confit, and white truffle oil; the pork belly bao served at the bar became a classic over the years.
Now, Reddington is ready to open a new chapter: He’s becoming bicoastal, building a home in upstate New York and splitting time with Yountville, where he will remain a partner in his casual Italian restaurant, ReddWood.
“I spent a lot of years running back and forth between the two restaurants, I would never miss a Saturday night,” Reddington told Eater. “As you get older, its like ‘what is really going to make me happy?’ At a certain point you gotta take a step back. Now I get to go watch my nieces play soccer and basketball. I’m trying to find a better balance.”
Reddington’s impact on Yountville’s dining scene can’t be underestimated. After working in some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants — including at Wolfgang Puck’s now-closed Postrio, as the opening chef at Traci Des Jardins’ Jardiniere, La Folie, and more — the chef was lured North by a good friend, chef Thomas Keller. Together, their restaurants have changed the landscape of the tiny town, which is now a destination for food-loving tourists from all over the world, and a draw for other culinary talents.
After 13 years, the recent death of Reddington’s business partner, and departure of key staff members, the chef felt that time was right to move on. The prime real estate that houses Redd will come up for grabs soon. “You can’t look back, you just look forward,” says Reddington. “It will be fun to walk into my restaurant and to see what it becomes; I just hope it’s not a chain.”
Reddington is currently working on a project in New York, something smaller and slower-paced than Redd. “For me, [closing Redd] is a positive thing,” says Reddington. “You have to close one door before you can open another.”