Sonoma - Napa News


Iron Chef adds renown to wine country dining scene

8 Oct 2012 8:43 AM
Iron Chef adds renown to wine country dining scene

For years Masaharu Morimoto has been among the world's most famous chefs. He has appeared on countless television cooking shows, including the world famous Iron Chef. He sometimes gets recognized on the street and thanked for the contributions he has made to modern international cuisine.

Although he has operations in cities around the world - including fine-dining beacons Tokyo and New York City - one of his more recent ventures continues to excite owners of luxury homes in wine country. Morimoto Napa, the chef's young restaurant in downtown Napa, has been drawing well-heeled gourmand citizens for its creative, rule-bending cuisine.

The restaurant provides a dining experience that Napa and Sonoma residents seldom forget. Cutting-edge furniture, unique design and, of course, trendsetting food have helped the classically trained chef attract teeming crowds on all nights of the week.

In this respect, the restaurant is like the chef's other ventures, which should not be surprising considering he lavishes it with the same attention to detail and works hard to make the spot a destination for locals and tourists.

"Napa, to me, is just like New York, just like Tokyo," he told Wine Country. "It's important to work hard every day to make the restaurant better."

This devotion comes out in the food. The restaurant has garnered numerous awards and attracted a loyal following of local foodies. Although he was trained as a sushi chef, Morimoto has crafted a varied and balanced menu, relying heavily on local ingredients. Rock shrimp tempura, duck meatball soup and other creative dishes populate the extensive menu.

For this, Morimoto likely drew on his vast experience with a wide range of cuisines. Morimoto Napa marks the chef's first venue on the west coast, but he also has restaurants in Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Mumbai and several other locations.

With the restaurant gaining steam every month, locals may find that this is the venue that may help wine country solidify its reputation as a destination known as much for its adventurous food as its grape-based offerings.