We recently enjoyed a delightful dinner with our pals Dave and Donna Mendelsohn at The Q Restaurant & Bar. For several years, The Q has been our go to place for brunch with Dorothy’s family on Mother’s Day. It’s always spot on for adults and kids. Located in the Bel Aire Plaza, The Q and has gone through a couple of incarnations over the years. Today, it is proudly co-owned by Gene Tartaglia who is legendary in the restaurant business and is often at The Q welcoming diners with an upbeat friendly smile.
When we sat down for dinner, Dave and Donna commented on how welcoming and sophisticated the atmosphere is in a restaurant located in a high-end shopping center. The Q provides a cozy, hometown feel with great black and white photos of Napa, shining candles and a very friendly staff that greets you. Once you are inside, you forget that you are only a few yards away from the retail hustle and bustle of Copperfield’s Books, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Target, just to name a few.
The Q has a full bar with great drinks such as their Sloe and Comfortable Gin and Tonic made with gin, sloe gin, orange bitters, tonic and rosemary ($13). John gave it a try and loved it. Donna and Dorothy enjoyed the special Cuffing Season made with bourbon, fig preserves, burnt orange and bitters ($13) and commented that the drink was strong, interesting and really good! Dave started with a glass of the Frog’s Leap, Napa 2014 Zinfandel ($13), while we caught up with each other. Savannah Barto, The Q’s very cool and lovely bar manager, greeted us and did a great job describing the various bar drinks along with wine and beer selections. Tyren Sillanpaa, the front of the house manager, is a delight as well and makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
The Q serves great “American Food” featuring a Memphis-style barbeque representative of our American Heritage. The Q’s Chef de Cuisine is Pablo Cerano and his brother, Pedro, is the Sous Chef. Together they make sure that their signature and famous Baby Back Ribs and Barbeque Rice, Southern Fried Chicken Bucket and Cornmeal Crusted Rock Cod Sandwich, are perfect every time. We started our dinner with The Q’s Organic Deviled Eggs made with bacon and mustard seeds ($7.50). They were terrific! So were the Spicy Chicken Wings with carrots, celery and Point Reyes bleu cheese ($14.50). Like most great Napa restaurants, The Q sources its food locally, organically and with sustainability in mind.
When the weather permits, diners can choose to have their lunch or dinner outdoor on the patio and watch the crowds go by. The Q is famous for not only their BBQ but their unique coleslaws. None of us have ever been disappointed in The Q, and our dinner with Dave and Donna was no exception.
For dinner Donna ordered The Q’s famous four large Baby Back Ribs and Barbeque Rice served with vinegar barbeque sauce and a side of Tucker Ranch Apple and Citrus Coleslaw ($20), which she thoroughly enjoyed. Dorothy tried the Beef Brisket Pho made with smoked brisket, rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, jalapeno and Sriracha on the side ($18.50). The meal was really large, and flavorful, and enough for two people! John ordered the Roasted Vinegar Chicken made with Round Pond Cabernet Vinegar, butter, garlic, herbs and sticky rice ($26). Dave enjoyed Antoinette’s Chicken Soup with pasta, parmesan and herb crackers ($8) that he reports was almost as good as his grandmother’s soup, and for dinner he dined on the Beef Brisket with Creamy Coleslaw ($22), which he tells us was almost as good as Donna’s brisket. We were a tough audience that night!
For sides we ordered Collard Greens with Ham Hocks ($7.50) and Brussels Sprouts that were prepared with butter and parmesan ($8). Both were ample servings, really good and we carried the leftovers home with us. Frankly, they were some of the best Brussels sprouts and collard greens we had ever had!
Not to miss a beat, we ordered the Key Lime Pie ($7.50) and the Ice Cream Sundae ($9) to split four ways, and both desserts were fabulous.
The Q serves up great food, has a full interesting bar and a really good wine and beer list. They are also famous for their Tucker Ranch Mai Tai made with Siddiqui Rum, Combiner, a float of Myers Dark, orange, tangerine, and lime and served over crushed ice ($13). That is Dorothy’s favorite when she wants to imagine that she is in Hawaii. If you have had a tough day, order The Q’s Grounds for Separation made with Bullet Rye, tart cherry, lime and egg white ($13). Or, attempt to be somewhat healthy and order their Juice Cleanse made with Hanson Cucumber Vodka, cranberry, lime and agave ($12). With their full bar, you can top off a great dinner with a Grand Marnier ($10), Drambuie ($12), or a Dow’s Tawny 10 Year Port ($9).
If you find yourself in Bel Aire Plaza in the late afternoon, and you have no intention or desire to cook dinner, stop by The Q’s Happy Hour from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. when all cocktails, beer and wine are half-off. Then stay for a great dinner and go home relaxed and happy.
We love The Q! Gene Tartaglia and his amazing staff put their heart and soul into making every meal experience a great one. So, put that shopping bag away and head to The Q to relax. You deserve it!