Napa Valley



1140 Main St.,
Central Napa,
United States,

An all-vegetarian restaurant—never mind one with an attached yoga studio—may seem at odds with the epicurean indulgences of wine country. But for many (including some of the country’s top restaurant critics), that notion has been challenged by a meal at Ubuntu. Opened in 2007 by owner Sandy Lawrence and chef Jeremy Fox, the restaurant has in fact turned scores of former carnivores into devotees. The trick may be the biodynamic gardens, where Fox grows much of his own produce; or the knack he has for infusing ordinary grains and vegetables with unusual flavors (as in a dish of baby carrots and Russian kale spiced with vadouvan, a French curry powder). More likely, though, is the fact that Fox himself isn’t vegetarian—and prefers to focus many of his creations around rich, creamy components like homemade burrata, truffled polenta, eggy brioche, and pastry cream. With ingredients like this (and not a shred of tempeh or tofu in sight), Fox proves that veggie cuisine can still be decadent.