Dinner at Downtown Joes – Feb. 10, 2014

You could call it a sports bar, or a neighborhood cheers bar, but Downtown Joe’s has a whole other thing going on. The staff is so friendly and the food well it’s just plain good, not you’re typical bar food, this place has it all.

After all is said and done, I realized there is a secret component to all of this goodness, it is owners Joe’s daughter. She is getting a jump-start on all of the operations needed to be a successful business in Downtown Napa.

Here’s what I tried:


Winter Cheese Board
Smoked Gouda and Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese paired with Kalamata and black olives, Bartlett pears, kiwi fruit, sliced apples and an assortment of crackers. A great menu item to pair with Hidden Crush Monterey Chardonnay.

Buffalo Wings, served with celery and their house blue cheese dressing. I am not the biggest fan of wings, but these were pretty tasty, and from what I heard from my neighbor’s table they gave them A++++.

House Made New England Clam Chowder. This is the best clam chowder you will ever have, it hits the spot.

Point Reyes Blue Cheese Burger with Niman Ranch beef, smoked beacon with their house made Stout BBQ sauce and house fried onions. This is a very hearty burger with some nice fixings, come prepared.

Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad, with their Meyer lemon creamy dressing. They don’t cut the romaine lettuce up, so you can pick up the lettuce and eat with your hands, which is a nice feature. The dressing is very pungent, but makes for a great salad.

Surf and Turf, 10 oz. sirloin cooked to order with garlic scampi jasmine rice and steamed vegetables. This was my favorite out of everything I tried. The steak is very tender, and huge. The shrimp pop in your mouth and have great garlic nuances. The vegetables are cooked to perfection, and add the healthy quotient in the meal.

Tasting of House brewed Beer List:

Lazy Summer American Wheat
This light and refreshing ale is 45% British wheat. It is lightly hopped making it an ideal beer for a hot summer day.

Tail Waggin’ Amber Ale
This classic American amber is made with Marris Otter malt and British crystal malts. It is malt forward with caramel and raisin notes. It is our best selling beer with the locals.

Tantric IPA
Our single IPA is well balanced between malt and hops. The floral and citrus hop flavors are delicately balanced with a slight malty sweetness.

Thistle Very Bitter
This overly hopped amber ale was first brewed by accident. It features grapefruit notes from the hops and caramel notes from the malts.

Drop Your Swartz
A German style black lager.

Overdue Porter
The classic British Porter uses Marris Otter malt with a touch of Pilsner malt and gets its roast and chocolate characters from Briess dark malts. 100% East Kent Golding hops rounds this beer into a great example of this porter style.

Worthy’s Leprechaun Stout
This light and creamy Irish Style stout is pushed with nitrogen. It has roast and chocolate notes.

Double Secret Probation
A strong and aggressive IPA with lots of citrus, pine and apricot notes and a slight residual maltiness.

I am not the beer drinker, but my guest drank all of them and said they were very well crafted, and each had its very distinct flavors.

The wines I tasted:

Hidden Crush Monterey Chardonnay, this wine went well with the shrimp and the Caeser salad.

Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Co. Blend, I would drink this wine with the meaty burger.

Midsummer Atlas Peak Cabernet, I liked this wine with the surf and turf, hit the spot with the steak.

Godspeed NV Cab/Malbec/Syrah, I would drink this wine with the steak and the burger, it’s perfect combination.

I tried a signature cocktail:
Cazadores Raz-Peach Margarita
Fresh limejuice shaken and floated with Raz-Peach Grand Marnier. I liked this cocktail, it was a thirst quencher, and had some bang for your buck.

They have an on site macro brewery with Colin Kaminski as the Brew master. Colin learned to brew on the job and has an extensive collection of brewing textbooks. For those beginning to brew he recommends “Brewing for Dummies”. For those who want to learn more technically what is going on he recommends George Fix’s books “An Analysis of Brewing Techniques” and “Principals of Brewing Science”. Trying his beer will make you a believer what ever the source was.

Bernabe Leon and Gaspar Montoya have been a part of the creative kitchen team at Downtown Joe’s since its inception in 1994. Featuring a fantastic all-natural menu, Downtown Joe’s is committed to finding vendors that care as much about our environment as they do. An emphasis on sustainably harvested, wild caught and farmed seafood, meats and poultry, there are no added hormones, no antibiotics fed or administered to any animal served from their kitchen. All are fed a 100% vegetarian diet that is grown in dirt that has been free of pesticides for at least three years.

Downtown Joe’s received the corporate sector outstanding committee service award in 2006 as well as the eco-smart business award from the Napa Valley Environmental Awareness Team

Owners Joe Ruffino and Nancye Peatman established Downtown Joes’s in 1993. Their family has owned a few other restaurants in the Napa area dating back to 1927. They maintain the Old Napa Italian tradition of operating a friendly, down to earth business, where all staff are valued and respected and all guests are welcome, whether indigenous or migratory to the Napa Valley. Unpretentious, friendly and fun, Downtown Joe’s holds true to its roots, caring for every guest as a valued human spirit and not as a credit card.

It’s a main stay here in downtown Napa, got to come here relax, watch your favorite sports show, have a drink, and take in this very welcoming bar.

Downtown Joe’s
902 Main St, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 258-2337


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