This place has been open for 27 years, so it is somewhat of a staple in Napa. It is off the beaten path near the Wal-Mart, but pushed back from a street parking lot. It is an independent structure, which has room for many different style special events. I went for the last quarter of the super bowl, and found myself in a comfortable environment with a big flat screen and good affordable Mexican food.
Here’s what I tried:
Antojitos – Mexican Tapas:
Prawn Tostadas – Lightly fried fresh corn tortillas are spread with garlic aioli, and then topped with a mixture of Gulf brawns, diced avocado, orange segments, and red bell peppers tossed with olive oil and cilantro. This is a nice light dish, with great Latin fresh flavors.
Sopa y Ensaladas:
Tortilla Soup- Fresh roasted chicken in a light broth with Pico de Gallo, tortilla strips, Monterrey Jack Cheese, topped with diced avocado, and served with warm fresh tortillas. More like Jewish penicillin then Mexican flavors.
Rio Caesar Salad – Originated in Tijuana, their Ensalada de Cesar features cotija cheese, crisp tortilla strips and pico de gallo. Unbeknownst to most people the Caesar sald was created in Tijuana, so it is pretty apropos for Compadres Rio Grill to feature this great item on their menu. It does not disappoint, try it and you will see.
Carnitas – This traditional favorite from Jalisco is one of their specialties…slowly simmered pork shoulder, shredded and served with frijoles charros, fresh tomato salsa, chopped sweet onions, fresh cilantro and jalapeno-marinated vegetables. This carnitas just melts in your mouth, slow cooked and filled with simple seasonings, this is a big winner.
The Drinks and Wine I tried:
Real Deal – Patron Silver, Cointreau and fresh squeezed lime juice, it will put lead in your pencil and make you remember why a margarita is the next best thing since sliced bread.
“Back Bar” Margarita – Reserved for the true aficionado – Milagro Reposado, Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur, fresh lime, a bit of Sweet ‘n’ Sour, and a touch of fresh squeezed OJ. Another great start to an amazing dinner.
Artesa, Chardonnay went great with the shrimp and the Ceasar salad.
Silverado Vineyards, Chardonnay, I love this wine, nicely balanced, not a lot of acidity.
Napa Cellars, Zinfandel, you just got to do this one with The Carnitas, it really worked.
Flora Springs, Merlot, worked well with the Carnitas too, could also have been paired with a steak dish.
Compadres Rio Grill beneath the surface is a true family affair, Richard Enos and his wife and 3 kids also work in the family business. Richard M. Enos (Rick) is an acknowledged, award-winning restaurateur. He is devoted to the hospitality industry as much as he is to his family and to the surrounding communities his restaurants serve. A native Californian born in Sacramento, he graduated from the University of Santa Clara. He worked for the legendary Victoria Station chain as a manager, director of training, and director of operations. He subsequently was in the wine industry and with The Cantina in Mill Valley before starting Compadres in the 1980’s.
Growing the concept to California and Hawaii, Rick is chairman emeritus of the San Francisco Giants Foundation, a member of the Guardsman, and an award winner in the small business category from the National Society of Fundraising Executives Hawaii Chapter. He and wife Nancy are the proud parents of three children Jeff, Scott and Lauren; all of who are partners in Compadres. They are also proud grandparents of granddaughter Emma. His wife Nancy Enos, is his partner and office manager, Nancy Enos is a graduate of the University of Arizona. An educator, she met Rick while teaching on the Monterey Peninsula.
Married more than 30 years, she has been involved in every aspect of the restaurant industry and offers valuable assistance in all administrative areas for the restaurants in Hawaii and California. Always involved in educational and youth activities, she continues her commitment to the next generation through teaching at Ross Valley Nursery School in Marin County and with a myriad of family and community projects.
Jeff Enos, Richards son and general manager is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. A second generation restaurateur and an accomplished athlete, who worked for the San Francisco Giants, he majored in economics and worked at Morgan Stanley, Dean Whittier in Marin County before joining the family business.
His other son Scott Enos, also manager, is a graduate of the University of Arizona where he majored in economics. Scott continues the Enos tradition of hospitality having worked in various positions at Compadres locations. Sister Lauren Enos, director of catering, is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder where she majored in communications. She oversees lots of special events and weddings there.
They have received a lot of press: listed in www.VisitNapaValley.com, and CBS5 Video of Compadres , Napa Register – Pierce Carson column, Solano Magazine –review of the best in the region in which we were declared The Best Happy Hour.
Compadres Rio Grill’s motto is “Western Cooking with a Mexican Accent.”
Next time your in Napa and are in the market for a great Mexican meal Compadres Rio Grill is the place to go!
*Ref: restaurant website. Some text is taken directly off of the website.
Compadres Rio Grille
505 Lincoln Ave, Napa, CA 94558