Listen, I know that Thomas Keller is Napa’s patron saint of fine dining and all things trendy, but really all I care about is his fried chicken at Addendum. Addendum is essentially the outdoor lunch expansion at Yountville’s Ad Hoc (sans booze), and it’s stolen the show. Open only Thursdays through Saturdays, your best bet is to reserve your lunch online, as long lines can and do often form.
What’s on the menu? Fried chicken, of course. (There’s also pulled pork and ribs, but that’s not my vibe). For a mere $16.50, lunch comes with cornbread and two sides that rotate daily, and when I visited, it was coleslaw and baked beans. The coleslaw is about as exciting as potato salad or broiled salmon (read: not exciting) but the baked beans are smoky and sweet and the cornbread is just right.
But let’s go back to the chicken. If ever there was a way to make buttermilk fried chicken elegant yet satisfyingly delicious, Thomas Keller has nailed it. Flecked with bits of rosemary and sea salt, this chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside.
There’s not much that beats sitting outside at a picnic table eating a down home meal in Napa on a warm summer day, so what are you waiting for? Book that online reservation and go for the casual side of Yountville. The chicken is worth it.