If you are wondering what else to check out in Napa besides the beautiful wineries, you must visit the Napa Riverfront, which is a beautiful Paris like village by the waters. Here, you will find an amazing stretch of eateries and people enjoying some good wine and sightseeing. I happen to visit this place twice and loved it both times. My first time strolling through the riverfront village was a beautiful experience as I was getting familiar with the place and got a chance to explore it. After getting some good shots for my photography collection, it was time to eat, not lunch, not dinner, but something like tapas.
While further exploring the riverfront eateries, I came across Tarla Mediterranean Bar & Grill. Tucked behind the riverfront, this restaurant has a great menu selection. It was perfect for a Saturday afternoon when all I wanted was some tapas, or should I say a Maze plate. As you walk into this place, you will feel the sophistication and elegance in the air. It is a classy place with lovely ambiance and atmosphere. Not a huge place, but beautiful decor from the chandeliers to the wall art. I can usually tell when a restaurant owner puts their heart into the place just by the way and style that is used to serve water to their guests.
When I was presented with the menu, I was quiet impressed with the selection. I already wanted to come back the second time and try those mouthwatering dishes like Fresh Grilled Vegetable Sandwich and Charcoal Grilled Chicken Kebab on Pita. Also, some dishes which I never heard of like the Saganaki, which is a combination of deliciousness like Cyprus Island Flaming Halloumi Cheese, Truffle Honey, Chardonnay Poached Turkish Apricots and Raisin, Lemon & Toast. After much contemplation, I decided to order the Maze Plate. This Maze Plate is so beautiful just to look at. It will truly give you a taste of some good Mediterranean delights like Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Tzatziki, Grilled Pita Dolma, Zucchini Cakes, Feta Cheese & Olives. On the side, I also ordered the Spanikopita, which is phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and feta. The Spanikopita comes in a decent size and can be shared by two people. But it is so good, that you would want it all to yourself. It is flaky, crispy and bursting with savory flavors baked to perfection. The maze plate was an amazing creation on its own. Hummus was smooth, fresh and zesty, Baba Ghanoush was so creamy and bursting with flavors of cumin, garlic and lemon in the right proportions, Dolmas were just melting in mouth, they were soft and delicate, and the pita bread was AMAZING! Freshly baked.
I must say that the credit for such beautiful and outstanding creations goes to Chef Kadriya Baspeahlivan, who started at Tarla as an intern. Chef Baspeahlivan has been at Tarla for a year now. She is Turkish and definitly knows her flavors!
Do give this place a try when you are in Napa & you will have an experience to cherish.