Le Petit Chef 3D Dining at CIA Copia
Wow -what a cool experience. If this is fine dining of the future, then I’m all in! I need to carefully write this review , so as not to give away too much, as I wouldn’t want to detract from the magic of the experience. I also do not want to hype it up too much, so you aren’t let down. Still, I hope to entice you just enough so that you want to go!
How to describe it? It is a six-course fine dining interactive experience, that uses cleverly placed projectors to create a virtual reality adventure. The theme of your travels around the world is “The Spice Trail of Marco Polo”, which allows your senses to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of the world, with stops in France, India, Arabia and China. While entertaining, that would simply not be enough for me to be this enthusiastic. The food can easily stand alone, without all the fun surrounding fanfare. It is expertly prepared, with the season’s freshest ingredients (in the summer sourced from the CIA gardens) by executive chef Rodrigo, and the cuisine is Michelin-star worthy. I do not give that accommodation casually. (Rodrigo came out at the end and he is a lovely and charismatic guy from Spain, who only started at The Restaurant a few weeks ago…) I do highly recommend the wine pairing for $50. You the pairing begins with a cocktail and each glass is perfectly coupled with a flavorful dishes. It made me realize two things: first, how much I miss ethnic food in Napa and second, how it is more than possible to pair traditional wines with spiced dishes to create an alchemy of taste this is divine. Well done to the sommelier who pulled this off!
Service was impeccable and well choreographed to be timed with the rhythm of the story, while taking into account pauses as the different courses are served, that made it fun to visit with your neighbors and get some conversations going. I love a communal table in general, but it makes even more sense with this experience. Silly me, at first I thought I had booked a date night, not realizing it was a communal table. I also got panicked about an hour before our reservation and wondered if it was a kids cooking class I had signed up for! Luckily I got confirmation before going, that it is an adult dinner- though kids are welcome! In fact, I think this would be an amazing family experience with mature kids (14 and up, would be a good recommendation). On the far end of the table, a family from Palo Alto were there celebrating their daughter’s twenty-first birthday. That was so cute and she got a round of applause from us all.
Upon arrival and after checking in you will have a chance to grab a drink at the CIA bar (and its Happy Hour!) and meet up with your fellow diners who are joining the experience. We ran into a few couples we know, including our dear neighbors, Joy and John “Fucking” Caldwell. We decided it would be fun to sit together for the evening to catch up. On our end of the long table was a couple who were two months into a 10 month road trip (82 stops) in a 40ft motor home! They were good fun to talk to and I look forward to following her adventures on her blog. On the very far end, was a cute young couple. The wife Erin, is a wedding planner and we discussed how this technology would make for an amazing wedding background! I never found out about the husband, but I wish I had. How I love to collect stories!
To book, make your reservation here. Warning: you must pay the $140in advance and its non refundable, so make sure you know you can make that date! You have an opportunity when you reserve to note any allergies or other food limitations. Book soon, as this will surely sell out (I sure hope it will, but we need to get the word out beyond Napa). The CIA is the only one with the license for Let Petit Chef for the West Coast, and it is for a limited time.