Michael Gyetvan’s Atlas Social Opens in Napa

By Carey Sweet

For all the elaborate design elements in hisAtlas Socialthat opens tonight in Napa,Michael Gyetvanis particularly pleased with the hallway wall leading to the shiny new kitchen.

It’s a floor-to-ceiling blow-up of a Google Earth map of Napa, and he notes that he can see his house on it. More than that, though, the map reflects the entire community, which is who he hopes comes to eat global-theme small plates and drink wine at his gastropub.

Under the direction of chefNick Ritchie, the kitchen offers plenty of tempting sounding incentives, in a format divided into “snacks,” “from the farm,” from the sea,” from the ranch,” and “platters,” with about a half dozen options in each category. And global, indeed. Cuisine types bounce from Spanish, to French, Italian, Asian and California flavors.

It appears Ritchie (Bottega, Alex Italian Restaurant) is having fun, sprinkling the menu with whimsy like “Atlas Jacks” of popcorn, pistachios and almonds bound with caramel, maple syrup, cumin, cinnamon and paprika ($5), or mini rabbit pot pie served in a tiny cast iron crock ($14). Crispy fries come dressed with torn parsley and sage leaves ($6), a farm egg is soft boiled then coated in breading, fried crispy and served over chunky bacon jam ($4), while citrus braised pork belly tacos are tucked with avocado and salsa roja in a thick, gordita-ish homemade tortilla.

A light meal can include a braised, grilled cauliflower steaks smothered in béarnaise over sliced blood oranges ($7), while a small group could share the ale-braised boneless beef rib with root vegetable gratin and 5-onion kale chop ($38). Check out the entire menuhere.

Anyone who knew the space as the formerBistro Saborspace, on First Street near Main Street, meanwhile, is in for a big surprise. The small, dark, decidedly street-grunge room has been transformed head-to-toe by Juancarlos Fernandez/Signum Architecture, now boasting soaring ceilings, lots of wood, and bistro table/bar/window/communal seating for 70 plus 30 outside. Gyetvan acquired a vacant space next door; the old Sabor footprint is now a lounge and kitchen, with the main dining room sprawling out. Read more…

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