Napkins Bar + Grill names Erasto Jacinto new executive chef

By Carey Sweet

OwnersYusuf TopalandAli Yildirimopened theirNapkins Bar + Grillin December, and now, they’re tweaking the team. And the menu.

They’ve just appointedErasto Jacintoas new executive chef for the downtown Napa eatery, and he’s hard at work updating the menu of modern American staples.

Jacinto knows the area well. For23 years, he worked withCindy Pawlcynat Mustards Grill, where he co-authored a “Big Small Plates” cookbook with her. He also ran the C Casa modern taqueria at Napa’s Oxbow, and in early 2012, opened his own Jacinto’s Kitchen, bringing Oaxacan specialties to the Oakmont/Santa Rosa area.

Downtown Napa Napkins Bar and Grill

Hopefully he’ll bring some of his native Oaxacan flair to Napkins, and share the skill that led him to cook at the James Beard House in New York while with Pawlcyn, too.

Napkins opened under the direction of chefMichael Powell, who is also executive chef at Topal and Yildirim’s other restaurant,Tarla Mediterranean Grillnearby. But Powell has been very ill for several months, and unable to work.

Topal and Yildirim are hosting a fundraising dinner and raffle for the chef’s benefit, taking place April 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Tarla.

“Our goal is to bring in as much funding in order to offer the most successful recovery for chef Powell and help bring him back home to Tarla,” said Topal, noting that all proceeds of the evening will go to medical expenses and support for Powell’s recovery.

Reservations for the $100 per person dinner can be made atmarketing@napkinsnapa.com.

Napkins Bar + Grill: 1001 2nd St., Napa; (707) 927-5333 ornapkinsnapa.com.

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