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Tarla Mediterranean Grill

Oct 23, 2012 02:53PM

Tarla Mediterranean Grill

By Leslie McCarroll

 How can you not fall in love with what Napa Valley has to offer?  Beautiful weather, pleasant people, unique boutiques, an array of California wines, favorable fashions, and of course cuisine that is unlike anywhere else.  I am referring to the newest restaurant to hit Napa, Tarla Mediterranean Grill.

Tarla Mediterranean Grill, Tarla meaning "field" in Turkish, is Napa’s newest eatery and perhaps I found the most generous with sincere hospitality and delightful treats for the pallet.  Tarla Grill is located at the end of First Street in Napa’s West End and conveniently located next to a brand new wine bar and superior shopping.


One can easily walk right in and instantly is greeted by Yusuf, owner of Tarla as Aphrodite experienced. We were also greeted with a complimentary taste of the wine of the day and then an amazing assortment of mezes for our staff, which included the hardworking photographers and models (yes, our models do eat).  I think our favorite was the freshly made hummus with warm pita bread, Dolmas and then to-die-for zucchini cakes with tzatziki sauce!  We could not get enough of the tzatziki sauce!  And what we loved most about it was how fresh everything was.


As we made ourselves at home at the bar, I couldn’t help but notice a bottle of wine with a bright pink label on it.  Naturally, the color pink is something that I pay attention to as pink is our branded color at Aphrodite.  Jim Foster, bartender extraordinaire, told me that Pink Girl is a seasonal Rosé and only produced in a small bottle lots—roughly 400 cases.  I loved it.  I could taste the hints of strawberry and cranberry and was surprisingly dry as is it hit my pallet.  I was surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet and seemed to pair perfectly with the Mediterranean menu.  As I noted that the Pink Girl label is hand-applied with real Austrian crystal. Fit for a princess of course, or the Aphrodite Gal! Besides, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”


Tarla Grill’s Executive Chef Michael Benjamin Powell surprised Aphrodite’s Chief Stylist Jeanne and me with food that definitely is  worth writing home about.  If I could describe in one word the experience of what halloumi was like, I would be at a loss for words.  Halloumi is a traditional cheese from Cyprus, the island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Halloumi cheese has a higher melting point than other cheese and makes it a suitable cheese for grilling and frying.  Tarla’s preparation consisted of fresh apricots in champagne syrup and flamed with brandy.  Jim told me that the toppings generally reflect the season and change accordingly. His favorite is the lemon, and since lemon is a favorite of mine it will be a definite return for me.  It took me what almost seemed like two to three minutes to discern all of the flavors that my taste buds were experiencing.  It was amazing and perhaps the highlight of our Tarla visit.


What I found also most enjoyable was the busy and lively atmosphere of Tarla Grill. The location is perfect and since I am a social media nut, I can appreciate that their Facebook page is always updated with beautiful photography of their meals and specials of the day.  I highly recommend Tarla to anyone that wants to experience Napa cuisine and hospitality at its finest!  Bon appetit!


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