Torc

Something to Torc About

Downtown Napa’s Sturdy Ode to Meat and Wine

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Your remaining weekends in 2013 are filling up fast, and there’s one unchecked resolution for the year:

“Eat heritage pork with cheddar grits on the hallowed grounds of an old yoga studio.”

Close call. Really came down to the wire there.

Silently marvel at Torc, the new chapter in the oddly majestic legacy of the old Ubuntu spot, opening Monday in downtown Napa.

You remember Ubuntu, that esteemed cavern of 30-foot ceilings, 19th-century stone, vegetables on plates and... yoga classes in the mezzanine. Everybody just went with it for a while.

Still looks all regal and sturdy now, with all that stone and open space. But the creepy statues are gone, the communal tables are gone... and if you start doing downward-facing dogs in the mezzanine, you’d get some odd looks. It’s a formal private dining room now.

So after an afternoon at the wineries, this is your spot for a hearty ode to sundown involving that pork and grits—or a roasted chicken for two, with spicy bok choy slathered in whipped pork fat. And probably a nice Burgundy. The wine menu is about 80 deep here, which should tide you over until they go full-bar in 2014. 

In the meantime, you can pick up the full-bar slack elsewhere.

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