By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen, founded by Tom Kenney of Austin, announced the opening of its fourth restaurant in The Trails at 620. Kenney thought he’d open before the new year but now plans to open by mid January.
“The concept for the restaurant originated in College Station, with the opening of the first Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen,” said Kenney. “Our goal was to open a neighborhood restaurant and share our love of chef-inspired food with our friends, family and community.”
Kenney’s vision for Napa Flats has always been simple — fresh, savory cuisine inspired by California flavors with an Italian flair, made from scratch and prepared in an open kitchen over a wood-fired grill. Kenney teamed with Austin chef, Damian Mandola, to create a hand-tossed pizza recipe and several of his pasta dishes. He also taught Napa Flats’ chefs how to make gelato, the soft, creamy Italian-style ice cream.
Napa Flats’ eclectic menu features fresh salmon, redfish and other seafood, hand-cut steaks, pork tenderloin, lamb, ribs, handmade pastas, grilled flatbreads and a variety of hand-tossed pizzas. The restaurant’s signature salads include a beet salad with arugula, goat cheese and candied pecans, as well as the chopped kale salad featuring green apples, oven-roasted tomatoes, feta cheese and baby kale tossed in the house balsamic dressing.
Napa Valley wines are part of the Napa Flats’ full-service bar. The restaurant offers both domestic and imported wines, and constantly rotates its specialty offerings. The menu includes some exotics, as well as more popular wines to appeal to a broad range of tastes.
For the Austin restaurant, Kenney created a unique 12-tap wine dispenser that offers a complement of wines by the glass. This reduces storage space and transportation costs, enabling him to offer more wine choices.
“We meet regularly with winemakers and distributors to select California and Napa Valley wines that offer value,” said Kenney. “We actively seek wine producers who offer something unique. With more than 500 wineries in Napa Valley, there is always a hidden gem.”
Finally, freshly prepared specialty desserts complete the Napa Flats menu. Pastry chef, Leigha Sutton, has created an array of sweets, including light, creamy cheesecake topped with chocolate ganache, fresh strawberry sauce or salted caramel, a gluten-free Ghiradelli brownie, topped with peanut butter gelato, seasonal fresh fruit cobblers and tiramisu, the classic Italian dolce made with Kahlua, espresso and ladyfingers. Plus, more than a dozen flavors of homemade gelato round out the dessert menu.
“The only thing not Italian in our gelato is the milk we get from Texas cows,” said Kenney.
Kenney worked with Austin architect, Chioco Design, to create an interior with an abundance of natural light and appealing natural textures. The centerpiece of the operation is a 6,500-pound wood stone oven, which is used to infuse a smoky flavor into appetizers, desserts and hand-tossed pizzas.
Lunch menu items are priced around $10 and dinner items range from $12 to $24.
“Our focus is on doing things consistently and exceptionally well,” said managing partner, Dana Dupree of Lago Vista. “We want families to gather here for dinner, parents to make us their destination for date night or ladies to stop in to share appetizers and a glass of wine. Our menu can satisfy the most discriminating diner,” she said.
For more information, go to www.napaflats.com