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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is Ubuntu Still Open to Serving Meat? Technically, Yes. In Practice, Not So Much

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 2:40 PM

click to enlarge James Syhabout, guest chef at Ubuntu's first Tuesday night prix fixe. - STAR5112/FLICKR
  • star5112/Flickr
  • James Syhabout, guest chef at Ubuntu's first Tuesday night prix fixe.
A month ago, we reported that Ubuntu -- Napa's Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant -- was organizing occasional Tuesday night prix fixe dinners called No Holds Barred. At least some of the dinners would feature a guest chef and might just include meat. It was a controversial announcement for a restaurant that's received national respect for pushing the limits of meatless cuisine -- witness the reaction by SFoodie readers to that first post of ours. Today on the Ubuntu blog, chef Jeremy Fox announced the first Tuesday prix fixe, a Dec. 15 collaboration with Commis chef James Syhabout -- a meatless collaboration, we should point out.

We called Ubuntu owner Sandy Lawrence to find out if, after that first announcement, meat had subsequently been, well, barred from No Holds Barred. The answer is no, technically, even as Lawrence suggested that animal flesh might never make an appearance on Tuesday nights. "When Jeremy reached out, it was to have a collaboration with other chefs," Lawrence said. "So far everyone he's spoken with really likes the idea of cooking vegetables." So there.

By the way, the Dec. 15 family-style prix fixe is limited to 18 guests. It'll feature a single seating at 7 p.m., $104, including wine and beverages. For more information, call (707) 251-5656.

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