Napa Flats Wood-fired Kitchen, founded by Austinite Tom Kenney, announces the opening of its fourth restaurant on January 17 for dinner service located in northwest Austin, across from Concordia University. The restaurant will provide dinner service only from Sunday, January 17 through Wednesday, January 20 from 5 to 10pm. Starting Thursday, January 21 the restaurant will officially be open for lunch and dinner.
“We are thrilled to finally open our doors and introduce the Austin community to Napa Flats Wood Fired Kitchen,” said restaurant founder Tom Kenney. “Our goal was to open a neighborhood restaurant and share our love of chef inspired food with our friends, family, and community and we have done just that.”
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 highly regarded Austin Chef Damian Mandola to create his hand tossed pizza recipe and several of his pasta dishes. He also taught Napa Flats’ chefs the art of making gelato, the soft, creamy Italian style ice cream that is the perfect final touch to any Italian meal.
With bold spins on culinary classics, Napa Flats’ eclectic menu features fresh salmon, redfish, and other seafood; hand cut steaks, pork tenderloin, lamb, and ribs; savory handmade pastas; grilled Italian flatbreads; and a wide 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.
As its name suggests, Napa Valley wines add a delicious dimension to Napa Flats’ full-service bar. The restaurant presents 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 twelve tap wine dispenser that offers a full complete complement of high-quality wines by the glass. This reduces storage space and transportation costs, enabling him to offer more wine choices at better values.
“We meet regularly with winemakers and distributors to select California and Napa Valley wines that offer value,” says Kenney. “We actively seek wine producers who offer something unique. With more than 500 wineries in Napa Valley, there is always a hidden gem.”
Freshly prepared specialty desserts add a sweet, enticing element to the Napa Flats menu. Pastry Chef Leigha Sutton has created an array of delectable 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 lady fingers. The homemade gelato is especially popular; made with top of the line, Italian-made equipment by Carpiagani, Napa Flats’ chefs produce more than a dozen flavors.
“The only thing not Italian in our gelato is the milk we get from Texas cows,” says Kenney.
Kenney worked with talented Austin architect Chioco Design to create an interior that complements the menu, with an engaging ambiance, an abundance of natural light, and appealing natural textures. The rustic, open kitchen puts food squarely at the center of the Napa Flats experience. 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—of course—hand-tossed pizzas. The 5,100 square foot space can seat 192 people in a variety of dining settings, including a private dining room. An inviting, shaded outdoor patio is visually connected to the extensive bar.
The owners of Napa Flats appreciate the importance of value and affordability. They want guests to visit their restaurant weekly, not just on special occasions. With lunch menu items priced around $10 and dinner items ranging from $12 to $24, customers can make Napa Flats a frequent dining destination.
“Our focus is on doing things consistently and exceptionally well,” said Managing Partner Dana Dupree. “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. “