When it comes to the local culinary scene, Nothing To It is a staple in our town. But not everyone knows the on-site offerings extend beyond cooking classes. In addition to a store stocked with fun cooking accessories and extras to spice up your meals, Nothing To It serves the community as a full-service restaurant.
Inside, the gourmet deli serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. You can pick up your order to go or dine in. It’s a fun atmosphere unlike any other in the city as employees may be prepping for cooking classes in the main dining area where customers are grubbing on soups, sandwiches and salads.
Seating feels homey with big tables that look like they were plucked from your 1990s childhood home. And everyone seems happy as they bite into chewy chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
If you’re not here to stay, simply head to the back of the restaurant (in its own room adjacent to the dining room) and place an order to go. Here, smaller tables are set for those who want to eat on-site or wait with a soda and you can glimpse the gorgeous patio outside (where outdoor dining is available when the weather is right).
Nothing To It stays true to its declaration as a gourmet deli—no ham and Swiss here—with enticing sandwiches including the signature Calistoga, a grilled herb chicken sandwich with sun dried tomatoes, imported cambozola cheese pesto, field greens, balsamic vinaigrette and aged Modena served on a warmed herbed focaccia bread.
With all of the sandwiches, the unique monikers are attention grabbing, which can make it even more difficult to decide on a main course. A fan of albacore tuna, it was the Monterey for me, a heaping helping of tuna salad made with capers, celery, sour cream, mayonnaise and a hint of Dijon mustard, all slathered onto multi-grain bread (although you can substitute) stacked with fresh tomatoes and lettuce.
Other lunch specials offer a range of hearty meats including certified angus roast beef, roasted turkey breast and grilled chicken, plus the vegetarian Oakville, which boasts portobello mushrooms and grilled eggplant.
Every sandwich comes with your choice of a side salad or cup of soup, but here’s the best part: you don’t have to settle for a simple green salad or side Caesar. Any salad on the menu is up for grabs as a side.
I couldn’t skip tasting the Chutney Chicken Salad with its refreshing combination of fresh pineapples and grapes, crisp celery and poached chicken finished in a curried mango chutney dressing and served on a bed of greens. The flavors of the chutney, and its aromatic qualities, are evident, but the other flavors offer something much different than one might expect.
There are some classic salad options including the NTI Chicken Caesar, a Mandarin Chinese Chicken Salad and a Greek Salad, but there’s also the Cabernet Bacon Spinach Salad finished with a cabernet bacon vinaigrette, and Kelly’s Salad, made with dried cranberries and imported Swedish lingonberries.
If soup is calling your name instead, you’ll have to inquire about the soup de jour.
While the low-price offering (just $11.95 for a soup/salad and sandwich combo or $10.95 for soup and salad) is enough food to fill you at least for lunch, we can’t in good conscience suggest you leave without at least one chocolate chip cookie on you. Or try one of the other homemade specialties baked fresh every day.