Bounty Hunter – Napa


When the Beer Can Chicken arrived at our table at Bounty Hunter in downtown Napa, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how oddly… voluptuous… it is. And the knife is the crowning genius of it all.

Once you start carving your way through it vertically, it becomes a lot less voluptuous, and those wings akimbo become a lot more accusatory: “How could you do this to me?”


Well, you do it because the chicken is so flavorful, and moist, and amazing. It’s rubbed with cajun spices, and I even found myself carving extra skin to eat; I usually avoid it altogether.

So, Bounty Hunter is a wine bar that has over 40 wines by the glass and 400 wines by the bottle, and apparently because of a tiny kitchen, they make great use out of barbecues and smokers outside in the alley. So, you could also get things like BBQ Ribs, or Pulled Pork Sandwiches, but I don’t know I’d ever be strong enough not to order Beer Can Chicken, unless maybe if ordering for a large group.

Bounty Hunter is casual, but everything is done well. It’s loud and fun, but feels more friendly than busy. It’s not quite cheap, but a lot of plates are meant to be shared. The whole chicken is $22.


The chicken comes with salad, which I liked because it was just barely covered with dressing, as salad should be. Chad sighed that “a salad just isn’t a salad without grey salt,” but liked it well enough, even so, and took solace from the moist, pungent olive bread.


I liked the Artichoke Dip because it was really about the roasted artichokes being supported by garlic, red bell peppers, Serrano Ham, Parmesan Reggiano, and Scallions — it was not about melted cheese. It was chunky, not gloppy, and as Chad said, “warm and inviting.”

It could be a meal in itself, if you could possibly pass up getting a chicken sitting on a Tecate can.

5 Responses to “Bounty Hunter – Napa”

  1. JO Says:

    I have been cutting the back bone out of whole chickens, putting olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and herb of the moment…tarragon is good…under ther skin and on it and baking it at 450 degrees…start checking it at 30 minutes…it is SO good and juicy.

  2. Nina Says:

    Thanks for the tip — I’ll have to try that. How did you come up with that idea?

  3. nika Says:

    I am going to make my next chicken without a backbone for sure. Drives me nuts to butter, herb, salt, baste etc and it just all drops off, if the chicken is flayed open then it likely will stay on (root veggies as a base to steam goodness from beneath.)

    Thanks for sharin this review of the rest. sounds lovely!

  4. BNA Says:

    What fun!

  5. Uauagè » The four stages of Napa chicken. Says:

    […] After more than 3 months of hospital food, I’m back to serious cooking! This time, I emulated the famous Napa chicken, (also seen here) with some european variations: no Tecate beer, but a Thueringer, and no lime but a lemon. The original Napa spices we bought in California last fall. The contrivance to impale the chicken comes from a german kitchen supplies company called Kuechenprofi, and is called Haenchengriller. It costs about 13 euros. […]

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