Wine Country: The Food Part II

Picking up where I left off from Part I's post:

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
(forewarning, boring day of no pictures)
Lunch: We had a very hearty breakfast from our hotel stay, so we didn't even have a true sit-down lunch.
Afternoon Snack: We had a cheese and crackers plate with a wine tasting in the afternoon
Dinner:  After Emily's flight landed, but before Sarahs (there was about a 2 hour gap), the three of us went closeby in Oakland to watch some sports and finally eat for the day.  I already don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it felt like we were sitting in with the Italian mobs families.  Thick accents, A-Ti-Tude, and hearty Italian cooking.  We weren't sure half the time if we were having fun or if we were just smiling so they wouldn't add us to their hit lists.

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Breakfast:  Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.  I'd been super excited to swing in to Bouchon Bakery for breakfast because it is a Thomas Keller Restaurant.  Yes, I know, food nerd in high gear here, I'll totally own it.  Little did I know that Bouchon caught on fire semi-recently, so their production was very limited.  Boo.  We got coffee cakes and banana nut muffins, and of course coffee to get us all moving.  We also swung in to Napa's Oakville Grocery (seeing a trend at all with how much we love that place??) and Terry got a goat cheese and pepper quiche.  YUM!

Lunch: Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery.  We got the recommendation during our Wine Sensory Experience at W.H.Smith Wines.  It was a gorgeous day so we opted to sit outside in the sunshine.  Emily and I may have friend a little bit, but it was worth how lovely sitting outdoors was for us. 

 We all ended up ordering 4 different things and doing a quad-split.  It was the best of all worlds.  We all got a go at the risotto, bruschetta, crab cakes, and the Calistoga Club. Delicious Meal.  We had a great experience, would definitely recommend going back. 

 Afternoon snack:
We got back to our Barn and put together a delicious cheese and meat spread from our accumulations over the last few days.  The cheese to the left closest to the fork was gouda that they cut open and stuffed with herb and garlic goat chevre and they called it a Truffle cheese. Could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting.... along with the pepper crusted salami.  I'm never going to be skinny ever again in my life.

Dinner: El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma
We all got pretty for a night on the Sonoma Downtown.  We made a reservation for El Dorada Kitchen

I had the Roasted Petaluma chicken with potato purée, corn, mushrooms, summer squash, and torpedo onions.  And other than the bone, I licked my platter clean.

Terry had the Alaskan halibut with a corn pudding, spinach, chanterelle mushrooms and spring onions in a lobster emulsion.  We had never had a main course in a foamy sauce before, so we were both very eager to dig in.  My chicken was juicy and perfect, but his dish won by a landslide.  (and yes for the record, I took that photo.  It was over-exposed...still is kinda, so I dropped the exposure a bit, but it ended up making it so crisp.  Love this photo)
As far as EDK goes, maybe we were just there on an off-night, or maybe it was our waiter, or maybe it was that they were about to host a rehearsal dinner, but for the esteem and clout the restaurant holds, it did not live up for us on the service and setting rank.  The food  lived up in spades though, so ultimately I'd still never give a bad review.

Saturday, October 15th, 2011
It may or may not have been someone's birthday today, so my breakfast was a mimosa with Champagne from one of the wineries we thought we'd be going to in the day....turns out we packed too many things in and didn't get there. Next trip. 
Lunch: Mustards Grill in Napa
We had a very late lunch, and even with it being 2pm, there was still a "45 minute wait" (they ended up seating us quickly because someone with a reservation didn't show.......and I may have told them it was my birthday.  We ate at Mustards last year and have been drooling to get back, so we thought we'd show it off with the girls in tow.

Terry with a James Beard Award.  He'll have one someday.  He already has several Lindsey Gibbons Awards. ;-)

Sharing some Calamari and Dungeness Crab Cake Starters.  After this point, I went into my "I'm in food heaven/bliss/coma" and stupidly didn't take any other photographs.  We had the Grilled Ahi Tuna with basil aioli and picked ginger and then the Chicken Breast with Bellwether Farms Ricotta, green onion-herb mayonnaise and housemade chips, and we attempted to split it.  The Ahi was a little too rare for me, absolutely perfect  for Terry.  The girls split the Mongolian Porkchop and I tell you, that is nothing short of perfection.  No wonder it's Cindy Pawlcyns signature dish. 

Dinner: The best meal of the trip.  Homemade in the Barn by Terry.  On our wine stop at Simi a few days earlier, Terry got hooked and bought a Risotto cookbook, so he wanted his first attempt to be in Sonoma.  Talk about self-stress.  He's a pro though, so while it took forever to make, it was so delicious! 
The girls helping in the kitchen

ideal birthday dinner!
I still luckily got to be sous-chef, so I prepped out the plates once they were all ready to go.

Salad and tomatoes from the garden, saffron risotto, grilled/sauteed squash and zucchini, and tri-trip steak with a cilantro-pepper aioli.  Drooling all over again!

Nothing completes a birthday or an amazing meal quite like a chocolate truffle molten deliciousness of bakery goodness!  Terry looks so entertained.
that's a lot of candles....whomp whomp
yup, and that's the best picture of the cake.  After that, it was food delirium again and pictures weren't even thought about.  Oops.  Trust me, it was divine.  Even the next morning for dessert!   :-)


Anonymous said... Add Reply

It only looked like a lot of candles because it was a small cake. :)

Post a Comment

You know I love your input!!