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 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.
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)
Saturday, October 15th, 2011
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.
Terry with a James Beard Award. He'll have one someday. He already has several Lindsey Gibbons Awards. ;-)
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!
that's a lot of candles....whomp whomp