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Weekend trip to Napa Valley


chefmd
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My husband and I are planning a weekend trip to Napa Valley in July.  Would like to get recommendations for new/exciting places to eat.  We go there relatively regularly and I always want to visit same places.  Mustards grill for lunch, Auberge du Soleil for early dinner (mostly for the view), Terra, Redd, you get the idea.  Had an amazing dinner in French Laundry, only mildly spoiled by my dining companions reciting their food preferences/dislikes (this was corporate event, I did not know these people prior to dinner).  This time I decided to go to completely different set of places for two lunches and two dinners.

 

What is everyone's favorite restaurant in Wine country?  Winery recommendations would be great too.

 

Thanks.

 

P.S.  I realize that  not wanting to eat in outstanding restaurants just for the sake of variety is silly but new discoveries are awaiting...

 

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Here's my personal Do Not Miss:  http://www.pragerport.com/

 

And I never do.

 

Also never miss a stop at Rancho Gordo's terrific store on Yajome St in Napa:

http://www.ranchogordo.com/html/rg_market_schedule.htm

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We spend a few days in Napa every summer.

Goose & Gander for the excellent gruyere burger and innovative + delicious cocktails.

Redd Wood for salads (especially the spring vegetables with green goddess dressing), bucatini pasta and meatballs. Skip the desserts.

Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen for the Oysters Bingo and Duck Tostada (and cornbread!).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally we are in Napa!  I cook excessively so on trips like this we splurge on eating out.  DH agrees that it is better than buying shoes.

 

Lunch in St. Francis winery.  Five courses with wine pairing for 50 dollars which I find extremely reasonable.

 

Burrata with Mizuna salad (I swear it was arugula) and pickled peaches.

Zuccini wrapped halibut.  They proudly announced that it was cooked sous vide at 142 degrees and as I thought it was overcooked (at least for my liking).

Chicken roulade with panchetta and grains.

Strip steak with smoked baked potato.  Steak was medium rare.

Broiled figs with blue cheese.

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And dinner at Farmhouse Inn.  Food was very well cooked but somehow had old fashioned feel to it.  We were also eating next to a very prominent politician who ran for Presidential nomination twice some years back.

 

Melon soup with dried prosciutto on the rim of the cup for amuse bouche.

Salmon for DH, octopus for me for the first course.

Pork chop for DH for main course, probably the best pork I ever tasted.  Rabbit  rabbit rabbit for me.  It is their signature dish and includes loin, rack, and leg confit.

For dessert we shared Market tart (insert a joke) and cheese course.

 

I had wine pairing with my meal and they served three different wines with savory courses and not one but two wines with cheese.  

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And as was recommended in this thread I stopped at Rancho Gordo store in Napa.  I wanted to buy everything.  Twice.  Had to limit myself to a few nice packages.  Especially excited about casoulet beans.

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Newfangled or old-fashioned, the meals both look excellent. I don't suppose you made notes on the wines with which each dish was paired, did you?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Finally we are in Napa!  I cook excessively so on trips like this we splurge on eating out.  DH agrees that it is better than buying shoes.

 

Lunch in St. Francis winery.  Five courses with wine pairing for 50 dollars which I find extremely reasonable.

 

Burrata with Mizuna salad (I swear it was arugula) and pickled peaches.

Zuccini wrapped halibut.  They proudly announced that it was cooked sous vide at 142 degrees and as I thought it was overcooked (at least for my liking).

Chicken roulade with panchetta and grains.

Strip steak with smoked baked potato.  Steak was medium rare.

Broiled figs with blue cheese.

Hmm... it all looks tasty but sous vide halibut simply seems like a bad idea... at 142 degrees there is no question it is overdone. Maybe they should have cooked that steak sous vide instead. Note, it looked more like a slab out of a roast than a steak anyway with that grey ring of overcooked meat on the the outer edge.

Edited by sculptor (log)
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Going to Napa again in January and this time scored reservations in The Restaurant at Meadowood.  A little perplexed after reading reviews.  People are complaining about feeling hungry after eating there.  Will see.

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just finished din-din at etoile - highly recommended.  pricey, but delish food (typical french - big plates, little bits in the middle) - veddy posh surrounds, three barrel vaulted domes on stepped levels - so each was not too large to make noise/confusion. 

 

beet salad + sweetbreads for starters, scallop for 2nds, prime rib (actually looked like slices of tenderloin - just one muscle group...) + Berkshire suckling pig roasted.

 

little bits regardless, tummies were quite satisfied. 

 

excellent double expresso and daily deserts.

 

lower level has best garden views - we got side tracked by the humming birds in for their evening snack - the gardens look to be extensive.

the middle level has a (gas) fireplace, if you must.

did not visit the upper level.

 

note:   only wine(s) available - no pre-dinner cocktails.

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Going to Napa again in January and this time scored reservations in The Restaurant at Meadowood.  A little perplexed after reading reviews.  People are complaining about feeling hungry after eating there.  Will see.

 

For $225, you want to feel full?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 4 months later...

I like dining at the bar at Bottega and Redd. For whatever reason, the bartenders in the area are especially friendly and a huge resource for food/wine info. Really like Ad Hoc--have had a few very fun meals there. I'm a big fan of the cookbook and Thomas Keller generally, but was not satisfied with Bouchon in Yountville. Bistro Jeanty on the other hand is a good French bistro meal (but if you've only got a couple days, I would pass as you can get the food elsewhere).

 

As far as I am concerned, the best place for breakfast in the two valleys is Fremont Diner between Napa and Sonoma Valleys. It's on the 12 in Fremont. We usually stay in Yountville and drive down and over early in the morning, stopping there, on our way to the coast or Sonoma. Really, really good and popular with the locals as well (heard about it from one of those bartenders). Napa Valley Biscuits in Napa used to be great, but is apparently closed. Finally, Gott's Roadside is a good place to stop for breakfast if you're headed north in Napa Valley. They get BUSY for lunch but have solid tacos.

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  • 2 years later...

We are back in Napa!  Staying the whole week.  They are experiencing a heat wave, current temp is 111.  Yikes.  The rest of the week looks better.  We rented a house in St. Helena, my cousin and her husband will join us for a few weeks.

 

call me crazy but I had to bring the essentials.  A chefs knife purchased in thrift shop for 25 cents.  I am afraid to check my good knives while flying.  This knife is not bad, I made it razor sharp.  The logo says "Westminster" and made in Japan.  A paring knife, also a thrift store find.  Lodge cast iron skillet.  Spatula, lime press, microplane, thermometer, peeler, measuring cup.

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I decided that we are going to eat at the new places on this trip.  The first meal upon landing was at In and Out Burger.  My first time.  The place was packed, drive through line super long.  It was an ok burger.  Not something that I am going to crave in the future.

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10 hours ago, gfweb said:

In n out is a nice burger, >>McD. But it's not life-changing as I'd been lead to believe. 

 

Im looking forward to your reports

Not life changing.  That a very accurate way to describe it.

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Dinner last night at Acacia House, Chris Cosentino restaurant in St. Helena.  

Sweet breads and hamchi crudo for starters.  Sweet breads were more creamy than usual, the server said it was because they came from young cows and not from calves.

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Bucattini with sea urchin and pork schnitzel with caviar beurre blanc for the main course.  Schnitzel was exceptionally flavorful.

 

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