So I’m back in Dallas and definitely missing the sunshine [and wine] in Napa. Mainly the wine.
But… what did I do in wine country for five days? Drink, obviously. And eat, perhaps not as obvious.
I’m fairly confident in saying that it was the most slothful and gluttonous five days of my life. I feel like I’ve doubled in size since two weeks ago – well worth it though. Here are a few of my faves:
Taken at Bouchon
- Bouchon in Yountville
Holy moly, this Thomas Keller restaurant is so well-worth the hype! I went to the French bistro for brunch with a friend on Saturday and for a business lunch on Tuesday. At brunch, my friend and I split the Pastry Basket; she had the Bouchon Waffles (delicious!) while I had the Fines Herb Omelette (also delicious!). Main takeaway: who knew that hot-crossed buns were actually a real thing?
For lunch on Tuesday, we sampled the Salade Maraîchère au Chèvre Chaud, the Salade Lyonnaise, the Daurade Poêlée, and the Moules au Safran. With french fries [with truffles]. As well as a few glasses of wine because… when in Napa? #amiright
Verdict: quite possibly my new favorite restaurant, though kind of insanely expensive. Reservations needed.
- Ad Hoc in Yountville
Yes, another Thomas Keller creation. Because Thomas Keller can do no wrong. So what makes Ad Hoc special? The menu changes every single night. The foods are all classic American dishes, four courses, each served family-style. Be sure to specify whether you’re a vegetarian, a vegan, a pescatarian, or if you’re a total carnivore when making your reservations. The restaurant will alter your meal accordingly.
Verdict: $60 for four courses is totally worth it – particularly when they’re this delicious! Reservations recommended.
- Gott’s Roadside in Napa
This burger joint is a total gem. I went for a casual business lunch on Sunday for lunch. Yummy burgers like the Texas Avocado Burger and delicious delicacies like the Fish & Chips (one of my favorite dishes!)…. oh, and wines available both by the glass and by the bottle. Because YUM.
Verdict: slightly expensive for burgers, but super delicious so I think it’s worth it.
- Mustards Grill in Napa
I went to Mustard’s Grill Monday night for a large work dinner. Like ten people large. Several courses and multiple glasses of wine later, I was quite happy with how the dinner turned out. I don’t quite recall what everybody had, but I do remember loving the Crispy Calamari with curried slaw and fresno chilies. Yes, all I remember is one appetizer. Don’t judge me.
Verdict: larger servings, would definitely go back for a second round. Reservations recommended for larger parties.
- Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford
I’m a long-time fan of Frog’s Leap. I loved getting the chance to taste some of their newer wines ($25 for four tastings and a small cheese plate) and walk their gorgeous grounds. Also the house is basically my dream house – so cute!
Verdict: love. Go. Reservations are recommended, though not absolutely necessary.
- Mumm in Napa
Sparkling wine, oh how I love thee! My friend and I sat out on the Oak Terrace, propped our feet up, and drowned our totally non-existent sorrows in sparkles. $40 gets you four tastings of sparkling wine and $25 will get you an additional artisan cheese tray. Incredible views are complementary.
Verdict: pretty much the most relaxing place I’ve ever visited. Reservations necessary.
- Cliff Lede Vineyards in Yountville
I stumbled into this winery by complete accident and I totally dug the surprise. Not only did it have a great, super casual atmosphere, but the wines were super yummy and the patio was super relaxing. I may or may not have almost dozed off a couple of times.
Verdict: hidden gem! Walk-ins welcome.
- Domaine Chandon in Yountville
Again with my love of sparkling wines. As an event outing from the conference, a large group of us visited the Yountville winery. There they left us with a couple of bottles and disaster ensued. A yummy, yummy disaster. Bubbly should be a part of every diet. Plus Domaine Chandon gives you a champagne flute on your way out of the winery to commemorate your visit. Which is just kind of wonderful.
Verdict: massive and lovely. Reservations recommended.
Thanks to DallasWineChick for all of the wonderful recommendations! I can’t wait to get back to Napa for round two!
Have you ever been to Napa? What were your favorite spots to wine and dine?