Napa Valley


In the heart of Napa Valley–where there is no shortage of great restaurants–stands a little take-out depot pushing out some amazing fried chicken. This isn't just any take-out spot; it's Addendum from Thomas Keller who has been regarded as one of the best chefs in the world. Grab a boxed lunch with a piece of fried chicken or slab of ribs, and take in some beautiful weather. adden 001


adden 005

The Fremont Diner

The wife and I have found a new favorite lunch/breakfast spot in Sonoma, The Fremont Diner. It's everything you love about comfort food with hints of gourmet and a farm-to-table mentality. If you end up having to wait for a table, the back patio area overlooking the Sonoma countryside has a bar with great shakes, beers, and a few local wines. We had lunch on this particular visit, but we've been back since for breakfast which is just as good.

Nutella Milkshake

Deviled Eggs with Pickled Mustard Seed and Chives

Fremont Burger - Five Dot Ranch Beef, ABC Potato Bun, Sauce, Pickles, & Lettuce with Hand Cut Fries

Whole Hog - Sonoma County Pork on ABC Bun, Fremont BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw, Pickled Fennel with Succotash Salad

Strawberry Shortcake (Biscuits made in-house, and they are amazing.)

Napa Valley 003

Headed to Napa this past weekend to escape from the city. We stopped at a nice, casual restaurant in downtown Napa called Pearl for dinner on Friday. They had a diverse menu: everything from oysters and fish tacos to a New York strip steak sandwich.

On Saturday, we went to Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen for a quick bite. Great home style feeling. We ordered the crispy calamari with delta asparagus, lemons, jalapeño and a side of  lemon aioli. Delicious.

One of our favorite spots was the family-owned winery Hunnicutt. We were given a quick tour of their very large cave system by an incredibly nice hostess named Jen. Tasted some great wines and heard a little about their winemaking process. We left with a bottle and will probably return again soon.

We also checked out Beringer wines on the way back home. It was not as laid back as our first tasting, but beautiful nonetheless. Going from the quiet, personal experience at Hunnicutt to the more commercial feel at Beringer was a little deflating, but that's just me.

Ended the weekend at Grace's Table for Sunday brunch. Local, fresh and not pretentious in any way. Homemade jam, eggs, bacon, a southwestern potato cake. Delish. Highly recommend it.

Napa Valley 002

Last weekend, we visited Napa Valley to get a break from the city and enjoy some good wine and food. One of our favorite restaurants was Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc where they serve family style dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. We went for Sunday brunch, and the food was, as expected in the Napa region, incredibly good.

Salad of Baby Mixed Greens: shaved radish, marinated cucumber, griddled salmon, toasted sunflower seeds, dill cream dressing

Egg in a Nest: Smoked ham, poached hen egg, crispy russet potatoes, peppered gravy, roasted broccolini

Raspberry Financier: Almond ice cream, caramel

Napa Valley 001

Last weekend, the wife and I went slightly north of downtown Napa to the quaint town of Yountville. We spent the afternoon visiting a couple tasting rooms followed by dinner at Michael Chiarello's Bottega. Before dinner, we went to Cornerstone Cellars and Page Wine Cellars for tastings where we had a great Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from Cornerstone. In fact, we ended up leaving with two bottles. Right next door was Page Wine Cellars where the owner dedicates many of his wines to great musicians.  It was a fun atmosphere with great wine and a lot of music memorabilia, as seen below with one of Carlos Santana's guitars. Bottega is nestled right in the heart of Yountville, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The lighting was dim, but I managed to capture a few shots of our delicious dishes.

Organic Prosciutto "house cured," pasta fritta, pomegranates, prosecco "nuvelo" & daikon radish sprouts.

Wood Grilled Loin of Grass-Fed Lamb, saffron braised potatoes, green onions, pistachio pesto & rosemary scented lamb jus.

For Dessert:

Italian doughnuts with Praline crema.