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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.

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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.