It was a good year of travel (though I realized that’s exactly what I said in 2014 ^-^)
A quick trip west started with a few days in Napa…
…and afternoons at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.
Visits to Oxbow Market for charcuterie plates at Fatted Calf (a must!)…
…and cardamom ice cream at Three Twins.
Don’t forget about lunch at Redd…
…and chocolate mousse at the bar of Bouchon.
There were dinners at Silverado…
…including a feast with dishes prepared by Larry Forgione and Melissa Perello.
Early suppers at Bardessono.
Then off to San Francisco for waffles (topped with pomegranates and greek yogurt, good combo!) at Linea Caffe…
…followed by tea at Samovar and dinner at Trou Normand.
Humphry Slocombe for oolong (!) ice cream…
…and oolong cuppings at Red Blossom Tea.
More ice cream. Waffle cone, cinnamon-apple-crumble…
…spun to order at Smitten.
Morning kouign amann and kugelhopfs at B Patisserie. And then! Hours at Song Tea, a very special tea rom…
…more soon ^-^
On Wednesday we took a 6am flight from LAX to SFO. We picked up the car and drove straight to Napa….
…just in time for breakfast at Oxbow Market.
Allen had the chorizo sandwich from Model Bakery (must return for English muffins)…
…and I had a charcuterie plate from Fatted Calf. There were so many options!
I couldn’t decide which one of the meats I craved most, so the guy made me a plate of six different types: lamb bacon, sbriciolana, mortadella, guanciale and prosciutto. Cornichons and picked radishes on the side. Wish breakfast could be like this all the time.
From there it was a 15-minute drive to Domaine Chandon…
…before checking into Bardessono.
I’ve always wanted to stay at Bardessono, so this was a treat ^_^
We wandered around the property, took a nap, and…
…then it was time for lunch at Lucy. Bigeye tuna cobb…
…and a shrimp caesar.
All the vegetables at the restaurant come from their garden so we had to check that out…
…and then took a break in the room (afternoon matcha!), strolled around Yountville and took a peek inside Thomas Keller’s store, Finesse…
…and spent late afternoon by the pool.
Pretty soon it was 7pm, so into the shower. Time to get dressed!
We met Kei (thanks, Kei :)…
…for bubbles in the garden.
…and had a beautiful dinner at The French Laundry.
We woke up early the next morning, got breakfast from Bouchon Bakery (literally across the street from the hotel)…
…and drove to Domaine Carneros (which is owned by Taittinger)…
…for a morning flight of bubbles…
…before heading home to NYC ^_^
Snapshots from a very thoughtful birthday dinner ^-^
Let’s begin! Salmon tartare cornets…
…and a pea and carrot soup.
We both had the chef’s tasting menu, one without and one with all the supplements.
The classic “oysters and pearls” – a sabayon of tapioca with Island Creek oysters and white sturgeon caviar.
The supplement for this course was royal ossetra caviar with citrus cured albacore tuna, compressed cucumbers, preserved horseradish, whipped crème fraîche, and caraway crackers.
Anago with spicy mango and shiso.
Hen egg custard with a ragoût of Périgord truffles.
Slow roasted beet salad with bing cherries, fennel, Sicilian pistachios, and aged balsamic
And the supplement, a squash blossom porridge with toasted pine nuts and shaved Australian black winter truffles.
So heady ^_^
Bread and butter…
…and gulf coast cobia confit with green tomatoes, avocado purée, radishes and lettuce.
Bacon-wrapped scallops, potato purée, morels, pearl onions, and watercress.
White quail with grits, turnips, blueberries, pecans, and black muscat jus.
Herb-roasted lamb, saucisson a l’ail, tomatoes, olives, bail, and tonnato sauce.
And the supplement of charcoal-grilled wagyu with pommes boulangère, corn, celery branch salad, and red cabbage.
Pawlet (from Consider Bardwell Farm), apricots, roasted cauliflower, marcona almonds, and cilantro shoots.
And then dessert ^_^
This is “Tea with Strawberry Toast” – compressed strawberries with brioche croutons and whipped white tea.
How marvelous is this combination? Toasted pine nuts on the bottom. Vanilla bean ice cream. Shaved Australian black winter truffles. And butterscotch sauce poured table-side. Bliss!
French Laundry Nutella with thyme blossoms and candied hazelnuts.
“Coffee and Doughnuts”…a big bowl of doughnuts!
And the coffee, which is a cappuccino semifreddo.
So many chocolates! The peanut butter and jelly was my favorite.
And a little cake ^_^