Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Calistoga’

Hi! Is anyone watching the Golden Globes right now? I actually like watching the red carpet special more than the actual show- I love seeing what everyone is wearing!

(rewind to Saturday)

We started the day by walking into town for some coffee. I got a cafe au lait with nonfat milk.

CIMG2221

I felt compelled to take a picture of the Dr Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort sign. It always cracks me up- we stayed here and got mud baths two years ago, if you can believe it. The place is so ridiculous (a total throw-back) and I have to say that a mud bath is worth trying… once.

CIMG2231

Then, we went back to our inn for breakfast. Rick, one of the innkeepers, is a trained chef and is known for his 3-course breakfasts.

CIMG2191

We started with the orange currant anaise scones.

CIMG2235

CIMG2236

Fresh mango and granny smith apple with proscuitto, toasted walnuts, and rum-infused cherries:

CIMG2239

Truffled parmesan polenta, sauteed spinach, poached egg:

CIMG2243

The breakfast was so decadent and delicious- it kept us full for hours. After that, we checked out and started our drive through Napa Valley.

CIMG2246

We stopped at Rombauer for a tasting.

CIMG2251

I’m not always a huge fan of chardonnays, but this one was really good.

CIMG2247

Mustard fields…

CIMG2252

And Cakebread! We had a fabulous guide named Paul, who has lived in the area for over 25 years. He was such a sweet man.

CIMG2253

We drove through the town of St Helena, so of course I had to stop at Woodhouse Chocolate.

CIMG2255

Like the Tiffany of chocolate! So sleek and fancy.

CIMG2256

I got a brown butter ganache and a peanut croquant. Surprisingly, I haven’t tried either one yet…

CIMG2258

CIMG2260

We grabbed some sushi to share (it was gone so fast that I didn’t even get a picture) from Sunshine Foods since we had to get to an appointment at Beringer.

CIMG2264

I normally prefer open tasting rooms to set appointments, but our innkeeper recommended this tour so we went with it.

CIMG2268

We had an awesome guide named Dean, who spent 2 1/2 hours teaching us how to pair wines. I can’t say that I’ve ever taken interest in pairing before, but learning what foods & wines work together was really interesting.

For example, cabernet sauvignon goes well with salty + citrusy foods, but not with sweet foods. He used salt, lemon and red apple to prove this.

CIMG2275

Look at the scene by the time we were finished!

CIMG2279

We stopped at the original Oakville Grocery in Oakville. Does this sound familiar? We went to the store in Healdsburg the other day. 🙂

CIMG2284

I was so excited, only to find out that they had just closed. 😦

By the time we got to Yountville, we were tired and in the mood for an unplanned night. Who knew that eating good food could be so exhausting?

So, I cancelled our reservation at Ad Hoc (I love Thomas Keller, but the thought of a 4-course meal wasn’t appealing at that point!) and we went to Hurley’s instead.

I had the rosemary & maple roasted chicken, with lemon preserve, carmelized pearl onions, broccoli rabe, and macaroni & cheese with bacon. I prefer boneless chicken, but this hit the spot.

CIMG2288

CIMG2290

Tonight is our last night here before we fly home tomorrow! Do you have tomorrow off from work? I love holiday weekends, but I often think that I don’t appreciate the meaning behind the days off. Do you know what I mean?

Time to get ready for dinner!

-Laura

Read Full Post »

Dinner at JoLe

Last night, we had dinner at JoLe in Calistoga. They describe themselves as being a “farm to table,” Contemporary American restaurant.

We opted to sit at the bar, which led to the service being slow and spotty. Does this ever happen to you? The food was really good, but the poor service sort of took away from our overall experience.

CIMG2226

The plates were small, so we shared a bunch of different things.

We started with the roasted cauliflower since I saw that the man next to us was eating it. He cracked me up because he ate the cauliflower, but left the lentils and raisins on his plate. 🙂

Roasted Cauliflower- lentils, raisins, butternut curry:

CIMG2205

CIMG2206

Sea scallops- potato latkas, apple sauce, mushrooms:

CIMG2211

Branzino- broccoli rabe, peanut sambal, carrot ginger puree:

CIMG2213

Roasted Quail- brussels sprouts & garlic mashed potatoes:

CIMG2214

And now, my favorite…

Mascaparone Cheesecake- sugar cookie crust, blood oranges:

CIMG2216

The cheesecake was amazing. The mascarpone mellowed out the cream cheese flavor, and the sugar cookie crust added a nice twist.

CIMG2218

Do you decide if you’re going to order dessert ahead of time or do you just order it if you’re in the mood and something looks good?

Maybe I’m weird, but I sort of set it up in my head ahead of time whether or not I’m going to get dessert! I think I look forward to it more if I do that… either that, or I’m just crazy. 😉

-Laura

Read Full Post »

Happy weekend!

So last I wrote, we were on our way to Cyrus for a drink. It was a great place for a pre-dinner drink because it was just a block or two from our hotel.

CIMG2069

Sure enough, I got the Meyer Beautiful! The egg white foam on top of the drink was so unique… in a good way.

CIMG2090

After that, we headed back to the plaza for our reservation at Scopa. We had a hard time finding the restaurant because there was no sign anywhere and the restaurant was really small. Luckily, the address popped into my head and we found our way.

We ordered the lupini beans (which reminded me of edamame) and the polenta special to start.

I really wish that I had a better camera, if only so that you guys could see how delicious this polenta looked. It was bubbling and sizzling when it arrived in its scorching hot cast iron skillet. To the point where the leftover cheese got that good, crunchy texture to it. OMG, you guys. The cheese! The cremini mushrooms! After my first bite, I forgave Tobey for over-ordering. 🙂

CIMG2100

We shared the pizza special, which had leeks, ricotta insalata,marinara and homeade sausage on it.

CIMG2106

This morning, we went to the gym and then I walked over to Flying Goat for coffee.

I needed coffee after last night – random tangent here – somehow we got a room next to a bar that had Thursday night karaoke. This was annoying because our hotel was definitely nowhere near being full and they had to know that the bar next door has Thursday night karaoke. It was funny at first, but not when I was trying to fall asleep! Frustrating, right?

Anyway, there was a long line for coffee and somehow I ended up talking to a girl about blogs that we read. Fast friends in a coffee shop line? I love it.

CIMG2116

I got a soy cafe au lait (coffee and steamed soymilk).

CIMG2113

Tobey and I met back up at the karaoke bar hotel for breakfast. I always look forward to their housemade granola- it has almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, coconut and brown sugar in it. I don’t know what else is in it, but it’s so addicting.

CIMG2123

CIMG2145

Relaxing after breakfast…

CIMG2150

Tobey, at his fancy winery- this picture cracks me up because he looks so serious.

CIMG2157

We headed over the mountain and now we’re in Napa Valley… we’re staying in Calistoga for the night before we head over to Yountville. Calistoga reminds of an old Western walking town… it doesn’t seem like much changes here, which totally adds to the charm.

We had lunch at Bosko’s, an Italian restaurant.

CIMG2175

I had the minestrone soup and we shared a quattro formaggio (mozzarella, fontina, gorgonzola and pecorino) pizza. Pizza for dinner and pizza for lunch!

We hated it–

CIMG2169

Then, we walked over to the Sharpsteen Museum of Calistoga History.

CIMG2170

I learned that Calistoga became a popular vacation spot in 1850, after people realized that they had access to stock ticker tape and telegraph service. It seems like people gravitate towards places with hot springs, which tells me that people have always been somewhat interested in healing methods. 🙂

CIMG2178

After our little history lesson, we checked into the Chanric Inn. The innkeeper, Ric, was very welcoming & hospitable. Places like this make me love bed & breakfasts.

CIMG2183

CIMG2187

I am so looking forward to the 3 course breakfast tomorrow morning after seeing this…

CIMG2191

Do you prefer staying in hotels or bed & breakfasts?

I like a mix of both… sometimes, I like the predictability of hotels, and other times, I like the unpredictability of bed & breakfasts.

-Laura

Read Full Post »