Napa Valley - Take One
We just got back from an amazing getaway drinking wine, eating amazing food, and spending quality time with family. This trip was lovingly planned by my precious mother-in-law and I would like to share some of the beautiful vineyards we visited and delicious food we ate! 
If you have ever been to Napa Valley, you will know that this is THE place for foodies (YUM)! From the famous Thomas Keller eateries to the hidden gems that only the locals will know about, this is the place where chefs dream and indulge. 
First stop was the quaint french Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. This place has the feel of a neighborhood Parisian bistro nailed. The menu is adorned with delicacies like Pâté de Champagne, Parfait de Foie Blond, Classic Cassoulet, and Sole Meunière. I chose the Coq au Vin (double YUM). 

We stayed at the Silverado Resort. It came equipped with its very own little grocery that included a Starbucks Coffee and Bouchon Pastries. Yes, you heard me right, Bouchon and Starbucks at your hotel front door and no crazy line???? #HeavenPistachio Macaron, Pain au Raisin, Chocolate-Almond Croissant Pistachio Macaron, Pain au Raisin, Chocolate-Almond Croissant

We then took off on our winery excursion. We hired a driver for the day to take us around the valley. Hiring a driver is the best advice I can give for a Napa trip! They know all the hidden gems and as you would imagine, they know their way around, so no getting lost! Our driver took us to a brand new vineyard called Italics. Super friendly and gracious group of growers. Perched atop a hill by the Napa Country Club, their tasting room (dug into a cave) has the most beautiful chandelier above the table. I wish I had taken a picture of it! (dang it!) The wine was as lovely as the setting. I highly recommend visiting this place! 

We then visited Jarvis winery. 45,000 sf of cave tunneled into the Vaca Mountains east of downtown Napa, this place is a jaw dropper! Inside the cave is rows and rows of barrels filled with wine, a huge ball room, plus a waterfall and river to round the the elegance of this estate. 

We had lunch the first day at Mustards Grill. And friends, let me say this: don't be late for your reservation or you just might get a dirty cookbook from the manager! I humbly accepted this gift that was meant to be a joke because little did he know that I am a chef and I cherish dirty cookbooks! Besides that, the food is exactly what you would expect from a buzz Napa hotspot. Delicious! With its attached garden for fresh produce, and the seafood flown in on a daily basis, its a winner and not to be missed. 

                                               

Ahi Tuna Crackers w/Wasabi Cream

Dinner was absolutely amazing as all the food is in Napa! This farm to table Italian restaurant know as Bistro Don Giovanni is complete with house made pastas and brick oven pizzas. I'm pretty sure the owner served us wine personally looking like he just stepped of the set of the Sopranos. No pics here, too busy eating! Check out their menu here.

The next morning my husband and I popped in and out of several wineries from Cakebread to a little tasting room in Yountville called Hope and Grace. Every place was just as delightful as the next. Lunch was at the amazing Bouchon Bistro. Thank you Thomas Keller for existing. Without you I'd be lost!
 
Eat drink eat drink eat drink... you get the idea right??? 
A must stop is Farmstead. We had our last dinner here. I can not even begin to describe the elevation this chef gives simple farm to table ingredients. Meatballs with caramelized onions, Crab Louie with avocado, Grass fed cheeseburger on a potato bun, oh my oh my oh my! They grow and make their own olive oils, honey, organic fruits and veggies. With craft cocktails made with house infused spirits and an extensive wine list (of course) in a relaxed but elegant setting puts this Napa restaurant at the top in my book! 
My love for food and wine makes Napa Valley one of my favorite destinations. Which is why this is to be continued.... ;)