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San Francisco Bay Area Napa Valley

REPORTING BACK- OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN NAPA

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REPORTING BACK- OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN NAPA

niccole | Jun 16, 2005 07:01 PM

the original plan was for my friend and i to visit napa on thursday, but he decided to leave me at home with the kiddies and venture out himself for monday-thursday. here is his recap:

monday: taylors refresher for lunch, grilled ahi tuna sandwich w/ fried calamari. VERY TASTY
dinner at calistoga inn, awesome crab cakes ( better than "stomp" he says ) must have their pear cider even though your in wine country...
stopped at chateau montelena for a quick visit, he had been there a year ago for our wedding and wanted to set up an appt.

tuesday: down to napa to the general store which is connected to angele' and celadon. didnt eat at any of them, all very busy, but celadon looked very cool.

went to katz & company for "storm" olive oil, got a bottle for $23.

nothing to be seen at katz & company, like an industrial park...

went to peju winery from a recommendation from a sommelier friend of ours. very good, very nice people. he brought back a dark rose "table wine" that is tasty!

then off to bremmer family winery and that was very good, did the tasting, very cool people.

then dutch henry winery, no crowds, excellent wine & people

( the last 2 places from YOUR rec's, the chowhounds...)

then off to raymond winery because thats his brothers name....very touristy

then he made cakebread & frog leags appt for the next day

dinner- brannans in calistoga. just an easy dinner of burger and fries...with a triple flight of sparkling wine.

wednesday- cakebread tour in the morning. beautiful grounds, nice friendly staff, great wine...the most modern facility out of them all. cooking classes recommended- open kitchen right outdoors, beautiful. prices range from $75-$175

after that a ride to the top of sterling to see the view...i had told him to see the view, but the wine was nothing, which he agreed- very touristy but great view.

then to frank family winery in st helena. awesome. pat was pouring that day, and he was very cool. excellent sparkling wines. pat had a great attitude.
very historical winery, lots to learn about and even more to see.

lunch at oakville grocery, good sandwich, very crowded....( with idiots )

dean & deluca fine food store which was a joke- over priced and over crowded....( with idiots )

then the tasting at chateau montelena. he did the cabernet tasting, but then NOTHING beats the estate cabernet tasting. people there treated him very well.

dinner at stomp- pan seared scallops, not-so-good crab cakes, and sauvignon blanc from chandon. stomp had an excellent tomato consume' ( sp? ) which was the "chefs treat" of the night...everything else was as good as anywhere else and a little overpriced.

then off to little feet for drinks which is on the bottom floor of mountain view hotel. great drinks, great company.

he didnt make it there, but cafe/bistro 29 is supposed to be excellent, getting rave reviews from the locals he talked to.

thursday- frogs leap tour....should not be missed!!! prior appt needed. great people, very laid back, awesome wine...all around wonderful. it appears as though john williams is a great man to work for.

PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED:
frogs leap
frank family winery
the view at sterling ( not the wine )
lunch at taylors refresher ( old fashion summer time spot )
estate cabernet at chateau montelena

so, those were his highlights...hope you enjoyed.
( this is all coming from a FDNY chowhound )

PS- almost forgot a place...had drinks at auberge du soleil, great view and menu looks awesome!

happy wine tasting!

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