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Napa, Sonoma Coast, and the City trip....(long) part 1

socal boy | Sep 25, 200305:21 PM

As usual, I always check the Chowboard board for dining tips on trips up North. Thanks for the info. Here is what we ate and did.
Day 1- Arrived in Oakland. Ate at Horatio's in San Leandro for lunch. (No address data) I had the Fish and Chips and my wife had Maple Chicken Salad. Three big pieces of fish in a nice batter which kept the fish moist. Nice fries. My wife was still hungry after eating the salad (enough said). Drove up to Napa Valley for dinner at La Toque (1140 Rutherford Cross Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573 (707) 963.9770). We had the five course meal. I had it with the wine (1st 4 courses only, other courses had wine but additional charge) This is the first time I ever had wine pairing with each course so descriptions may be hard to come by but here goes.
Amuse #1- Asparagus with aioli sauce. Light, one bite.
Amuse #2- Smoked Salmon minced on a lemon biscuit. The lingering lemon zest complemented the lightly smoked salmon.
First course- Shrimp w/ tomato coulis and 2000 Chateau Carbonnieux. Wine complemented the shrimp dish well, a small taste of bigger and better things to come. My wife had the Artichoke soup with minced olives which she enjoyed.
Second course- Black Bass with Fennel and 1999 Loimer Gruner Veltliner. Again the wine complemented the light black bass with the strong fennel flavors, a good match. My wife had the Fried Sandbab, which was fried whole and perfectly might I add and was delicious.
Third course- Wagyu beef with mushrooms on a buttery toast with 2000 Garguilo Aprile. The beef had a wonderful flavor cooked extremely rare and went well with the sauteed mushroom and toast. The wine was in a style of a Super Tuscan and was complex and spicy. Wife had the Foie Gras ravioli with crispy duck and vegetable. She actually gave me some and it was incredibly delicious. The ravioli was Foie Gras only and the crispy duck and vege's complemented the rich flavor of the ravioli. I thought this was the best dish of the night.
Fourth course- We both had Veal medallions with spaetzle and chanterelle mushroom in a reduction sauce with 1998 Showket Cabernet Sauvignon. By the time we got to this course, we were on the edge of full. The spaetzle which was fried crispy, cut the rich reduction sauce and was delicious.
Skipped the optional cheese course and moved onto dessert.
Dessert- Chocolate Mousse Bombe with fresh raspberries and Pear, Strawberry and Mango sorbet on a coconut macaroon. The coconut macaroon which was just a place mat for the sorbet was extremely delicious. I would go back just to have that macaroon.
Finally after coffee and tea, we had an assortment of cookies and candies to finish up our meal. Service was excellent. We sat outside on the patio with a blazing fire in front of us. Definitely a night to remember.
Day 2- Wine tasted in the morning at Domaine Carneros(1240 Duhig Rd, Napa CA (707) 257.0101. Had the Brut and Le Reve Blanc de Blanc Sparking Wine and a cheese plate while sitting out on the patio in front of the Chateau. They have a different cheese plate for the sparkling wine and pinot tastings. We had a triple cream cheese, a soft goat cheese and a hard Sonoma Jack cheese with dried fruit and assorted crackers. Spectacular view, great tour and they even had their production line working that day. On to food now.
Lunch at Bistro Jeanty(6510 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599 (707) 944.0103. Started with the Cured Pork Belly with lentil and seared foie gras. Everything went so well together. I tried to take a little of everything and put it on my fork and eat it all at once. A simple dish with such complex flavors. Almost looks like you can make it at home but not really. My wife had the Tomato soup with Puff Pastry. She didn't give too much to me because it was so good. The two spoonfuls I had were delicious.
Main Course-Lamb Cheeks with Artichoke and pasta. The slight gamey taste of lamb disappeared when I ate the pasta with artichoke and lamb juice. This dish is far better than I expected and the portion was huge. My wife had the Coq au Vin with Butter noodles which she declared the best she's had. I have to concur with her. The chicken was dark and tender from the wine braising and the vegetables were cooked perfectly.
Onto Silver Oak Winery (915 Oakville Crossing, Oakville, CA 800.273 8809. Currently tasting 98 Napa and 99 Alexander Valley Cabs. Note- I think every limousine in Napa was at this winery. Off to the Sonoma Coast and Bodega Bay on Part 2 of this post.
Again, Thanks Chowhounds for all of the good advise. I was not led astray.

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