Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco & wine country trip report

BWoosley | Aug 4, 200507:19 PM     5

Got back from our trip to San Francisco and Napa area this past week. Thanks for the

Sorry this is not real in depth, but don’t have time to go into much detail, so here we go:

We ate at Gary Danko our first night out. Could not get in until 9:30 so it was pretty late. Got
the five course meal I believe. Great. Superb service, nice atmosphere. Highlights were the
cheese cart, chocolate souffle, great wine list (a bit expensive obviously). The meal took four and
a half hours, but it was worth it. Overall, the best meal we had on our trip. Pricey though.

Second night I had reserved for some sushi at wife’s request. We walked down to the Ferry
Building area and had Ozumo. The sushi and sashimi were great quality, and they had several
sake samplers, which was nice. Service was great and the sushi chef was very helpful and
informative about things we did not know that much about. Fun dessert was a fondue with
various fruits. Very good. Loved the atmosphere and enjoyed looking over the bay and the bay
bridge while we ate.

Headed out to Yountville out third day in for a three day stay in wine country. Our first winery
visit was an appointment at Barnett Winery up west of St. Helena. Got picnic supplies at Oakville
grocery (a little overrated, but fine) and headed out. We arrived and were whisked up to the deck
at around 1800 feet to have our tasting and eat our picnic. Our guide left us with some wines, for
the picnic and came back later. Tasted the Chardonnay, Merlot, cab, and others I can not
remember. Took us inside for a couple of reserve wine barrel tastings which we really enjoyed.
Overall great wine tasting and tour.

Ate at Auburge Du Soleil that night. The view was great, the service was fine, the food was
good, borderline great. I say that because the tab was far too much for the food. Or at least in
my opinion. Highlights were obviously the view, great steak, good sea bream (sp), and great
desserts Overall it was a very good meal, but lord it was waaaaay too much for what we had.

The next day we had a private tasting at Chappellet. Way up in the mountains east of Rutherford.
Great tour of the grounds, the winery and wonderful views. Our guide took us out in the
vineyards and explained the grapes to us and the various ways of harvesting etc.. Great wines,
had the Chardonnay, Merlot, cab, and a few others. Shared some reserve can with us. Great

We stopped at Clos du Vol on our way down to Del Dotto. Wine factory, assembly line crap.
Don’t waste you time. There was a drunk bunch in there that was incredibly obnoxious.

Del Dotto cave tours: don’t miss. All barrel tasting with some reserve tasting at the end. Tour
and tasting was around three hours. I estimate we drank a bottle of wine a piece there.
Wonderful wines, wonderful tours. Loved the cab franc, Merlot, cab, and actually had a port
tasting at the end of our regular tasting. Do not miss that tour.

Ate at martini house the night of. Great atmosphere and wonderful food. A bit expensive still for
what you get. They had a great $25 and under wine list that we both bought a bottle from.
Great scallops, mushroom tasting menu was kind of a disappointment. Overall good food and
would recommend.

I am getting tired so I will mention that the next day we had a private tasting at Frog’s Leap. Our
guide was incredible. Loved the wines. Had a Merlot, reisling, cab, Chardonnay, zinfandel, and
syrah. Tasting tour was outside and through the winery. Loved it. We picked fruit from the
orchard as we walked and ate it as we tasted. Best tasting we had. Highly recommend.

I will say this: with a certain amount of pride, and I am sure some of you will scoff. I was surpised to find that I did not have a meal (talking actual food, not the whole dining experience) out
there (exceptions to French Laundry and a few others) that I could not find in Little Rock,
Arkansas. I think that is more of a compliment to Little Rock than a shot to San Francisco or
wine country. I am tired. I will post more later.

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