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Trip Report - LONG

adele | Mar 13, 200505:02 PM

Just back from a food and wine extravaganza (thanks to you SFB hounds). Went for our usual dim sum at Yang Sing and then across to the Ferry Market to buy some great smoked fish and dried fruit to save to bring home and enjoy in the future. Had a fabulous dinner at Joy in Foster City. There were 8 of us and I ordered for everyone off the translated Chinese menu. The food was great. The only thing that wasn't special was the soup and only because the waiter talked me out of the one I wanted because he was concerned we wouldn't like it. Will I never learn? Spent several days in wine country over barrel tasting weekend. We hadn't been there for years and were amazed how much it's grown. Spent a few hours at COPIA, did a nice wine tasting there and loved touring the gardens. It's a very cool place and a fine tribute to both food and wine. Had a nice, light lunch at Zuzu. The organic baby beet salad with blood oranges and candied walnuts was yummy, as was the tagine lamb shank and mashed boniato. They have a very nice selection of wines by the glass. A quick trip up to Domain Carneros where we did a pinot noir sampler with a wonderful cheese selection and I tried their new merlot which was excellent. Dinner at Don Giovanni was perfect. Roasted mussels with frites was good, but the papparadelli with bologese, which in this case was a rabbit ragu, was superb. The Napa lamb with farrow, peas and mint was also very good. The next day lunch at Charcuterie in Healdsburg was very nice. They were out of the special lamb burger, so we had the regular burger which was very good, served with a delicious white bean soup. The salad of baby greens, apples, walnuts and blue cheese was good and light. Dinner at Celadon was wonderful. We weren't going to get the mussels because we had them the night before, but when we saw them brought out to another table, we couldn't resist and were glad we didn't. Possibly the best mussels we've ever had (and we've had a lot of mussels). They were huge and served with an apple wood bacon, white wine and fresh tomato sauce. Baby spinach salad with duck confit and a grilled pork chop in wine reduction with sauteed spanach and fingerling potatoes rounded out the menu. Unfortunately, we still couldn't squeeze in dessert, but they looked great. Next day lunch at the Rutherford Grill, which when we walked in I said to my husband "this looks like Houstons," turns out to be exactly what it is. But it was already late and we were hungry. The food was Houston's ribs (good) and a caesar salad. With all the wonderful "real" local restaurants, there are many other places to go to. Dinner that night was at Bistro Jeanty. It was good, but probably the most disappointing. The escargots were good, the coco vin was good. Nothing memorable. My husband loves rabbit and ordered the breast of rabbit medallions served over paparadelli with a light cream sauce with morels and carrots. He wasn't thrilled with the boneless rabbit (said it was rather dry), but while I thought the rabbit was good, I loved the pasta and the sauce was fabulous. Again, sadly, no room for dessert. Next and last day we met two family members from SF at Domain Chandon for lunch. We shared oysters with wasabi, fois gras truffles with an orange crunchy crust, baby beet sald, myer lemon risotto, the most amazing Napa lamb medallions, chicken with fois gras wrapped "purses", finally two delicious desserts - a cocolate bread pudding and poached pear with almond ice cream, a wonderful bottle of bubbly and a very nice pinot noir. I swore on the plane home that I would never eat or drink wine again, but you know how that goes!! Anyway, our trip was wonderful, I can't even begin to talk about the wonderful wineries we visited and the wines we tasted. You guys are SO fortunate to have some of the world's best food at your fingertips. The good news is you really do appreciate it so it isn't wasted. Once again, I do thank you for all your suggestions and am looking forward to visiting again soon.

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