Attention Food Bloggers (and lurkers that lurk on food blogs and blow helium into our egos via inflation of Site Stats)! Napa is full of all the stuff you’re obsessed with:
- Artisan foods/farms/grocers: Dean & Deluca has a location up in St. Helena and there are more fine food emporiums scattered throughout the wine country than seeds in a spaghetti squash
- Upscale all-organic public markets- namely Oxbow Public Market (more on that in a bit)
- Michelin Star restaurants, mainly in the super upscale utopic town of Yountville (ahem French Laundry) and an abundance of other impeccable dining options
- Places where you can sample 50+ varieties of balsamic vinegar (mission fig, champagne, red apple, sherry, etc…I almost died and went to acid reflux heaven)
- Places where you can sample a million types of mustards/tapenades/spice rubs…ya know and they cost around $17 per 100ml (I admit I may have snacked on around $5 worth of truffle dijon spoonfuls)
- At least five artisan OLIVE OIL stores in a row- go knock yourself out with flavoured good fats!
- Lavender- it’s grown in Napa so go rub on some tester body lotion and inhale the scent of some boysenberry lav soap as if it’s the morning oats concoctions you all begin your days with
- Sunshine! Tennis courts! Golf courses! Spas! Knock yourself outtttt
And salt samplers...I would buy this just to offer it to my guests when they ask me to "pass the salt"
Alors, yesterday morning the popsicle and I put on our Lacoste polos and headed to the tennis courts for a morning rally. We didn’t play an ACTUAL game since it’s been over a year since either of us have hit a Wilson so it was some low key back and forthin’ it.
Fun fact: I played varsity tennis in high school
After around an hour, the sun started beating down like no other so we knew it was time to meet up with Nora and mamacita and change into something a bit more artisanal rather than Wimbledon-chic and head out for some good ol family sightseeing in Yountville and St. Helena
BEFORE THAT THOUGH, lunch was quite necessary so we stopped at Fume Bistro & Bar
here in Napa:
Daddy and I each were feeling a little pescavorous, so we both ordered this dashing dose of omega-3s:
- Roasted spice-rubbed salmon over mixed greens, avocado, tomatoes, tortilla strips with a cumin vinaigrette and topped with pico de gallo
Lucky for the popsicle and I, mama ordered the other item we had been debating between:
Thinly sliced steak sandwich with melted pepperjack, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, roasted jalapenos on a sweet roll with a side of rosemary aioli
I said lucky for us, because she ended up giving us most of the sandwich and you can bet I slathered on that glorious Potato-Champion-reminescent aioli without abandon and went to town on the meaty cheesy deliciousness
It also came with a side of:
Pomme Frites with mama's sandwich- True winner here
Oh my Lordddd- these fries were absolutely perfect- crisp and doused in fleur de sel!
As for Nora:
Margherita Flatbread (see a trend?)
After grubbin’ it, we got back on the road and headed for a little walk around Yountville. I think my parents may have purposely planned for us to lunch PRIOR to getting here otherwise I just may have gone even more bonkers with the excitement of walking past French Laundry, Bouchon, Bottega, Ad Hoc, Redd…you know all those world famous culinary motherships
It is a gorgeous town though:
Idyllic little plaza adjacent to Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, Bottega
After a little jaunt up to St.Helena and back down to Napa for some R&R in the sun, I started researching for some potential dinner options and came across the Oxbow Public Market
Oxbow Public Market
is a modern market hall in downtown Napa comprised of: a local charcuterie, Gott’s Roadside (a famous burger place), a Hog Island Oysters restaurant, Three Twins Ice Cream
(a HIGHLY acclaimed organic ice creamery), Kara’s Cupcakes, and an assortment of restaurants featuring local, organic, and above all DELICIOUS ingedients
Mama was craving some pasta so we decided to dine at one of the tables at Ca Momi
, an eatery priding itself on the featuring of authentic Napoletana pizzas! As we were getting seated I couldn’t help but notice that the wine list on the chalkboard featured MOSCATO (only the fruitiest most delicious sparkling wine in the entire universe), and not only that but it was only $5 per glass (or $10.95 per bottle). Obviously I had to BBM a certain Nepali friend named after a continent about this…
…but as I was con la familia, we stuck with water and got ordering, but before they brought this to the table:
Garlic chili oil: straight up sizzling
Note: My Blackberry battery was low so the flash stopped functioning, so my apologies for the poor lighting in the remaining photographs:
Starter salad: Mixed greens with shaved red onion, radishes, and carrots in balsamic di modena and local olive oil
Mama and I split this delightful insalata mista as a starter
As for the main courses:
Spinach lasagne with fontina, mozzarella, and parmigiano reggiano in becamel sauce
This was SUPER yum, but a bit too rich and creamy for my palate- nevertheless a formaggio-fest for sure
Quattro Formaggio: Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Fontina, Parmigiano Reggiano, San Marzano tomato sauce
Daddy also decided to get merry on dairy with this. I don’t know if I can communicate how amazing this 4-cheese was, it was a steaming pool of cheesiness! I basically felt myself turning into a mouse at the pleasure it brought my palate
Melanzane: San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella, aubergine, and parmigiano reggiano
Yes that is three different blurry angles of my dinner last night, but it was delicious and completely polished (daddy enjoyed the remaining crust)
Despite epic amounts of full-ness, we couldn’t leave Oxbow Public Market
without having dessert- so I convinced (well it really did not take much convincing) the papacito to come with me and get some glace at Three Twins
The dude working there was SO nice and I have to say I give them 5 stars not only for having the most delectable organic ice cream ever but also because their taster spoons are actually made of metal. And yeah the guy working there let me try just about every flavour before I made my very very difficult decision:
Lemon Cookie and Cookies n Cream
Hahhhh! FRO YO WHOOO? Daddy got pistachio and bittersweet chocolate which were also swoon-worthy. I thank my Finnish genes every day that I don’t have a single ounce of lactose intolerance :)!
Oh and in case you didn’t know, Three Twins is actually based here in Marin AND just received some major accolades in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Bay Area-wide ice cream taste-testing (um, how do I sign up to be a member of this panel?!)
Alright people, put your caloric fears/inhibitions aside: Fro-yo or ice cream?
What’s something you’ve garnered excessive interest for since entering the world of food blogging/food-nerdism?