Decadent Day in Napa (Long)
- Jupiter Jan 4, 2002 06:16 PM
I wanted to take a moment to share with you all my experience with one of the MOST decadent days of my life.
On Wednesday I ventured forth with a friend from out of town and her fiance up to Napa, in the pouring rain, getting totally lost, to meet a friend of her's from college (15 years ago). It turns out that her friend works at one of the vineyards in the area and so when we get to the vineyard to meet him he says : "wow you guys are late, you must have gotten lost. are you hungry?" "yes, yes and yes!" we answer.
So he piles us back in to the car, stating that if we want to have a proper wine tasting, we need to be thouroughly nourished to do so.
So off we go to none other but Bistro Jeanty. The fire is roaring as we are seated at our table in front of the hearth. I am ecstatic to be here after hearing so much about the place on this board.
The menu is placed in front of us, it is 11:30 and we are the third party here. Our host pours over the wine list as the rest of us peruse the menu. I am immediately overwhelmed and the major deliberations set in on what to order. Our host picks out a nice Sauvignon Blanc to go with our appetizers and a hearty Cab for the entree's and tells us to decide what to eat based on the wine selection. (this helps a little bit in my decision, but not much! :)
Here is the menu we all shared:
I chose the Escargot (since i had never had them before) and they were indeed as excellent as i had hoped they would be.
My colleagues chose the tomato soup, the salmon carpaccio, and the foie pate with poached pears. I have to say that out of all of them the pate was hands down the best!
for entree's we moved into 2 of the specials : a venison chop wrapped in pancetta and served medium rare (awesome) and a pan roasted guinea fowl with chanterelle bread pudding. (again, awesome!) The filet au poivre, which i actually did not get to taste, since chris was enjoying it to much to share, and the pork chop which was excellent and perfectly seared and had a great sauce with it.
We followed the whole shebang up with the creamy cheese with pears for desert and i was in HEAVEN.
But wait, there's more!
after wrapping up this 2 1/2 hour epic feast we head back to the vineyard for a stellar tour. We get a tour of the vines, a tour of the cellars, a tour of the fermentation rooms, a tour of the aging rooms, a tour of the caves, a chance to talk with the wine makers and then just when our feet start to hurt we are taken back to the tasting room where we begin to taste all of the wines produced by the vineyard! This tasting alone spans over an hour and a half and at this point our heads are swimming and we each are overwhelmed and enthused and end up buying multiple bottles of what we tasted and liked.
Then our host tells us to go head out to the Napa Valley Grille and meet him in the bar so he can finish up his day. So we do and as we are sitting there trying to recover form the expansive amounts of food and wine and scoping out the joint, since we assume that is where we are eating, in walks our host in a hurry and says "let's get a move on! our resevation is in 15 minutes!"
"reservation? wha? where?"
"Tra Vigne!" he bellows and out the door we go again!
And so we find our selves seated in a beautiful booth with a stunning bottle of champagne placed before us and a beautiful bottle of Cabernet decanting on the side table as we set in for round 2 of the major eating:
Carpaccio, Ceasar Salads and Bruschetta topped with Fresh Mozzeralla make their way to the table. All is gobbled down in mere minutes even though we are still stuffed from the heavenly lunch!
The entrees begin to arrive:
A beutiful bowl of bellweather farm goatcheese ravioli with black chanterelles and shaved truffles (my favorite and totally outstanding), an impressive rack of shortribs, (which again i am denied tasting since chris is enjoying it to much again to share!), a phenomenal bowl of spaghetti with lump dungeness crab meat in a saffron-orange-tomato sauce. (This was awesome, no question about it.) and a chicken breast stuffed with sausage and served with a roasted potatoe and brocolli rabe mix that was so tasty i couldn't stop eating it even though i thought i was going to pop.
At this point dessert was out of question.
We all profusely argued over the check, heaped praise upon our host for supplying us with an incredible day and rolled out into the parking lot to make the harrowing journey through the fog laden night back into San Francisco.
Now I know how the other half lives, and this day will go down in the annals of my history as an incredibly indulgent event that i am amazed i lived through with out hurting myself.
Everyone should have a day like this and i wanted to share it with all of you here since i know that if you have not had this day yet, you will.... trust me.
Happy New Year!