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Dry Creek Kitchen or Redd

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qdarlinq Sep 1, 2006 01:19 AM

Fellow chowhounds,

Which restaurant do you prefer? I tried to make reservations at Cyrus but they were completely booked.

In addition, I was hoping for recommendations on wineries in the wine country area.

I am interested in visiting at most three wineries. I hope to go to one that serves good sparkling wine and one or two for the scenery. I heard that Schramsberg was good for sparkly and Clos Pegasus has magnificent architecture/art work that should not be missed. So far, I've visited Sterling, Domaine Chandon and have checked out the view at Auberge du Soleil.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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    CaptainK RE: qdarlinq Sep 1, 2006 01:46 AM

    Greetings gdarling!

    I haven't tried either of your choices yet. However, as you are considering Healdsburg, try the Farmhouse Inn. Not quite on the same level, but definately worth a visit. Their golden tomato gazpacho with lump dunginess crab is a winner!

    Most of the wineries on that side of the valley won't give you the major attractions that are offered in Napa, but they do offer excellent wines and values. If you like Schramsberg for sparklers (by the way, the don't offer tastings), try J Wines on Old Redwood Highway. They also have a premium tasting room for tasting sparklers that is available by reservation. J charges for their tastings, but pairs them with food. Their tasting room is quite unique. And, they are next door to Rodney Strong Vineyard's tasting room, so you can visit two different styles with one stop. And, for a small winery with very unique wines, check out Lambert Bridge Winery. With wines like these, I don't think you'll miss the artwork or trams! Cheers!

    2 Replies
    1. re: CaptainK
      maria lorraine RE: CaptainK Sep 1, 2006 02:49 AM

      Schramsberg does indeed offer tastings. Please see their website at http://www.schramsberg.com/tours_and_...

      Schramsberg's caves are very similar to the champagne caves in France. They're astounding, and the wines are among the best sparklers made in the US.

      Regarding your restaurant choice: I've had fine meals at Redd
      in Yountville three times. Richard Reddington, the chef, is a talent.

      Better than Redd, IMO, is Terra in St. Helena. Hira Sone, the chef, is brilliant, and his food makes Terra my favorite of all in Napa Valley.

      If you really want to get into Cyrus, call back and ask if there are any early dinner reservations available, at 5:45 p.m. or so, or any late reservations, about 10 pm. Also, you can ask to be called if there is a cancellation.

      I also recommend the Farmhouse Inn, for its food, wine list,
      and charming setting, but it's at least an hour away from mid-Napa Valley, as well as a drive from Healdsburg.

      Other Napa wineries: yes, Clos Pegase does have wonderful Michael Graves architecture and a few examples of world-class art. I prefer the contemporary art collection at Hess Collection (it's large and visceral) and the view from their location high up in the hills. They also have some new releases of wine, I've read lately.

      If you're interested in a particular varietal (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, etc), then seek out those wineries that do an excellent job with those particular varietals. It's a quick
      Google search.

      You have a wonderful resource right here. Just enter "Redd" or "Terra" as a Chowhound search term and see what's already been written. Or any winery's name.

      Last, please be advised it's easy to underestimate the distance and time spent driving between Napa Valley and the vast wine
      country of Sonoma County. There are so many wonderful places to eat and to taste wine, but please don't think it's easy
      to zip between the two areas with their twisting, winding (and picturesque) country roads, especially after consuming wine.

      Have a lovely time.

      1. re: maria lorraine
        Melanie Wong RE: maria lorraine Sep 1, 2006 04:54 AM

        Cyrus has a few tables in the bar area, plus seats at the bar that are not booked in advance and held aside for drop-ins. Check on what menu is available for these seats, might be bar menu only.

        Disclaimer: The sommelier is an acquaintance.

    2. Porthos RE: qdarlinq Sep 1, 2006 01:51 AM

      My vote is for Redd.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. q
        qdarlinq RE: qdarlinq Sep 1, 2006 05:31 PM

        Thank you all for responding. I am leaning towards Redd. I can't wait to report back on the tasting menu.

        Have a great Labor day weekend folks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: qdarlinq
          Melanie Wong RE: qdarlinq Sep 2, 2006 02:50 AM

          As noted in Porthos' link, I had dinner at Redd the same weekend in February. It was a Sunday and Reddington's day off. I wanted to mention that one in our party specified that he wanted foie gras, so that was part of the two tasting menus presented to our table. The seared prep with gingerbread sticks was sticky sweet and just plain weird. The trio was of cold preparations was quite nice though today I couldn't tell you what they were.

        2. n
          naparover RE: qdarlinq Sep 3, 2006 01:37 AM

          I agree on Hess Collection..its around the corner from my house, an amazing art collection of museum quality...and some nice wines. Jarvis is great if you make reservations, I also really like Franciscan (for a big name touristy place). Search here, tons of reccos. Regarding dinner, if you are staying in the valley, its at least an hour...more 1.5 hours to get over to healdsburg to Cyrus...just fyi...people dont realize how far it is. Redd is great. You might also like NV downtown, Terra, La Toque, Auberge for nicer higher end places as well. Enjoy the weekend!

          1. h
            HMK RE: qdarlinq Sep 3, 2006 01:58 AM

            I second the vote for Schramsburg for a spakling tour and tasting. It is much better than the other sparkling wine vinyard tours than I've experienced in Napa.

            For other tours, I really like the Niebaum Coppola. They have new caves (12-18 months old, I believe) and offer very nice tours in small groups with an excellent tasting afterwards.

            PS - we've got reservations for Cyrus....we'll post on the experience:)

            1. q
              qdarlinq RE: qdarlinq Sep 6, 2006 01:24 AM

              LONG READ:

              Sorry folks, unfortunately, I am unable to report back on Redd. I decided to cancel my Redd reservations b/c when I initially made the reservations, I did not take into account the one hour plus drive from Yountville to Healdsburg.

              After reading/confirming with the hostess of how Cyrus sets asides two tables for walk-ins, I decided to take try my luck to see if I could land aforementioned table. You can imagine my disappointment when I was met w/ a rather brusque - "All our tables are booked" response from the bartender despite mentioning the fact that we had driven all the way from San Francisco. I know I shouldn't expect any favors but I had hoped they would have been a little more helpful. I was very annoyed and taken aback by their cold demeanor? I think they weren't as hospitable b/c I was dressed in jeans and I am younger in age than their usual patrons. They just didn't seem like they wanted to accomodate us. Well, at least that was the vibe I got from the staff.

              Maybe I already had a sour disposition b/c earlier in the day, I never heard back from Schramsburg re the wine tour. I was on the waitlist and hoping someone had cancelled. So this added to my the glass is half-empty train of thought.

              Seeing how depressed/annoyed I was that my planned out Sonoma getaway was turning into a nightmare, the dear boyfriend suggested we stop by Farmhouse Inn to see if they have any available openings. I reluctantly went ahead
              with his advice.

              The service at Farmhouse Inn compared to Cyrus was a 180 degree difference. The maitre d was exceedingly helpful to two lost tourists. I can say that hee really made the rest of my evening. Despite the fact that we were to walk-ins who were trying to see if we could secure a last minute table, he was very polite. He apologized that he could not accomodate us b/c of the holiday weekend. He then went above and beyond his call of duty by asking us if we would like suggestions for a nearby restaurant. He then called Zazu for us to see if they had any available space. Upon finding out Zazu did have seating, he booked it for us and gave us a map and highlighted the directions on how to get there. I was overwhelmed by his generosity. That alone made me want to make a special trip out to Sonoma just to dine at Farmhouse Inn. It also made me realize I would never eat at Cyrus. (BTW, I was in the same jeans and tshirt when asking for directions from Farmhouse Inn.)

              Zazu was only ok. But it was a nice place to try out b/c I would have definitely disregarded it if the maitre d hadn't recommended it.

              Just thought I'd share my experience. I just get so annoyed when I get treated differently because I'm not older/dressed a certain way. I'm not going to wear a nice dress when I'm touring wineries or when it's 80+ degrees.

              Darlin

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