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Aug 28, 2012 08:07 AM

Trip Report Part 2: Napa

So, after leaving San Francisco, we headede to Napa for 1 night at the Carneros Inn. This is a beautiful top notch property, and we loved our short stay here. We visited the nearby Domaine Carneros Winery and enjoyed a flight of a few sparkling wines and one Pinot Noir, along with nuts, cheeses, and a smoked salmon platter. It was all plentiful and delicious, the property is lovely, and the service was very friendly and helpful.

Later, we dined at the Inn's restaurant, Farm. We shared a tuna crudo, which was delicate and super fresh. I absolutely loved my king salmon entree, which was plated with eggplant purée, cherry tomatoes, and pole beans. My husband had the filet, which he enjoyed as well. For dessert we shared an interesting trio of sorbet/ice cream: watermelon sorbet (icy and refreshing), chocolate cardamon ice cream (good flavor but chalky in texture), and corn sorbet (creamy and tasted just like corn). I also had a great glass of Anaba Pinot Noir. A very nice restaurant, for sure. Service was very competent, although we did catch an extra glass of wine on the tab.

Yesterday we moved on to Yountville for 2 nights at Bardessono. Another stunning property, simply beautiful. We had an afternoon tour booked at Jarvis which was fantastic--the winery, the tour, the wines--I honestly cannot imagine topping that experience. We stopped into Darrioush afterwards and tried a little wine. Th property is majestic and pretty and Darrioush has some great wines.

Dinner was at Bottega, which we enjoyed a lot. I started with a very nice grilled octopus and arugula salad, and my husband enjoyed velvety short rib meatballs. My cucumber gimlet was a little sweet despite my instructions to go light on the simple syrup. Our entrees were very good--whole branzini and a tomatoey shellfish soup/stew with prawns, mussels, clam, and calamari, and a decadent crouton topped with aoli. We also drank some really nice Frank Family Chardonnay.

And that brings us up to date. We are having a wonderful time and look forward to continuing our exploration of Napa today/tonight. Stay tuned for supplementation of this thread, if you wish. :)

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  1. Glad to know things are going so well and you are now reaping the rewards of your thoughtful planning. Your mention of Jarvis brings to mind a memory from a few years ago. After a lovely tour through the winery/caves, we purchased a bottle of wine, quite expensive, and set off on our way. After a few weeks we received a letter and bill from the winery which requested an additional $5.00, the amount they said had been undercharged. At the time of the transaction, neither us nor the staff had any idea, we merely signed the credit card slip they provided. To come after us when Accounting discovered their error was petty and unprofessional. We are talking $5.00 here, and $5.00 which was their mistake. We could have refused the second authorization, but chose to take the high road, a road will never lead us to Jarvis again.

    1 Reply
    1. re: buoncibo

      That Jarvis story is exceedingly strange.

    2. Thanks for the report with all the specifics.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maria lorraine

        That is a strange story! I can see how it would leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

        We had another lovely day. Breakfast at Lucy, the Bardessono Hotel restaurant. Really nice and interesting design and architecture at the restaurant, and the entire Hotel. We both had Peets French press coffee along with spinach, mushroom and goat cheese omelets that came with really good toast and tasty roasted potatoes. Housemade ketchup, and little muffins with strawberry puree were nice touches. The food was good and the service very attentive. When my dish came wrong and had to be re-made, the server actually took my breakfast off the bill and brought us some complimentary fruit. None of that was requested or necessary, but it was certainly appreciated.

        After breakfast, we rode the hotel's bikes around Yountville, before heading to Joseph Phelps for a reserved patio tasting. A very beautiful place, some really great wines (especially the Chardonnay, the Insignia, and the Library Insignia!) and a nice and helpful staff. Definitely a highlight.

        Then, a light lunch at Cook in St. Helena, where my husband had the BLT with heirloom tomatoes and aoli on focaccia, which he labeled excellent, and I had a very nice green salad with flavorful and tender chicken and goat cheese. We then stopped in at Plumpjack for an unscheduled taste and a wander around the property. Nice wines, nice staff, nice little gift shop, very beautiful grounds.

        More to come!