Monday, April 19, 2010
So Good, I Don't Want to Swallow
Oh Napa, Napa, Napa. Shangri-La to my palate. Geographic love of my life. There's just no place like you.
Mr. Wonderful and I drove to the promised land on Friday to celebrate his 36th birthday. Rolling in to town, we headed straight to V. Sattui, where we ate orichette and gnocchi under a beautiful oak tree, then wandered into their cellar for a members-only tasting.
That night, we went to the Culinary Institute for dinner. Though we'd been before, we had an almost completely novel experience—eating inside instead of out on the patio. It was great to watch the chefs working away in the kitchen while we savored our hanger steak and halibut. Mr. W couldn't resist the dessert sampler as his celebratory sweet.
The next day, after hitting Clos du Val and Stag's Leap, we went to Michael Chiarello's restaurant, Bottega. I cannot even begin to describe how incredible the food was. I looked at Mr. W as I took my first bite of breaded, pan-friend pork loin and pecorino—which was served over a bed of black truffle risotto with browned butter sauce—and said, "This is so good, I don't want to swallow. I want to hold it on my tongue for the rest of the day or chew it like gum."
We also had burrata over crispy and soft artichokes. And Mr. W had short ribs that were to die for. All paired with a couple lovely glasses of Frank Valley chardonnay... I was ready to cash in all my savings and commit to eating every meal there until my death.
From the restaurant, we headed to Chateau Montelena. Fun to see it after watching Bottle Shock.
Although we felt a little pickled when we got back to our hotel room, we still managed to squeeze in a bit more wine with our divine dinner at Tra Vigne Pizzeria, were I had the best fresh-pasta Bolognese I've ever had. I really don't think I've had so much good food in such a short period of time. Ever. In my life.
When we got home, we counted up all the bottles of wine we purchased. 18. That should be enough to last us a couple months. Then I might insist that we take another trip up north.