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Foray: Napa, Day 1

September 9, 2011

courtyard at Don Giovanni

DoSB and I are on a trip, a foray to Napa Valley to taste some wine and eat some really, really good food. We arrived today, and our first stop was Bistro Don Giovanni for lunch. This is the kind of place that always surprises me on the West Coast- it looks like a cheesy chain restaurant from the road (it’s right off the highway), but once you walk in it’s gorgeous, with sunflowers and well-tended greenery in a central garden. In the middle of a crowded porch, a well fed tabby cat was stretched out, napping on a bench. By the time we left he’d acquired a napkin pillow and been lovingly covered with a napkin blanket. This is California.

Don Giovanni’s was not on our agenda for the day – we were hungry and tired from our cross-country flights and we needed something close to our hotel to tide us over before check-in. Iphone search brought up Giovanni’s, and the Yelp’ers claiming it had phenomenal pizza and pasta were correct.

After a nap, a jog around Napa, and some window shopping in St. Helena, we were ready for dinner at Cook.  Small and welcoming, Cook proves my point about California – you can get great food anywhere, and it won’t cost you a fortune. I had caprese salad with “golden” balsamic – sweeter than regular balsamic, almost honeyed. DoSB had linguine with baby clams, just as good as my pappardelle with pork ragu. And for dessert I had a “mundae” – strawwberry and chocolate gelato topped with whipped cream, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and grey salt. The balsamic and salt were great with the chocolate, though too strong with the strawberry, and the olive oil was interesting, but after a few bites I had to cleanse my palate with some of DoSB’s white peach sorbet. Not something for everyday consumption, but definitely a must-try.

Tomorrow: Cade, Crocker Starr, and Chateau Montelena Wineries, plus Bouchon and The French Laundry. Voila.

"mundae"

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    September 9, 2011 12:13 pm

    KATE!!!! Go to Bistro Jeanty, order the Quiche. yum. My stomach is growling.

    • bestthingslicedbread permalink*
      September 9, 2011 12:18 pm

      Dan!! Where have you been?! It’s been years! Hope you are well. 1554 for life!

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