Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally...A California Wine Country Trip: Day 1

We just returned from our first ever Napa/Sonoma wine country trip. We were so excited.Anyone who knows us or even checks out this blog quickly finds out we definitely love wine. We without question are loyal to Northwest wines and that's what we know and enjoy and will continue to be passionate about. But Napa/Sonoma has truly been a destination that we we've wanted to visit for some time.

At Larson Winery in Sonoma

So given it was my sister's 40th birthday, her completion of her esthetician program, our 11th anniversary, her fiance's birthday... this was the perfect excuse for a trip. So a trip was planned. My sister & her fiance', his sister & her husband, my sister's best friend and us all headed to Napa valley for a long weekend. We rented a house bordering a lovely vineyard right in Napa.

On Thursday we arrived on an early flight into San Francisco with my sister & her fiance'. We were all pretty surprised how chilly it was being in the low 60's.

After picking up the rental car we drove down to the wharf area starving after taking 6:30 a.m. flights needing some sustenance.

After not enough time browsing "just the right place" our tummy rumbles won over and we settled on a clearly touristy spot called CHOWDERS that had chowder in sourdough bread bowls that served as a our late breakfast. It wasn't the meal of our trip by any measure but it stopped the tummy growling.

We took in the views of Alcatraz in the foggy distance,

  the smelly but cute sea lions

and eventually the place we found that we should of eaten at...but that's how it goes when we are starving and familiar with the options.

We found Boudin which waifed with the wonderful aromas of sourdough down the street.

It was crazy busy..and obviously the place we should of eaten at. But as it was we enjoyed oogling the creative bread styling and picked up a few loaves for the road.

after a few hours at the wharf we decided to checkout Chinatown.

 After a bit of a small fiasco navigating we found the area and even more bonus a free parking space. Chinatown was what I expected but a little more overstimulating in some aspects. We all enjoyed taking it all in...but having been up since 3:15 a.m. we were all pretty exhausted so we decided it was time for dim sum and a cocktail (or two.)

G had eaten at The Empress of China when he visited San Francisco last year and led us to the spot. ( I suggest following the link to the restaurant's website they do a much better job of showing the funky beauty of the inside of the restaurant.)

It was quite the place with all of the ornamental gold and decorations.

We had some tasty coconut & mango martinis

and satisfying dim sum before driving out to Napa.

We arrived at the house and got settled.

Shortly after getting settled the rest of our party arrived.

After soaking it all in we decided we were ready for dinner.
We decided to try out Tyler Florence's new restaurant in downtown Napa on the riverfront walk called Rotisserie & Wine.

We arrived into town and found Tyler not only had a new restaurant but a huge store as well. Sadly it was too late and the store was closed so we couldn't check it out but it seemed like a place we'd find some good finds.
We were not disappointed. It had a great vibe and ambiance.

We had a bottle of California Syrah (our only Syrah of the trip now thinking back to it.) by Hocus Pocus. It was fine but nothing like our fav Washington Syrahs.
I had the duck  over lentils and

 G had the rotisserie chicken with potatoes.

They were both good although just a bit on the salty side unfortunately. But luckily not so much as to ruin the meal completely.

But the star of the meal were these AMAZING honey corn bread muffins. Oh yeah they were to die for good.

We were all pretty stuffed and tired from our various day of traveling to Napa so we headed back to the house for a quick bottle of wine before all hitting the sack before our big day two.


  1. A great day, truly enjoying your blog! I've subscribed :) Kristy H

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