Wednesday, February 27, 2013

part three (i): napa

DAY FIVE: wednesday 06 february

i woke up extra early for some reason, so like any good houseguest, i made debby get up to keep me company :D we had an impromptu breakfast of assorted citrus, perfectly ripe avocados on toast, and the tartine morning bun while listening to the fresh air interview with michael apted (7-up series). we also started playing draw something; yes, we're a little late to the game--as in no one else is still playing--but we have been dominating. (i must admit that i am a little obsessed.) once sean got up, and after some more rounds of draw something, we left deb's and headed to napa.

we stopped at oakville grocrey and picked up some sandwiches and beer:
  * grass fed slow-roasted beef
   (horseradish aioli, caramelized onion, fiscalini cheddar, arugula, bouchon brioche roll)
  * fennel-crusted heritage pork
   (harissa aioli, pickled red onion, peppery greens, bouchon brioche roll)
  * bear republic big bear black stout 

the hotel (rancho caymus in rutherford) was just 10 minutes down the road, so we checked in before digging into lunch. our room was super spacious with a sitting area, kitchenette, steps to the sleeping area, and a balcony. we set ourselves up to enjoy our lunch on the balcony. it overlooked the parking lot, so the view wasn't much to brag about, but being in the bright sunshine was just so nice.

naturally, after we finished our lunch we started looking into dinner options. we decided on redd wood in yountville. it's an italian-style restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza and locally sourced ingredients etc. the dining space was industrial yet stylish but not cold or sterile thanks to the dark wood, leather details, and soft lighting. the kitchen was open, but we were seated farther away so i couldn't get a good look at the action. for a wednesday night there was a decent dinner crowd; i always wonder how many of the groups are locals vs visitors... anyhoo, here's what we had:
  * pimm and proper cocktail (me), wine (sean)
  * taleggio arancini, warm mushroom salad, pancetta vinaigrette
  * housemade burrata on toasted bread
  * redd cured meats
  * romaine, white anchovy, lemon, garlic crouton
  * marinated beets, radish, green goddess, little gems
  * pizza: fresh mozz, tomato, and basil

the arancini and burrata were incredibly indulgent and creamy and deliciously gooey. i could have done without the cured meats, but being housemade piqued our interests. the romaine salad was a simple caesar, and the beet salad tasted like spring--fresh, bright, and colorful. the pizza was good, but we felt like it was missing something. of course we might be a little biased from all the quality east coast pizza. we also might have ordered a bit too much food, seeing as we had to take home half of the pizza (almost unheard of for sean) and left no room for dessert (almost unheard of for me). whoops. we'll have to remedy that tomorrow. 

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