Thursday, July 9, 2009

Napa Eats!

I'm one of those people who is usually just one (or 5 steps) step behind any trend. I'm usually pretty suspicious of anything new and need to scope, study, research, hold, smell, shake, and kick it until I'm absolutely sure. Well, that's pretty much what happened with the Girl and Fig in Sonoma. I've heard about this place for years but just didn't feel it. Inspiration struck this time around and with no other plans in place, this was the first real meal of the trip!

We started with a cheese plate. I have this love-hate relationship with Cheese. I love it, it hates me. (hmmm....i'm not waxing philosophical on that so back off, friends.) Darn Lactose. What good has it ever done me?? Moving along, I really can't explain why I chose the Mussels in a Pastis butter sauce. I hate Pastis due to its heavy licorice flavor. Oh...and I actually hate mussels - they creep me out. I used to see them clinging on to dear life beneath the Venice Pier...and all the locals know how polluted THOSE waters are. Overall, we found that our meal was really heavy handed with the salt (as evidenced by the pitcher of water I drank) but that wasn't the fun part of the evening. It was the people surrounding us.

On one side, we had the romantic couple, a young lady with the little girl voice who (loudly) professed her love and adoration to the relatively bland and uninteresting fellow she was with. No joke, people...i had to stop the gagging noise coming from deep within my throat from coming out into the big wide world. On the other side, we had a hysterical...i mean hysterical, travel writer from the New York Times who insisted on sharing her dessert with us. She saved the night for us. Thanks, rock!
Whenever you hear the words, "The BEST" in relation to food, you know that many times it's totally subjective. Case in point: Boon Fly Cafe's donuts. I dragged Erin to go to this place because I heard the donuts were the "Best". They were ok. JUST ok. I can make better donuts than this. I had the chilaquiles which I devoured. Now THAT was great!

Personally, I thought that the best meal of the trip came from Ad Hoc. Ad Hoc is a Thomas Keller restaurant that started off as an experiment! Due to popular demand they kept it the way they had it - why mess with a good thing??!! I'm really into family style dining, and "pre-fixe" menus, especially since I really have few food restrictions and I have a hard time making up my mind. They do ask if you have any allergies and I know that they have alternative meals available for those with allergies or those who wish a vegetarian option (they like to be notified in advance).

We started with a salad...and the biggest hunks of applewood bacon I've ever consumed by myself. We moved along to the Kansas City Steak - this meat just MELTED in my mouth. How can meat be so rare but still taste perfectly done?? I must know this secret...for those in the know...please share!!!

I don't normally like au gratin but the way they prepared it was perfect (not pictured)!! We finished off the evening with a chocolate mousse and a cheese plate. I had to stop myself from licking the bowl clean. Such restraint, I know...

We were tipped off by our bartender at the Wine Merchant about this place, Bistro Jeanty, after he had to pry the finished bowl of tomato soup from my hands. I swear Wine Merchant at the Oxbow Public Marketplace has the BEST european style (rustic, not thin....and not thickened by cream) Tomato Soup outside of Europe. Chef Miguel Sanchez ROCKED THAT TOMATO SOUP. Sorry. ok, back on track. Bartender...Bistro Jeanty. The only thing more intriguing than the BEST TOMATO SOUP outside of europe was PUFF PASTRY over creamy tomato soup (even if it was the thin runny kind). That's all we had with a salad. And i promptly gained about 15 pounds right onto my @$$. *SIGH*.

One would think I stopped there. Oh no...

With Bouchon Bakery just a few blocks away, how could I ignore this destination? This lemon tart made me cry...and wish I had the foresight to buy TWO!! Oh well...something to look forward to!!! Clearly, I couldn't even be bothered to wait to take a picture before devouring half of it. It was worth the wait to find a parking space AND to get into Bouchon Bakery (no joke, the line was out the door).

Ok, seriously...let's not act all shocked if I die of diabetic shock. I actually downed 6 of these bad boys all by myself. They were delicious. And also available at the Oxbow Public Market.

The Girl and the Fig
110 Spain St
Sonoma, CA

The Boon Fly Cafe
4048 Sonoma Hwy
Napa, CA

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington Street
Yountville, CA

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street
Yountville, CA

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington Street
Yountville, CA

Oxbow Wine Merchant
610 1st Street
Napa, CA

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