Overnight in Napa Wine Country

Napa wine country is gorgeous right now, so green and lush and with bunches of sweet and juicy grapes hanging on every vine, it’s grape harvest season!

napa clouds

There were so really pretty and interesting cloud this weekend.

Even though this was simply an overnight trip, it was exactly what I needed. I’ve been really on edge and feeling down lately, but I came home feeling relaxed and recharged, definitely unwound and ready to tackle all things crazy in my life. I kept our one-day itinerary simple – to revisit just a few favorites without having to constantly rush off to the next destination, to slow down and to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful environment that we are in.

Here are some highlights of our lovely weekend!

Always love a nice visit to Oxbow Public Market. Yes it’s a lot smaller than the San Francisco Ferry Building but it’s full of delicious food and wonderful finds from local vendors. I love to try something new each visit, but my routine is to pick up a couple bottle of olive oil and some hard to find spices, slurp a few oysters, and enjoy a snack of Italian pastries or ice cream.

oxbow-bittersoxbow-camomi

Browsing and admiring at a great collection of bitters and syrup, but then quickly I moved onto admiring the array of drool-worthy sweets on display.

oxbow-camomi cream puffs oxbow-tiramisu

Afternoon snack at Ca’ Momi! Their cream puffs are the greatest! Try the chocolate salame and cannoncini too! The Tiramisu in a jar was very yummy, though the flavors of coffee and liqueur were too subtle.

Dinner was at the beautiful Celadon. Lovely restaurant and delicious food, fresh and flavorful! Make reservation and try to score a table on the patio if you can.

celadon-sign celadon-entryway

Look at their gorgeous entry way!

celadon-entryway 2 celadon-table

Kicked off dinner with a Manhattan. Always save that bourbon soaked cherry for last!

celadon-manhattan

Macadamia crusted goat cheese with Port poached figs, Kobe style hanger steak on top of mushroom risotto.

celadon-goat cheese celadon-hanger steak

five-spiced duck, sweet potato puree, and bok choy. The lobster ravioli on the right- perfect al dente texture with an addicting sauce that isn’t overly heavy.

celadon-duck celadon-lobster ravioli

fig tart with creme fraiche gelato. Figs are in season! We definitely had our share of these sweet candy-like fruits during our stay there. The white peach and champagne sorbet was so fresh and creamy, I couldn’t stop eating it…

celadon-fig tartceladon-peach champagne sorbet

Take a nice stroll along the riverfront before or after dinner. We enjoyed the colorful sunset while walking back to the hotel.

Back at Mumm Napa for some tasting of their bubblies. I belong to their wine club and will usually make an effort to stop by for a tasting of the current offerings. Come on, with this view of their “back yard?” You don’t have to ask me twice! You can call ahead and reserve a patio table for tasting, but we usually just do a walk-in. It was a busy weekend so waiting was inevitable.

mumm-garden mumm-grape

Look at their beautiful garden, and the bunches of sweet and juicy grapes just hanging off the vine.

My absolutely favorite here is the 2005 DVX. It’s pretty costly so I can’t exactly afford to have it on hand all the time, but I will always get a flute of it when I visit Mumm.

mumm-tasting mumm-tasting done

Before and after. All done!

Just beautiful, right?

mumm-view

Lunch was at Bottega. Boy, were they busy! It was difficult to get a reservation due to the long weekend. I finally scored a table for late lunch at 1:45pm, so we enjoyed some pastries from Sweetie Pies beforehand. I thought our last visit to Bottega was great, this time was even better! The food really is just spectacular. I love the relaxing ambiance and the “modern” country decor, and the service is great, friendly, and very professional.

Negroni as starter.

bottega-negroni

We ate a LOOOOT of the piping hot rustic bread, topped with what we dubbed as the “crack” dip (salsa di parmigiano.)

bottega-bread

Besides Joe’s favorite which is the crispy calamari with aioli nero, we also ordered the grilled octopus with olive oil braised potato, very tender. Great flavor from the salsa verde too.

bottega-octopus

The rich bucatini carbonara, the best I’ve had in the States. Mix that runny egg yolk into a plate of perfectly al dente pasta, so rich and decadent. Loved the chunks of guanciale and the grilled escarole. My entree was the lobster cavatelli (below right), with whole pieces of claw meat, a light tomato sauce and a piece of fresh uni (sea urchin) on top. I can eat this everyday, it was THAT good.

bottega-carbonara bottega-cavatelli

Grilled Iberico pork shoulder loin with bacon wrapped apricots. They really know how to prepare pork here! On our last visit, Joe and I had the best pork chop of our lives at Bottega, and this time, even though I only got to enjoy one slice of the pork, I can honesty say that it was the single most tender and flavorful slice of pork that I’ve ever tasted. The skirt steak was fantastic as well, especially that salsa rossa which had a nice Sriracha-like kick.

bottega-pork bottega-skirt steak

My absolute favorite is the chocolate cake, which is like a cross between a souffle and a molten cake. The vanilla anglaise was poured tableside, along with the addition of the candied hazelnuts. The flakes of salt on top of the cake really accented the chocolate flavor.

bottega-souffle

The lemon ricotta filled zeppole were mmm mmmm good too. The coating had a small mixture of Pop Rocks, how cool is that? It made the zeppole just that much more fun to eat without feeling childish. We dipped these in a tutti frutti confiture. Yummmmm!

bottega-zeppole

Of course, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Bouchon Bakery, which is right across the street from Bottega. We picked up some favorites like monkey bread, olive batard, almond croissants, and of course their palm-size macarons. Have you tried their PB&J macarons? If you’re a peanut butter lover like me, go get one!

bouchon-pbj mac

check out my previous post on weekend in Napa.

Hope your weekend was filled with delicious eats like mine. Have a wonderful week!

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