Posted tagged ‘wine’

ad hoc: for temporary relief from hunger

April 14, 2010

Aaah, my first Thomas Keller restaurant.  I have gone to his bakery numerous times but never dined in his restaurant.  We went with a bunch of friends to Ad Hoc in Yountville.  Ad Hoc has a prix fixe menu every night (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and the food is served family style.   Since we went in a group of eight, we had plates for four at each end of our tables.

The first course was our salad of baby mixed greens.  It had snap peas, shaved fennel, and carrots with a cabernet vinaigrette dressing.  It was scrumptious except Katie found a hair on her plate that wasn’t hers.  (dot dot dot)  They replaced the family share plate but by that time, I had already consumed most of my share.

Our next course was the Sonoma County Liberty Duck Breast.  This isn’t something I would normally order if I had a choice off the menu but it was definitely tasty and I’m glad we had it.  The duck was served on top of toasted farro that was a little salty from the kalamata olives mixed in but with little bursts of sweetness from the minneola tangelos.  It sounded weird on the menu but it worked!  I think Horace really wanted to take the all-clad serving pan home with him but we convinced him not to.

Our next course was a cheese platter with brioche bread from the Bouchon Bakery and homemade apple butter.  I wasn’t a fan of the cheese so much but loved the sweet apple butter on the soft bread.  Boyfriend ate my share of cheese as I usually ask him to do.

Our dessert for the night was a tres leches cake with a mango pineapple salad on the side.  It was absolutely scrumptious and each bite was creamy, smooth sweetness.  What a great way to end the meal!

We also got talked into ordering a bottle of wine which was the special for the night.  We assumed it’d be about a $40 or $50 bottle but it turned out to be significantly more…  I guess that’s Yountville for you.  It was a great day of wining and dining, that’s for sure!

6476 Washington Street   Yountville, CA

Cin Cin Wine Bar

January 12, 2010

Matt’s high school friend is the chef at Cin Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant so Boyfriend and I had been dying to try it.  We reserved a table and double dated with Elisa and Matt!

Right away, Matt’s friend sent over these truffle oil mushroom empanadas.  I love mushrooms, Elisa does not.  How we are best friends, I’m not so sure.  They had so much flavor and had we not gotten these sent out to us, I would’ve wanted to order them off the menu.

We ordered deviled eggs.   I’m usually not too big of a fan of deviled eggs but these were good with an olive on top!  The salad in the middle was great too!

The arrancini was really good!  I can’t even remember what was inside these besides rice.  (I’ve been eating too much food lately to remember everything.)

Boyfriend doesn’t like seafood but he makes an exception when the seafood is FRIED.  The crab cakes were excellent with crisy outsides and flaky meat in the middle.

These soba salads were great and had so much flavor.  I don’t know if I would’ve ordered this on my own because well, I’m Japanese and figure I can make soba noodles at home.  Elisa and Matt chose this because they had eaten it before and we all loved it!  The waitress told us to roll the lettuce leaf like a tortilla and just bite into it.

All of this food plus a bottle of South African rosé wine and great company made this a wonderful evening.  We went to Matt’s after dinner and played Wii Mario Bros. for a few hours.  The first of many nights of that.  It’s so addicting!!

368 Village Ln.  Los Gatos, CA

Foodgasm at SolBar

December 8, 2009

To celebrate our two year anniversary, Boyfriend took me to SolBar for dinner.  It is the Solage Hotel restaurant in Calistoga and was recently awarded a Michelin star!  Foodgasm much??  If not, you should go to SolBar and experience it for youself.  The great thing about SolBar is they use the freshest ingredients from the area to make their menu for the day.  The sad thing about that is you can’t expect to always see your favorites on the menu because they might be out of season.

I had such a difficult time deciding what to eat because everything on the menu looked exquisite!  Boyfriend started out with the winter squash velouté.  It had crispy sage leaves and granny smith apples in it.  Although I usually detest cooked fruit, these added a wonderful sweetness to the soup that I couldn’t get enough of. 

I went with the herb roasted chicken soup.  All of the “guts” of the soup were brought out in the bowl and the broth was poured over it at the table.  The vegetables were cooked perfectly.  Not too soft, not too hard.  The chicken must’ve been pan seared before put in the soup because I could taste the specific cooked chicken flavor when I ate it.  And the gnocci.  Oh yes, the handmade gnocci was to die for. 

Besides the chicken soup, I also wanted to try the house-made ricotta agnolotti.   Boyfriend offered to share them with me so we ordered them.  They were baby raviolis with seared wild mushrooms and two year old parmiggiano cheese.  These were absolutely divine!!!  They practically melted in your mouth.  The ONLY regret I have about dinner was not ordering this as my main dish.  It had two prices next to it so it could be ordered as a starter or as a main and Jeff (our server) talked me into getting it as an appetizer and ordering another main on it’s own. 

I had also just pigged out on the warm cornbread muffins they bring out so I should’ve known I would’ve been okay with just these agnolotti.  Those cornbread muffins sent me to heaven for a little bit too!

Boyfriend went with the Bavette steak for his main dish.  It came with potato rösti and cranberry and garlic creamed leeks.  I had a bite of the meat and it was a perfectly cooked medium rare.

I got talked into this beef shortrib dish with polenta and a wine au jus.  The meat was so tender that I could poke at it with my fork and it would fall apart.  The polenta was a nice touch too.  But I was still craving those agnolotti!

Can you believe that after all the food we ate, I still wanted to order dessert?!?!  I was totally and absolutely stuffed but when I saw buttermilk panna cotta on the menu, I knew I wanted to try it.  It had a mango sauce, pomegranate, kiwi and an oatmeal cookie on top.  (Please excuse the poor picture, I forgot to turn on my macro and was in a rush to begin eating and must’ve blurred the photo.)

Everything was executed perfectly and it was a wonderful experience being there!  Jeff gave us perfect wine suggestions to pair with our meals and we went back to our hotel very full and happy that night.

at the Solage Hotel  755 Silverado Trail   Calistoga, CA

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