The absolute highlight of an amazingly relaxing weekend was spending the day in Napa on Saturday. I went up with fantastic co-workers and hit up a few wineries before heading to one of the best meals of my life. We started out early, heading out of a foggy San Francisco to the sunniness of Napa. We started the day at Fremont Diner, a little roadside restaurant in Napa specializing in hearty breakfasts to line your belly before wine tasting. My co-workers ate fried chicken and toast and waffles, but I stuck with a side of smoke bacon due to my gluten allergy. But seriously, it may have been the best bacon of my life. It was smoky and crunchy and yet still thick. Once our bellies were full, we were ready to go.
Our first winery was Scribe in Napa. We got last minute reservations and were happy to change our plans. The winery is up on a hill and has picnic tables and grass overlooking their vineyards. They bring out a tray of cheese and fruit and take the time to explain each wine in detail and answer any questions in a totally non-snobby way. The wines are also beautiful, each one served in a specialized glass. There were a number of large groups picnicing and spending the afternoon enjoying the winery. Scribe also had the best dog-watching of any winery I’ve been to. I highly recommend it.
On our way to the next winery, we stopped by Napa town center and grabbed snacks from Oxbow Market (although we were too stuffed to eat a real lunch). Next stop was Caymus for a tasting of their fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting room was way too packed, but a few great Cabs (including a tasting of their special selection!) made up for the noisiness. Honestly, one of the best I’ve ever tried.
We decided to skip our last winery, Peju, to save ourselves for our fabulous dinner plans. My wonderful co-worker had made a reservation at Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants. We got to Yountville early and spent our time wandering through the French Laundry gardens. It is completely picturesque, filled with tomatoes, squash, strawberries and a million other fruits and veggies. Once we were good and hungry from walking around, we headed to Ad Hoc.
Ad Hoc’s deal is that they set the menu each morning and offer a single menu with multiple courses. Ours was a broccolini and burrata salad, pork with figs and polenta, a cheese course with pluots, prosciutto and honey and a tiramisu pot for dessert. Thankfully they were wonderful about the gluten allergy and knew exactly what was in everything. The only swap they had to make was homemade ice cream and a gluten free cookie instead of the tiramisu. Ahh, what a meal! Everything is served family style and is totally simple and perfect. I cannot begin to describe how great it was to share such a beautiful meal with great co-workers. Looking forward to returning to Napa and Ad Hoc soon!