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Spotlight: Drinking, Eating and Shopping in Napa


Posted by : Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite, Tue, Oct 12 2010

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Napa is synonymous with great wines but not all of us want to pay $30 to taste a flight of wines, as some of the more serious tasting rooms require. So on a recent trip to wine country with my family, my mother, my mother-in-law and myself were more interested in sitting down and having an actual glass of wine, which is why Domaine Chandon was the perfect place for us.

(Bubbly paired with charcuterie and cheese - the perfect snack to tide you over until your next lunch in Napa)

It's one of the vineyards with the most options so whether you are a serious oenophile or simply wanting to enjoy a glass of wine, there's sure to be something for everyone. Tastings, tours, and even a Michelin starred restaurant  are amongst your choices. 

(Snacks and rosé bubbly in the Domaine Chandon's tasting lounge

Or you can simply sit back and enjoy a light snack with your bubbly in the tasting lounge. It's the perfect destination for wine lovers of all kinds.

Napa is fast becoming as well known for its food as its wines and one of our most outstanding meals was at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. 

(Monterey Bay sardines served with Yukon Gold potatoes, mixed greens and herb salad, salsa verde; fresh buratta; Chow Chow)

Located in and around the Greystone Cellars building dating from 1888, the CIA teaching kitchens are considered amongst the finest professional education facilities in the world. Both the professional and "enthusiast" programs emphasize fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. 

(fried green tomatoes; duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes; Pan seared day boat scallops with sweet white corn, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, basil pesto; sautéed spinach with pine nuts & golden raisins;

CIA at Greystone offers many options for foodies, none the least being the opportunity to dine in the, Wine Spectator Restaurant

(Petite hanger steak - A grilled 6 oz. Hanger with glazed yellow wax beans, Toybox cherry tomatoes, pancetta, watercress salad, crumbled Gorgonzola, Cabernet jus; Sautéed spinach with pine nuts & golden raisins; Dungeness crab and shrimp meatballs with spaghetti, heirloom tomatoes, super premium olive oil and toasted garlic)

We dined al fresco on the terrace and whilst the food was memorable, the service was not. It is a teaching restaurant after all.

(Crème brûlée; Chocolate mousse; Vol au vent filled with lemon curd)

If you can focus on the food, you will enjoy one of the finest meals in Napa Valley here.

(Olive oil ice cream; Pecans, chocolate, toffee; panna cotta)

In the heart of downtown Napa's Oxbow District, the Oxbow Public Market is a tiny but worthwhile market, definitely a must on any foodie's itinerary. 

Pick up picnic fare and a bottle of wine or simply enjoy a meal overlooking the river on the patio.  When you're done, there are a number of interesting shops and specialty vendors to browse - offering a wide range of artisanal food and ingredients as well as fresh produce, meat and fish.  This is a unique destination that anyone interested in food should place at the top of their "to visit" list in Napa.

View Spotlight on Napa, California in a larger map

Domaine Chandon
1 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599
+1 888 242 6366

Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant
2555 Main St
Saint Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-1010

Oxbow Public Market
610 & 644 First Street,
Napa, California 94559

Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher and part-time food blogger based in Toronto.  Her blog, eat.live.travel.write  focuses on culinary adventures both near and far because she travels as often as she can!


Posted: Tue, Oct 12 2010 by Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

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