Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Napa Valley...Day Two

Today has been a lovely laid back day.

I forgot to mention yesterday where we stay. It's the Vintage Inn in Yountville. We've been coming here for about 20 years...since they opened and since Yountville was a sleepy village in the southern part of the Napa Valley.

These days, Yountville is a dining destination, thanks to Thomas Keller and the French Laundry. Plus, Keller's other places: Ad Hoc and Bouchon. And his Bouchon Bakery. Add Bistro Jeanty, Hurley's and Redd to the mix and you never have to get in your car to have a great meal, if you are staying in town.

So, our day started with the amazing breakfast that the Vintage Inn serves...since last year, they have added an omelet bar to the repertoire which already includes egg salad, potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cereal, oatmeal, pastries, and much much more...

We both could not resist a made to order omelet...I had peppers, mushrooms, bacon, and mozzarella in mine.

My next stop was Yountville Health & Fitness for a workout. J & L headed for the Hot Tub.

On my way back to the Inn, I stopped to look at the Photo Booth wall by the construction site of the Bardessono Inn & Spa.

Last night was the debut of the wall, a project by San Francisco photographer, Christopher Irion, to photograph residents and workers in communities across the United States. Judging from the proud locals who chatted with me while I looked at the photos, Irion has succeeded in adding to local community pride.

The Bardessono family provided support for this wall and several workers on the site are pictured here as well.It will be on display until sometime in November.

By now, it was getting to be time for lunch...we weren't that starved at noon, but, not wanting to miss a meal, we decided to try the new cafe at Michael Chiarello's new Napa Style at the V Marketplace shops.

This fabuous shop has home furnishings, fancy foods, wines, and lots of good things to eat. We shared a Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Panini and a side order of Arugula & Corn salad...a perfect light lunch to eat on the outdoor patio.

After lunch we looked at the store a bit more and indulged in the many samples of cheese spreads, salami, and fancy salt. The lovely green metal plates that our food was served on, can be purchased here. And, we really liked the lounge chair for two and maybe one black poodle. I might come back another day to do a tasting of the Chiarello family wines that are only sold here at Napa Style.

Finally, we did get in the car and headed north to Rutherford to taste wine at the new Alpha Omega Winery. Our Vintage Inn concierge tipped us off to Alpha Omega, which is still under construction. We sat outdoors on their patio which overlooks a large pool with fountains and the hills and vineyards beyond...how bucolic.

Several hours later, with some Chardonnay, Cabernet, and late harvest Reisling to take home, we reluctantly left to return to the Inn, in time for afternoon tea.

Dinner tonight was at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa.

Since its opening several years ago, it's been a local favorite for its rustic Italian food and friendly atmosphere.

As always, the place was packed. We started with Beet Salad and a Peach Salad.

Jim's main dish was the Polpettini, meatballs with beans, tomatoes and onions. My choice was the Fritto Misto of seafood and vegetables. For dessert, we shared Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream encased in chocolate. The mint came from the herb garden out front. The meatballs are the owner's mother's recipe.

Another day in paradise.

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