July 2010 Archives

Breakfast at Hotel Yountville

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hotcakes04.jpgBanana-Hazelnut Pancake,
with Gianduja Butter, Amaretto Caramel & Cocoa Nib Tuile

Submitted by Hotel Yountville
Executive Chef David Frakes

Breakfast never looked so good! David Frakes is the new Executive Chef at Hotel Yountville - the newest boutique resort coming to the town of Yountville October 22nd! This recipe calls for a twist on the traditional. Instead of regular butter and syrup with your pancakes, spice them up with Gianduja BUtter, Amaretto Caramel & Cocoa NIb Tuile!

Gianduja Butter

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Gianduja butter.jpgSubmitted by Hotel Yountville
Executive Chef David Frakes

Makes: A little less than 1 Cup (About 8 servings)


                • 4 Oz Gianduja (or, other delicious flavored/non-flavored chocolate, chopped/shaved into small pieces)
                • 3 Oz Unsalted Butter (softened)
                • 1 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
                • Pinch Sea (or Kosher Salt)

Rabanada (Brazilian-Style French Toast)

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2.jpgSubmitted by Hotel Yountville ~ Executive Chef David Frakes

Hotel Yountville opens October 22nd, 2010 and Executive Chef David Frakes looks forward to exploring the possibilities of fried bread that has been soaked in condensed milk and a variety of flavorings. As he says "How can you go wrong, really?,...Trendy? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely!!!"


  • 1 Lg Sourdough Baguette (or medium sweet)
  • 3 Lg Eggs
  • ¾ C Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5 T Whole milk
  • ½ t Vanilla Extract
  • Small Pinch Kosher Salt
  • ½ C Sugar (Turbinado, or Granulated)
  • ½ T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ t Cinnamon (or Allspice/Mace/or Clove, ground)
  • For frying, Vegetable Oil

Amaretto Caramel

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Submitted by Hotel Yountvilleamarettocaramel.jpg
Executive Chef David Frakes

Makes: A little less than 1 Cup (About 8 servings)


  • ¼ C Butter, Unsalted (half stick)
  • ½ C Sugar (Granulated)
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • 1-2 T Heavy Cream
  • 1 ½ oz Amaretto

Cocoa Nib Tuile

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Submitted by Hotel Yountville
Executive Chef David Frakes

Makes: 8 Servings


  • ½C Sugar
  • ¼ C Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 T Brown Sugar
  • 1T Butter (room temperature)
  • Small Pinch Salt
  • ¼ C Cocoa Nibs
  • ¼ C Pistachios (chopped)

  • Summer Lunching in Yountville

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    diningalfresco.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

    The glorious Napa Valley summer has arrived, bringing day after day of perfect sunshine, and a compulsive, irresistible urge to lunch al fresco.  Downtown Yountville offers one of the highest concentrations of outdoor dining spots in the whole valley, all within an easy walk of one another, and all with their own brand of wine country charm.

    At the north end of Washington Street, the Hotel Luca's Italianate stone archway opens onto a serene courtyard patio with fountains, lounge seating, and the delightful Cantinetta Piero.  Seasonal ingredients, house-cured charcuterie, and rustic lusty flavors capture the spirit of Tuscany with a California accent.   The restaurant's courtyard facing walls open up entirely to the balmy air, allowing even those seated inside to enjoy the weather, while well-placed umbrellas by the terrace tables offer courtyard diners shade from the often searing sun.  To celebrate the arrival of their full bar license, and the indulgent noshing time between lunch and dinner, the restaurant is now offering a Margarita and Margherita promotion.  Between 4 and 6 p.m. during the week, buy any cocktail you like from the bar and score a gorgeous, thin-crust margherita pizza for only $5.  Yes, and yes.
    By Deirdre Bourdet

    frenchLaundryGardens1.jpgWho doesn't love being let in on a secret? Particularly a secret that involves the magical stuff that The French Laundry puts on its dinner plates. Summer is the perfect time to discover Jacobsen Orchards and Hill Family Farm, the tiny, family-owned, organic farms that sell only to The French Laundry and Bardessono Restaurant.
    You can walk the Jacobsen Orchard rows, taste and smell the organic peaches, plums, herbs, and esoteric vegetables that are inspiring Thomas Keller this season, and hear all about the history of this farm connection and its golden wares from the godson of the Jacobsens: Ryan Hill.  Ryan will regale you with tales of the Jacobsen Orchard's humble beginnings in the 1970s, when San Franciscans Peter and Gwenny purchased the Yountville land and tiny wooden shack as a country getaway, complete with outdoor shower/garden hose. Their cabin is still there, just across from the larger barn residence brought in several years later, and the fabulous outdoor kitchen that now looks out on the farm rows themselves.

    Chocolate Red Wine Cake

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    Submitted by Keller Estate

    recipeKellerEstate.jpgA delicious chocolate cake recipe from Keller Estate located in Petaluma, CA that you have to try at home! Their advice? "Bake two cakes, your family and friends will ask for more!" If you're planning a wine tasting trip or already here in the area, why not swing by their tasting room and taste the Syrah featured in this recipe.

    Sonoma Dining Guide

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    girlfig.JPGBy Deirdre Bourdet

    Sonoma Valley boasts dozens and dozens of restaurants, from tiny holes in the wall to luxurious palaces.  Where to go depends entirely on the kind of ambience and sustenance you're craving.  Here are some suggestions that may speak to your mood next time you're in the area.

    The Depot Hotel.  For old-school Italian nostalgia, you must go to the Depot Hotel.  The 19th Century plumstone building is only two blocks off the Sonoma square, but feels sixty years away with its circa 1950s time capsule dining room and outdoor terrace, with fountain and reflecting pool.   Rest assured, however, that the cuisine has evolved since the 1950s.  Chef-owner Michael Ghilarducci is now joined in the kitchen by his son, Antonio, who has worked at such places as The French Laundry, La Folie in San Francisco, Angele in Napa, and El Dorado Kitchen down the street.  The finest local ingredients are prepared in true Italian style--simply, deliciously, and with a minimum of fuss.  The kitchen produces its own pastas, fresh ricotta, and salumi, and also offers regional cooking classes at its Scuola Rustica.  This month is Summer Sardinian Grilling, offered July 26 and 27th.