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Auberge du Soleil, Terrace des Délices

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aubergeOutsideDining.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The terrace seating at Auberge du Soleil is an institution. Not simply for the people-watching possibilities, or for the ultra-romantic setting, or for the impeccable Relais & Chateaux service, or even for the perfectly executed and perfectly delicious cuisine from chef Robert Curry.  Dining on the Auberge terrace is special because it offers all of these in one spectacular place--and that's the reason it belongs on the bucket list of everyone who loves the wine country.

Easter Bunny In The Tummy

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Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen

Image by GoodWineUnder20 via Flickr

By Deirdre Bourdet

I think rabbits are very, very tasty to eat.  I should disclose here that I had a pet rabbit as a young kid. Though soft, cute, and all the rest you would expect, my rabbit was a serious curmudgeon that hated to be picked up, petted, or otherwise distracted from his business of constant eating and pooping. Consequently, I feel no remorse in eating his brethren at every possible opportunity. And what better time than Easter?

The macabre appeal of an Easter bunny for dinner enchants far more people than I would ever have thought.  A few years ago I decided at the last minute to make an Easter rabbit, but incredibly, none of the local butchers had any unclaimed bunnies to offer in the last few days before the holiday. EVERY STORE had sold out. Clearly, my sick mind was not alone in craving some Easter bunny for dinner; it was just too slow to plan ahead to reserve one like everyone else.
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PRESS Restaurant - Spring Specials

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pressRestaurantSteak.jpgST. HELENA, CA - Dine at PRESS Restaurant this Spring and enjoy their featured specials and limited time offers.

*MONDAY NIGHT DINNERS

Four course dinner served family style
See website on Sundays for menu
$55 per person

*Visit online to view weekly Monday Night Dinner Menu*

WINE LIST WEDNESDAYS
Free corkage and 50% off entire Napa Valley featured wine list until May 1, 2009

SUNDAY-THURSDAY BLUE PLATE BAR SPECIAL
Only at the PRESS bar
$10 Blue Plate Special that changes daily Call daily for chef's special selections

PRESS Restaurant
587 St. Helena Highway South
Call 707-967-0550 for reservations
www.presssthelena.com
bouchon.jpgIf you've ever been to Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley Wine Country, then most likely you have tried their signature chocolate treat called "Bouchon".  It is chocolaty, brownie, cake-like goodness that no person should be without! If you have yet to go, definitely make this as a must visit, see, and taste for yourself stop next time you are in town*.  But what will you do until then???

Apparently, Bouchon Bakery has partnered  exclusively with Williams-Sonoma who are now selling the Chocolate Bouchon Mix directly to consumers.  "The mix combines Guittard cocoa powder, Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla and a generous helping of Callebaut chocolate chips".

It's only $18.00 and yields 18 bouchons.  Of course, you also have to buy the "bouchon mold pan".  Sigh...just looking at the picture is making me salivate all over again. I may have to order my mix tonight or since I live local, maybe just pop over to the bakery itself.

If there are any readers out there that have already tried the mix and have tasted the original, let us know if it tastes the same!

*Note: Bouchon Bakery is also located in New York and Las Vegas.

And the Ivy Goes to Dry Creek Kitchen

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drycreekKitchen.jpg

In the culinary world, the term "award-winning" is tossed around like so many mushrooms sautéed in a skillet. But sometimes the term actually means something, and some restaurants and chefs just seem to rack up the awards faster than others. Especially in Wine Country, where the competition is fierce, the awards and accolades a particular place earns can mean the difference between good and great.

Sondra Bernstein

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Sondra Bernstein:

Signature Restaurant, Gourmet Picnics, Private Cottages and Catering- The Exclusive Experience on WineCountry.com combines it all.

Just like a plump ripe fig, the girl & the fig food is fresh, healthy, and bursting with flavor. With a seasonal menu featuring garden vegetables, herbs, and an abundance of creativity, the rustic Provençal-inspired cuisine allows earth's true and natural flavors to shine.

The Stars of Wine Country

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The Stars of Wine Country: Chef Douglas Keane and Maître d'Hôtel and Owner Nick Peyton, Cyrus restaurant:

 

For about 5 years now, Cyrus restaurant has been the talk of foodies and wine lovers as the most refreshing and truly flawless dining experience in wine country. In 2002, Nick Peyton and Chef Douglas Keane came together to begin collaboration on a fine cuisine restaurant project for Sonoma County, soon to become the 4-star dining destination called Cyrus.

 

Chef Eric C. Maczko

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Chef Eric C. Maczko:

Pine Ridge Winery Chef
 

From "Appellations and Appetizers" to "Creative Culinary Combinations", Pine Ridge Winery, located in the historic Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, boasts an active culinary program to compliment their award-winning wines. Led by Chef Eric Maczko, the winery's food-focused events include a variety of cooking demonstrations, cave dinners and extensive wine tastings.

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