General: September 2010 Archives

Pumpkin Curry Soup

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PumpkinCurrySoupl.jpgSubmitted by Chef Robin Lehnhoff-McCray, Valley of the Moon Winery

It is finally fresh pumpkin season, one of my favorite times of year for soup. This pumpkin soup recipe is prepared with fresh pumpkin along with good quality curry spices. These flavors pair perfectly with the light floral, fruity notes that the Pinot Blanc embraces and finishes nicely with the coconut milk to add balance to the wines acidity.

Where to Lunch in the City of Napa

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By Deirdre Bourdet

For many, fall means back to school, back to work, and a brutal reality check to the hedonism and decadence of summertime.  In wine country, though, autumn ushers in harvest party season and every excuse you need to keep on keeping on with that summertime spirit--even if only for a day.  

The City of Napa's location at the southernmost portion of the valley makes it an ideal destination for busy folks on a shorter leash.  With about 20 tasting rooms and one working winery (Twenty Rows) within city limits, visitors no longer need to rely solely on Carneros wineries for their wine tasting needs.  And with a slew of excellent restaurants serving lunch on the weekends, Napa is fully equipped for an afternoon of deliciousness.

French Laundry Alum Does Takeout

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tunasalad.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The French Laundry stands for many things... culinary perfectionism, wine country elegance, technical rigor, epicurean prestige, pristine ingredients, and the elusiveness of dinner reservations.  This August, a former French Laundry chef launched a more accessible form of culinary talent in the Oxbow Public Market.  

Graham Zanow and his wife Andrea are both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.  Andrea hails from Napa originally, so after several years of private chef-ing and other cooking jobs in various places, they settled in Napa and started Graham's Catering, an elite full service catering company with a passion for local and sustainable products. Last year the company catered meals for the Top Chef crew of celebrity judges, contestants, and crew members during the season 6 finale in Napa Valley, and this year, they opened a take-out storefront at the Oxbow Public Market.

f4.jpgSubmitted by  Chef Ryan Jette of FARM

FARM at The Carneros Inn provides an authentic wine country experience in a dramatic setting.  Chef de Cuisine Ryan Jette has created a menu reflecting the Inn's commitment to simple, elegant food, while highlighting wines of our region and organic and sustainable local agriculture. At FARM guests enjoy a true "farm to table experience, with their new culinary garden.  Also, come to Farm to enjoy the artisan cocktail menu  in the bar and outdoor Pavilion (featuring music on Thursdays through September).

Quinoa Salad

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Quinoa-Salad.jpgby:  Kathy Glass, Director of Macaroni Salad, Platypus Tours

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pairs beautifully with a slightly chilled un-oaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

A delightful salad for warm days or evenings.  Quinoa meets many dietary requests in that it's gluten/wheat free, a natural protein and very tasty.  This dish is versatile as well.  Just leave out the cucumber and cilantro and serve it warm as a side dish in colder times of the year.

Best Bets For Brunch in Napa

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By Deirdre Bourdet

I'm a firm believer in the classic mom maxim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day--particularly if your day begins in Napa.  Lining the stomach against all-day wine tasting, and feeding the brain in order to remember what you've experienced are both essential for optimal enjoyment of this food and wine paradise. Here are some of the best places in Napa proper to begin your taste adventure.

Domo Arigato, Mister Morimoto

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morimoto1.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

To the collective delight of sushi lovers in wine country (and really, the entire state of California), Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto opened the doors of his first west coast restaurant in downtown Napa this July.  From what I can tell the place has been packed every night since it opened... including the random Wednesday evening I finally made it there to sample some of the Iron Chef's creations.

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