May 3, 2011

Destination: Napa Valley

We booked last minute flights this past Thursday night to spend the weekend in California wine country.  After a quick 7:00am flight from DFW, we were headed North on the 101 from SFO to wine country.  Our first stop was Napa Valley. 
My favorite thing about exploring wine country is the adventures that tend to spring up when you are en route to a wine tasting.  While heading into Napa, we happened upon the cutest roadside diner, The Fremont Diner.  Their menu is a collection of comfort foods.  Snacks include Cracklin (deep fried pig skins) and Fremont Sliders.  Smoked “Whole Hog” and Brisket Plate are fresh from their own smoker.  We ordered the Chili Con Carne for me and a “Whole Hog” for Eric.  We even had a strawberry milkshake for a starter.  From the turquoise painted picnic tables to the glass jars for drinking, The Fremont Diner successfully harnesses that old California nostalgia.  Next time, I’m trying the chicken and waffles.  I think Mildred Pierce would approve!
Chili con Carne

Whole Hog

10 oz Strawberry Milkshake

Drinking jars and Crystal hot sauce!!

Rooster (chicken?) roaming the grounds

Outdoor seating option.  Notice the vinyard in the background.  There is also indoor diner seating, but I didn't think to snap a pic -- Fail!

We began our wine route with a tasting at Bouchaine.  Next we stopped at Goosecross cellars (my favorite!) for a tasting and to replenish our stock of their wine.  My new favorite is the Tempranillo that they just released.  They did a great job with the Spanish grape!!  We then headed to M. Cosatino, and lastly stopped at V. Sattui – we always seem to forget how busy V. Sattui is and make the mistake of stopping.  We quickly left V. Sattui and headed to Santa Rosa for dinner.
For dinner, we chose a casual place called Rosso.  Rosso is a local restaurant participating in the “Slow Food” movement.  Rosso specializes in brick oven pizza, so, of course, we had to try the place out.  We started the meal off with an order of burrata + prosciutto di Parma and an order of burrata stuffed with goat curd + EVOO + mint gremolata – the second was the waiter’s suggestion.  For pies, each of us ordered our own.  My favorite ingredient from any of the dishes was the prosciutto.  It had a great flavor for having been imported.  Sometimes the prosciutto I eat is really dry and doesn’t cut well with a fork.  This prosciutto cut like butter.  Mmmm.....

burrata + prosciutto di Parma

burrata stuffed with goat curd + EVOO + mint gremolata

flat bread

Margherita + prosciutto di Parma

Goomba -- Yes, that is spaghetti and meatballs on the pie!  It tastes like spaghetti wrapped in garlic bread.

Funghi + Sonoma organic egg -- The egg made the pie!

"In Italy they say 'Red wine is good for the baby's blood'" -- I think I heard that on one of our recent Italy trips

Napa was a great day!  What are your favorite wine trails?  Rioja?  Napa?  Tuscany?  Look for my next post on Sonoma.  We discovered some amazing hidden gems in the Russian River Valley that I am very excited to share with you!!


  1. How does the pizza compare to Il Cane Rosso? Looks delicious!

  2. Cane Rosso is my favorite. The Rosso pizza was a little thicker than Cane Rosso and lacked the yummy bubbles in the center of the pie.