As usual I woke up super early and waited for the girls to wake up. Luckily Syb wanted to check out the famous farmer's market at the ferry building so it wasn't that long of a wait. The farmer's market was absolutely fabulous! Wonderful fresh and colorful produce and flowers! Vendors selling fresh made cheeses, sausages, olive oils galore! It was a gastronomic delight! Syb and I ran around tasting fruits (still not yet in season, but nice nonetheless). "C" soon joined us and she sampled some goat cheese that she said was "sooooo good". We also saw gorgeous pastries everywhere, but we had a very early lunch scheduled in Yountville so had to restrain ourselves.
The Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building.
"G" our friend from Berkeley
also joined soon thereafter, and by that time, we couldn't resist one tiny snack so we had steamed buns from Out the Door
in the Ferry Building. So good!
At 10am we met up with our driver for the day. Syb had arranged for a private wine tasting tour but our first stop was actually to Bouchon for lunch. (Bouchon is a more casual bistro by Thomas Keller; we were happy to go here as a 2nd choice to French Laundry which is impossible to get into!) We were all giddy as school girls upon entering the well-stocked limo - within a minute we had popped open the champagne and started playing with all the controls.
These are almonds! We were dumbfounded when we saw these fuzzy green fruits until someone informed us they were actually almonds.
(Our poor driver Steve probably thought we were nuts!) Grace soon figured out the stereo system and the cool disco lights on the ceiling - and we were on our way to Napa! The ride was so fun - just catching up with friends and toasting. "G" decided that she needed a limo and that we should never travel any other way. (Ahhh - if only i could win the lottery!) :)
When we arrived at Bouchon, it had not opened yet so we checked out the bakery nearby (so yummy looking). Soon we were seated in the charming little bistro - very parisian in atmosphere, charm and space! I felt like the party behind me was practically sitting ontop of me - but I find I can endure a lot with the promise of good food. While we waited, the server continously brought out fresh baked baguettes to the table - it was difficult not to keep eating them.
Pretty bell peppers.
Soon however we were eating our little feast: I had a delicious salad of grilled leeks, new potatoes, onions, and ham with a lovely light vinaigrette. Then I had the mussels (in a white wine garlic broth with tomatoes and a hint of cream) and french fries. Some of the girls had the croque madame (ham and cheese) - yum! And Syb had a delicious pork shortrib plate. All in all, a fantastic meal. Service was very professional and knowledgeable, but a tad formal. We opted not to order dessert here but bought some pastires at the bakery to take with us ... about $50 worth of "snacks"! :)
Since we didn't have much time left (due to our super long lunch), we opted to go to a few vineyards close by. Our first stop was Silver Oak, a vineyard that apparently was well known for their cabs.
The setting was very rustic and simple, with gorgeous green fields everywhere the eye could see. The tasting was a bit expensive though (gone are the days of free tastings!) - for $10, we tried 2 cabs. I'm not a huge fan of cabs typically, and I really didn't like one of the 100% cabs they poured which had an incredible aftertaste of tobacco. Don't get me wrong - some people actually like that aftertaste ... not sure why ... Regardless we had a nice time hanging out on the sundrenched patio and sipping our wines.
We all liked our next stop better - Trefethen - even though I couldn't pronounce the name at all. lol! We sampled 4 wines for $10 (and because it was syb's birthday, he poured us their special late harvest reisling for free).
Eating a chicken bun -yum!
:) It was so good, that most of us ended up buying a bottle. (I think it was $50 ... sort of expensive...) We also broke out some of the Bouchon chocolate brownie treats we got to taste alongside our red wines - mmmmm! In addition, the winery was gorgeous! Like a little country villa with beautiful landscaping - flowers of different colors blossoming everywhere; birds and bees humming about... super nice!
By this time we were super full and sleepy and had to head back into the city. "G" fell asleep and we had to take funny pics of her. :) We also enjoyed a digestif (of scotch) - i don't think the purpose is to get drunk on digestifs, but syb and i managed to do just that. When we returned the only thing all of us wanted was a nice long nap!
When i awoke i was still super full and concerned i couldn't squeeze into my dress for the night.
Some of the girls wanted to go to dinner, but "G", syb and I could not even fathom putting more food into our mouths so we opted to go to the Americano
for some drinks. While I really enjoyed the lovely zen-like and mellow patio; the service was terribly slow (though friendly). We did enjoy the pork belly skewers - crispy and melty at the same time - mmm... but the slow service ultimately got to us so we returned to the hotel to freshen up and then left for Ruby Skye
- where we were meeting the other girls. Now - none of us really enjoys techno which seems to be the forte of this club, but we made the most of it - the space was great - large and spacious - but no seats unless you got a table (which luckily we had because one of the girl's knew a fab promoter).
Waiting for our limo.
Soon we were dancing up a storm on the dancefloor, and then on stage with the dj (again due to our fab promoter). After a few shots (I must say shots nowadays are huge! it's like a tumbler!), the night became a great blur of dancing and laughter. :)
At some point, I realized I had missed dinner and seriously wanted a pizza! Luckily there was a place around the corner that sold pizza by the slice. I had a pepperoni and it was so yummy, hot, crispy and melty....mmm... i felt like it was the best pizza ever! it made me so happy. :)
Favorite quote of the day: "Why is it so hot in here? Is this menopause???"