Tag Archives: Napa Valley

Saint Helena: Still Under My Skin

I’m not sure if it’s all this election talk, the one year anniversary, or the cold weather settling in that suddenly urges me to seek comfort. None the less, something is constantly making me reminisce my magical four-month long life in Saint Helena, California in 2011.

If you haven’t been, then there is definite worth in visiting this quaint town while wine-tasting your way through Napa Valley. Less than 6000 residents, but restaurants to make any chef who swears by local ingredients jealous, foodies envious, always asking for more, and those fond of wine discover the finest the valley has to offer.

After trying and testing the places listed below a few times, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

  • Cade: Perched on Howell Mountain, Cade winery‘s breathtaking view is second to none in the northern valley. Take advantage of it and sample delicious wines in an intimate interior decor or step outside to admire the splendors the terrace has to offer.

Cade Winery’s Tasting Room on top on Howell Mountain. A beautiful view with amazing wine.

  • Chateau Boswell: Tucked away on the Silverado trail is a winery renowned for its enchanting decor, delectable hand-crafted wines, and knowledgable, friendly staff!  But as all well-kept secrets, a hidden gem doesn’t come cheap… It is however so worth it! Just be sure to make a reservation though.

Pass through Chateau Boswell’s gates and you’ll succumb to its fairy-tale like allures.

  • Miner: Miner Family Wines is probably the winery I’ve most often been to in the Northern Valley and with reason. My first visit was only a few days after arriving in the valley; I fell in love with the welcoming and accommodating staff. My second visit, Rosella’s Pinot Noir stole my heart. By my third, fourth, fifth visit, everything felt like it was.. HOME!
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood. If you haven’t heard by now, the young chef Kostow has kept his 3 Michelin stars for a 3rd year in a row. San Francisco’s 2012 Michelin Guide refered to it as: “Exceptional Cuisine. Worth a Special Journey.” For me, the term “fine dining” reached a whole new level. Kostow and his brigade’s creations are sure to leave your taste buds in awe.

Black Cod, Cooked in Ashes with Onions at The Restaurant at Meadowood

  • Cook St. Helena: Just flat-out simple, great food. Cook St. Helena is all about conviviality. In a “no complications” environment, you’ll be served up flavorful, simple, and fresh home-made italian food. And… the service is spot on!

Home-made Mozzarella,Heirloom Tomato and Golden Balsamic at Cook St.Helena

  • Condesa: So you wouldn’t think of drinking Mezcal or Tequila in the Valley, but this is one of the places serving up the widest variety you’ll find in NorCal. Delicious ceviches, tacos and  impressive platos fuertes.
  • Gotts Roadside Grill: I reviewed this landmark hamburger joint in a previous post and I stick by it. It is a great alternative to a meal on the fly. Serving up fresh ingredients, harvested from their St. Helena garden, you can enjoy your grub in their picnic area or opt for take-out. Either way, burgers, tacos, shakes… the perfect way to satisfy a fast-food craving and almost have a clear conscience!

Gotts Roadside Grills Famous Fish Tacos and Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

Voilà! So happy travels, enjoy your discoveries and bon appétit!

Qui aurait cru!?! Un an, trois maisons, trois étoiles

Je suis très consciente que la discipline qui est requise pour écrire n’a vraiment pas été mon fort ces derniers temps et voici pourquoi.

Qui aurait cru!?!

Huit ans après que nos regards se soient croisés en cuisine, moi serveuse, lui entre-métier, je laisse tout derrière: boulot, appartement, amis, famille, mon pub de quartier avec tant de soirées d’été arrosées (merci Gen!) et pourquoi? Pour vivre une des expériences les plus déstabilisantes et, je l’espère, enrichissantes, de mes 27 années de vie.

Décision impulsive, clairement! Mais qui n’ose rien, n’a rien. Suivre mon coeur, être opportuniste, et vivre d’amour et de liberté… oui mais encore il faut être réaliste! Vivre à voyager et à manger, si seulement c’était possible… Vivre à travers les apprentissages de mon homme, à travers mon palais, et à travers les découvertes culinaires que nous ferons ensembles, ça oui!

À vous d'y voir l'évolution....

De la gastronomie comme celle-ci, plusieurs en ont déjà rêvé. Un an, trois maisons, trois étoiles, trois cuisines bien différentes, et ce, sur deux continents séparés par un océan.

Notre périple débute à Roanne, en France, dans la Maison Trois-Gros: la passion et l’art culinaire transmises de père en fils sur trois générations. Suivra ensuite l’aventure méditéranéenne, et la gastronomie selon Santi Santamaria à Can Fabes, Sant Celoni, près de Barcelone en Espagne. Finalement, l’été sera caliente en Californie, à Napa Valley, avec le “godfather” de la cuisine américaine, Thomas Keller, au French Laundry.

Une multitudes de péripéties à venir… À vos assiettes les amis!

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