Wednesday, April 29, 2009

California Cuisine Day One

Our trip to Sonoma/Napa was simply stated: incredible! We drank so many great wines and had some amazing food as well. I know I haven't posted in awhile (between work and April festivities) so i thought i would take the chance to blog about my trip and share some great eats!

Erin and i actually stayed at a great little place called Glen Ellen Secret Cottages which is directly behind The Glen Ellen Oyster Grill and Martini Bar! When we researched the trip we thought that after a six hour flight walking to a restaurant ten feet away would be nice. It was definitely the right choice. To start they brought us two glasses of champagne upon arrival AND there was a fresh fruit and muffin basket in our room (this was replenished every morning!).

One of the things I loved most about this place is that they had an extensive martini list...EXTENSIVE! Also you could either get a regular size or an Itsy Bitsy Tenny Weeny Martini, which is a 1/2 size...that way you can try more than one (at least that's what I took it to mean!). Erin decided upon the Forget-Me-Not Martini: with ginsing & apricot liquor and I choose the Mango-tini Tropical : Mango liquor, Smirnoff Vodka. We probably could have kept going with these all night...but of course we were in wine country and wanted to move on to wine.

We started with their Calamari appetizer to share:(Ginger Tempura Calamari with grilled pineapple salsa, lemon aioli.) It was really good. Light breading with a great lemony sauce. Our waitress was really good at suggesting items and wasn't at all pushy for us to have our own. She totally understood that we wanted to share everything.

She also helped us choose a bottle of white wine from their numerous local and well priced wine list! We went with a Savuingon Blanc (erin's fav.) from Matanzas Creek, which just happened to be located right around the bend from our cottage! fun.
On to dinner...I really wanted to try the "Steamed Mussels with pancetta in saffron broth, with garlic croutons" so I got that as my Main course and erin picked a fish entree that isn't listed on their menu right now (it was Salmon with fresh local veggies and a couscous). They were both great. Nice and light and perfect for our first night in California!

Of course we had to sample a desert. erin was so cute and totally picked one that she knew I would LOVE, but she ended up loving it too. We got the "Warm Pecan Spice Bread Pudding w/chocolate lava center, brandy sauce & espresso ice cream". I think we ate this puppy in like two minutes flat.
After a long walk home (haha) we settled in to plan the rest of our trip. what an amazing first night.