Wednesday, April 29, 2009

California Day two

Since this is a food blog I am going to blog mainly about our eats while we were travelling but I linked the wineries that we visited as well because they are well worth checking out!


I should mention that the first day we got there i was hankering to do at least one tasting (most of the wineries close between 4:30 and 5 and we arrived in Glen Ellen around 4 eeeekkk!). We literally drove down the street about 1/2 a mile from our cottage and pulled into Eric Ross tasting room. They had some great wines and a wonderful couple that gave us so many great suggestions for visits and eats!





So back to day two. After a lovely run (with my new GARMIN RUNNING WATCH! helping me map the way), erin and i set out to explore wine country and try some wines.
The day started with a quick walk around downtown Sonoma. Its such a cute, laid back town definitely our style. We stopped into a great bakery for lattes and picked up some picnic supplies at Sonoma Cheese Factory . This place is a foodie heaven. So much to choose from AND they let you sample all their cheeses. Erin had to drag me out of there. But wine awaited!



This day we visited: Kaz, Elizabeth Spencer, Schramsburg (this one we had planned in advance because it was a sparkling winery...my favorite kind :), Bremer (at this winery we did the tasting right at picnic tables...to which we brought our lovely picnic lunch --->)







AND finally a quick flight tasting at Domaine Carneros. The last one was definitely more "commerical napa" but they were open until 6, did sparkling wine and we had time to kill before our fancy dinner. Why not stop?





On to the main event of the day...well at least for this blog....CYRUS.

Now this was our one splurge of the trip and Kath highly recommended it as well as numerous others that we consulted.
We had a reservation at 8:30 and we made it just on time! (let's just say the maps for the area aren't always to scale but erin did great as a navigator! :)


We started with a cocktail at the bar while waiting for our table. I got a drink that was similar to a mojito but contained rhubarb and mint...a.maz.ing. It even came with a metal straw so that the drink stayed cold the entire sipping experience....WHAT?!!!! Erin got a martini with infused vodka and ginger/lemongrass essence?! she loved it as well. (their online menu still lists the winter cocktails and I don't recall the exact ingredients in either :(. We were escorted to our table and given the champagne/caviar list upon sitting. We passed on these because frankly we just didn't know enough about caviar and knew that the eight course tasting would be plenty satisfying!

Then came the main menu. They over two options. 8 course chef tasting, with a vegetarian menu as well. OR you can do a 5 course menu. Um...we are on vacation. 8 courses!! Now here comes a shocker...originally we had checked out the menu and i knew I wanted to do the vegetarian. I just don't eat meat hardly EVER and we figured that would give us 16 different things to try. But, when we got there you have an option of pairing your tasting with a wine pairing...which is really unique and interesting. And we just didn't know if we would find a bottle of wine that would compliment both menus and all the dishes. So after debating I went with the normal menu! erin was very proud AND they let us share the wine tasting. HOW AMAZING!

Here was our menu: (which they present to you typed out at the end of your meal!)As you can see there were a few course where you had an option...we opted to get one of each!

Canapes (already impressive! although I cannot remember what any of them were!)

Amuse Bouche

Thai Marinated Lobster with Avocado, mango and hearts of Palm (wine: Kerner, Italy 2007)

erin: Foie Gras "Torchon" with Tamarind and Dates (wine: Riesling, Germany 2007) How fancy does that Foie look?!

me:gnocchi with Morels and Snap Peas (wine: gruner Veltliner, Austria 2007) (the picture also shows...baked potato foam!!! it tasted just like a baked potato!)

Seared Scallops with Chorizo and Clams (wine: Savennieres, France 2005) I think this was erin's favorite dish!!

Poussin with Green garlic and Rye Berries, Caraway jus (wine: Pinto Noir, CA! 2007)

erin: Wagyu Beef with Burdock and Shiso, Oxtail umeshu Consomme (wine: Syrah, CA! 2007)

me: Lamb Roulade with Melange of Spring Vegetables (same wine)

Artisanal and Farmhouse Cheese Presented tableside...This was my favorite part of the meal! they brought a huge cart of cheese over and a gentlemen asked what sort of cheeses we liked. My response: EVERYTHING! So he went through a "journey of cheeses" that he picked for us and then served it along side some candied nuts, croustines and date/nut bread. IT WAS DIVINE. He also mentioned that they offer different drink pairings for this course. There is the typical red wine pairing but he suggested going with a beer which both erin and I thought was quite fun and unique. Erin is not a lover of cheeses but she was a good sport and tried a nibble of each. The last one was quite...pungent and I had to capture her tasting that one. I actually liked them all!!! (as you can see below our reactions were quite different haha!(beer: Bear Republic Brewing Co. "Pete's Brown Tribute Ale," Heldsburg CA)

Verjus Sorbet, Blood Orange Riesling Soup with Crystallized Picholine Olives (wine: Elio Perrone, italy 2006)

erin: Tiramisu, Cappuccino "spoon", Caramelized Fennel and Espresso Gelato (wine: Bual Madeira, Portugal 15 years old!)

me: Caramelized Walnut Carrot Cake with Yuzu - Carrot Sorbet (wine: Scheurebe Auslese, Germandy 2007) All of those "bubbles" were filled with tasty liquid that just enhanced the desert. I felt like such a foodie!!

Mignardises! I looked up that word to make sure it meant what I thought it did. This was incredible. after all the food they come around with a desert cart and basically let you choose as many little bites as you would like. We picked (or more accurately, i picked) alot and just had nibbles of each. They also sent you home with homemade Walnut Brownies (we devoured these the next night for a late night desert...HOLY COW they were great!).

I don't know if I will ever have a fancier, more impressive dinner. This is definitely one for the record books (or blog in this case :)and an experience not to be missed for those of your out there who are foodies.

Truly unique.

1 Comment:

Kelly said...

Oh, I am so jealous of this trip. I went out to California last summer and it was beautiful and yummy! Although, with the fires last summer the views were not as amazing. Thanks for posting all your food and wine adventures!