It’s been years since I’ve been to Napa and Sonoma in the spring (probably since those days I used to cover the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition).
I had forgotten how lush and green the scenery is. It’s magnificent and totally breathtaking just to drive around and see the rolling hills of vineyards. The yellow mustard flowers are out now too, carpeting entire areas with their cheerful expression.
This past March, Bryan and I spent a quick weekend in northern California. First we visited some friends in Silicon Valley (hello Mountain View!) before renting a car and driving up to wine country for the weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at this next (relatively short) series that we’ll begin on the blog.
One of the reasons we decided to come to Sonoma was to redeem the free vertical tasting prize that Bryan had won in a raffle the last time we went to Sonoma, back in October 2016. We had attended Chateau St. Jean’s Cinq Cepages release party, and Bryan won second place in their raffle!
The prize included an awesome coupon for a “library” tasting of their flagship Cinq Cepages wine for four guests (woo hoo!) as well as a bunch of other fun little wine-themed paraphernalia.
It was so fun.
One of our friends actually flew out from Boston to meet us there, and another dear friend (college roommate and my bridesmaid) drove up from San Francisco to meet us for the tasting. The weather was perfect, and it was fascinating to taste through five different vintages of their flagship wine.
Bonus, we even got to witness a marriage proposal!
For lunch, we headed over to The Girl & the Fig, a great lunch spot right in Sonoma Square.
They had Pliny the Elder on draft, which pairs great with anything. 😉 In all seriousness, the food was great. The asparagus arugula salad with strawberries was fantastic and totally made me think of spring.
For dinner, we were thrilled to finally land a reservation at The Restaurant at Meadowood, a 3-Michelin starred restaurant in St. Helena, Napa Valley. It had been closed for renovations the last few times we were in Napa.
I won’t give it all away now, but I will say that we were immensely impressed and blown away by our meal here. It’s undoubtedly one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory. Stay tuned for I will soon be publishing a post dedicated to this meal.
The next day, after a refreshing church service at Calvary Chapel in Petaluma (as well as a quick stop by Petaluma Coffee, one of my favorite coffee shops in the area), we stopped by In & Out for a quick and early lunch. After all, we knew we’d be eating an early and long dinner!
After our double double animal style fix, we headed north for what’s become our annual visit to Russian River Brewing to pick up some beer to bring back.
All day happy hour @russianriverbrewing $3.75/pint ???? #plinytheelder #supplication #beer #craftbeer #sonoma #santarosa
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We were tickled to discover that they have “All Day Happy Hour” on Sundays. Pliny the Elder is only $3.75 a pint!
After buying three (!) cases of beer, we headed out to Healdsburg to walk around a bit before our dinner at one of the hottest new restaurants in the area, Single Thread Farms.
What a restaurant!
I was blown away at the artistry, attention to detail, and care that went into each and every dish. Even though the restaurant is less than four months old, it runs as if it’s been around for much, much longer. The people running this restaurant are pros, and you can totally tell.
It was an impressive meal and I will follow up with a separate post detailing every single dish we had!
They ALL made it safe and sound! Yes, it was a crazy day of travel – complete w/ insanely tight connection (shocked the beers actually made it thru), messed up baggage claim, and horrendous traffic in the tunnel at midnight. But we all made it home. ????#backinboston #longflight @russianriverbrewing #plinytheelder . We also learned that 18 bottles of beer in a suitcase puts you over the 50 lb baggage limit by 5 lbs! Thankful for Bryan’s executive platinum status which allows for 70 lbs. Bryan’s reaction? “I could have brought 2 cases myself!” ????. #tinyurbantravels #tinyurbansonoma
It was a whirlwind trip. Before you knew it, we were at the airport – beer in tow – headed for Boston. We BARELY made a crazy tight connection (they had already given away our nice exit-row seats when we arrived at the gate, huffing and puffing from our sprint – thankfully there were still a couple seats left on the plane).
We got home around 1AM exhausted.
But at least the beers made it!
Stay tuned as I follow up with more detailed posts! Can’t wait to share!