Anniversary Dinner ~ Wine Country Style

For our anniversary dinner, we hoped to get a table at a well-known restaurant in the area, however due to our lazy day driving, we got back late to secure a reservation. Despite missing out on a hot seat at a fancy restaurant, we found Bacchus Restuarant & Wine Bar in Roehert Park. We especially wanted to dine over wine country cuisine and we certainly got a wonderful & romantic meal at Bacchus.

To start, we had a fresh sourdough loaf with olives & an olive oil balsamic vinegar dipping oil.For appetizers, we had fresh dungeness crab cakes with balsamic strawberries & micro watercress…And also seared scallops with a creamy basil cucumber tomato salad.
For entrees, we had a New York strip steak au poivre with a hollandaise sauce over buttered mashed yukon gold potatos and sauteed spinach…
And Moroccan lamb kabobs with a citrus sauce over lemon couscous and sauteed spinach.
For a sweet ending, our waiter presented us with a decadent chocolate fudge cake with raspberry coulis and whipped marscapone.

Here’s to our one year anniversary with many more loving & happy years to follow!

Glen Ellen Goodies!

As we countinued to drive through wine country, we found our way to Glen Ellen, California. It’s a quaint area with lots of hidden gems.

One of these gems include Wine Country Chocolates. Wine Country Chocolates specializes in exquisite wine truffles made with a rich, creamy, wine-infused ganache (not just a generic liquid wine filling). Their wine truffles are hand-dipped and made with only the finest ingredients. They contain no preservatives, waxes, artificial colors or flavors. You can really taste the difference! We were fortunate enough to try their wine truffles featuring the wines of Sonoma & Napa Valleys – Cabernet Sauvignon truffles, Zinfandel truffles, Merlot truffles and Port truffles. Here are some pics of a chocolatier at work: Right next door is a catering company called Olive & Vine. They had a cute cafe so we decided to stay a bit and have lunch there. We ordered…
Roasted bbq pork sandwich with caramelized onions & a shrimp white bean citrus salad:
Southwestern chicken burger with fresh fruit salad:

Sonoma Rise & Shine

As we started the second day of our getaway, we opted for a light breakfast after the late meal we had the night before. So we stumbled upon Sonoma Valley Bagels. Here we got our much needed coffee and a lightly toasted bagel with cream cheese & local Sonoma strawberry preserves. It was absolutely wonderful… the preserves had a freshness about them and the strawberries were quite plump. Californians are so spoiled with such great fruits and vegetables that always accessible!

Mexican Fiesta…Ole!

To finish our food filled first day, we found a late night restaurant with lots of action. Walking in at 11pm, we were greeted with a friendly staff and the fun sounds of a mariachi band. Thank goodness for El Puente, Cocina Mexicana Restaurant & Cantina in Santa Rosa, California. We both wanted to order their most popular dishes and with that, we had their steak fajitas & pork carnitas.

The steak fajitas were grilled to perfection and the homemade house salsa offered just the perfect kick of spice & heat. As you can see, my hubby loved the house salsa!

The pork carnitas were just as I liked them… moist, flavorful with a slight crispness that was tucked away in my soft corn tortilla.

COPIA ~ Mecca for Foodies

COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, is a non-profit discovery center whose mission is to explore, celebrate and share the many pleasures and benefits of wine, its relationship to food and its significance to our culture. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, COPIA is the premier wine country destination—offering visitors exceptional wine and food tasting programs, art exhibitions, organic edible gardens, films, concerts, fine and casual dining, shopping and more!

Whether you’re a home cook or gourmet chef, a wine novice or a connoisseur, a windowsill gardener or a proven green thumb, we invite you to come to COPIA to experience a world of insights and connections to people, learning and ideas.

I loved the exhibits at COPIA and how food, wine and the arts are appreciated together. Food is definitely treated as an art with such high respect. Its much more than just daily sustenance, but rather folks live to eat, rather than eat to live. My trip to the wine country has certainly given me a greater appreciation for food – from how it was cultivated to the effort given for a meal to grace a table. Food is such a wonderful thing.

CIA…’tis only a dream

If you have a passion for food and a craving to learn, you’ve come to the right place. The Culinary Institute of America is the resource for cooking, baking, wine, and entertaining. As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA offers an unparalleled gastronomic experience for food enthusiasts, including cooking classes at both their New York and California schools, daily campus tours, student-run restaurants, career discovery opportunities, award-winning cookbooks, state-of-the-art training materials, and superbly crafted culinary essentials for the home. The CIA is the ultimate destination for all food-lovers… and after visiting there, I was in awe of all the foodstuff to be learned. We were able to spend a few minutes at their gift shop just in time before it closed. I picked up some great postcards that I will be creating a framed collage with to hang in my kitchen for inspiration.

Here are pics of the large wine barrels that lined the walkway towards the gift shop:

Refreshed By Taylor’s Refresher

After a whole lot of driving, swirling, sipping and smiling, it was time to get some food… and the best place in Napa along Hwy 29 is Taylor’s Refresher. Taylor’s Refresher is an old-fashioned American drive-in with a California twist. Located in St. Helena in the heart of wine country, they sell wine by the glass to sip with their signature burgers and garlic fries.

We decided to order mini corn dogs over their garlic fries (amazing!!), onion rings, a soda & a root beer float: