January in Napa Valley has officially been dubbed “Restaurant Month,” and brings with it Napa’s 2nd Annual Truffle Festival. A traditionally slow time of year, the Valley is tempting Bay Area locals with a full month of foodie specials and a celebration of the world's most expensive fungi at “America’s premier truffle event.”
There are tons of summer celebrations in Napa Valley, but what do you do when the wedding reception's over, the wineries are closed, or you want another drink or two after dinner? Not long ago, the answer would be to pop a cork in your hotel room, but these days the Valley has plenty of options for night owls.
Thinking about a trip up to Napa with your sweetie? To help you wade through the offerings, here's a list of the top 7 most romantic things to do in Napa.
Google “Thomas Keller” and you’ll turn up 774,000 results. So what can I tell you that you don’t already know about the celebrity chef who made Yountville a town worthy of food pilgrimage? Well, there’s the In-N-Out thing. Google “Thomas Keller and In-N-Out Burgers” and you’ll get only 32, 600 results. Which means, by my quick calculations, that many of you may not know that the VFC (very famous chef) who “invented” such dishes as oysters and pearls (oysters set in savory tapioca) and salmon tartare cornets (fashioned after ice cream cones) also really likes In-N-Out burgers. His standard order? Standard cheeseburger, fries well-done (“Because,” he says, “at least then they’re crisp.”).
I went to Napa last week and stopped by Bouchon in Yountville to check out the cocktail list. It’s a truly lively restaurant and bar, and I was particularly enchanted with the Pomander, a drink dominated by flavors of clove and spice, yet incredibly refreshing and delicious at the same time.
2 oz Hangar One mandarin blossom vodka
1 oz aquavit
1 oz Velvet Falernum
1 drop essential oil of clove
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake gently for 6-10 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass.