Napa Valley and the last breakfast

July 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

A culinary trip would not be complete without the visit to Napa Valley. Thomas Keller’s restaurants, the endless gorgeous vineyards, high mountains and spectacular CIA are just some of the poignant places to see.

We visited French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc. The ambience for each restaurant was unique on it’s own but all have an attractive charisma. Bouchon is a bakery/bistro; Ad Hoc offers a casual and relaxing dining; French Laundry is more upscale and only opens in the evenings.

As they say, the Culinary Institute of America is one of the most prestigious culinary school in the world. I’m not surprised. Their campus was almost too good to be true and extensively big. The old brick walls, wooden stairways and Greystone wine cellar gave a historical feel. The gift shop, however, was modern and sophisticated. You know when you are in a really good school when they have books to promote their culinary expertise and sell everything from chef coats to bowl scrapper (which happens to be the only thing we could afford). After leaving the place, feeling quite inadequate, we took a long drive home and decipher life.

The next day, we woke up real early in search for Beignets. Beignets, are deep fried dough pieces, sprinkle with icing sugar. However, the cafe we initially thought would serve them only make these lovely devils on the weekends. Nevertheless, we stayed for breakfast and honestly, it was the best breakfast we had. Somehow, nothing beats quiet mornings with a cup of coffee.

Sideboard cafe, is a hidden gem in Danville, CA. It doesn’t have a sign outside, serves freshly baked pastries every morning and serves Blue Bottle coffee. We had cinnamon rolls and blackberry coffee cake along with macchiato and cappuccino. Simple yet oh-so-delicious. No matter how technical food can get, with a zillion steps and complicated modern techniques, unpretentious meals are the greatest.


San Francisco stole a piece of our hearts away and we will be back for more. That city has a unique soul.

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