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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Best Napa Wineries and Restaurants-Flavors of Napa 2013 and The Appellation trail Event

I was lucky enough to attend the mother event of all Napa food events a couple of months ago, ie Flavors of Napa (Napa, California)! I had a 2 day press pass with my company Tasty side to life tours and was able to watch, taste and learn from the best Chefs in the industry (sans  The French Laundry's Thomas Keller and Chef Christopher Kostow of Meadowood). 

The events was filled with renowned vintners and engaging experts and was a 5 day celebration including demonstrations, farm to table dining, world class wines, lectures, cooking classes and other awesome epicurean and enological experiences.
Culinary geniuses from Napa Valley included Rogelio Garcia ( head chef at Angèle but formerly at Hurley’sReddMichael Mina Cyrus Calistoga Ranch and  The French Laundry), Michael Gyetvan (Norma Rose Tavern and Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca)Scott Ekstrom (Angèle, Napa), the great Tyler Rodde  (Oenotri), Brad Farmerie (Public NYC and The Thomas and Fagiani's), Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto, Napa) and Michael Chiarello (Bottega)
Lucy Restaurant-Sugar Pie Pumpkin Soup with Tempura Shrimp and Nutmeg Creme Fraiche
I soaked up every second of the live demo's, atelier's, cooking lessons and wine tasting lessons.

Some of the stars of the night were Angele in Napa's little Pork Belly Croque Monsieur which was just so tiny, decadent and perfect! It was a nice little hunk of pork belly, brioche with a egg yolk mousse w/ cream fraiche, a dollop of truffle marscapone and a sprig of parsley for color. I mean?! AMAZING. If I could eat it daily, I would. 
One of the stars of the night Pork belly Croque Monsieur

The Thomas and Fagiani's in downtown Napa. Black Pudding Waffle with Whipped Miso Butter and Spicy Poached Pair. The butter was ever so smooth, airy and sweet w/ that miso addition. The pears added a great spicy touch. This was by far one of my favorite dishes of the day!
Other stand outs of the night pictured below were the laid back Yountville's Hurley's which blew me away with their succulent Wild Texas Boar, Ca' Momi (organic eatery in Napa VPN certified to have authentic Napletana pizzawith Chef Valentina Guolo Migotto was outstanding with their cute little honey beignets and Norman Rose Tavern impressed me last year with their deviled eggs with apple and smoked trout and this year with Sour Cherry Bread Pudding with a Guinness Anglais. 
Here's a glimpse of what was going on:
Braised Wild Texas Boar with Truffle scented Polenta and Crispy Onion Rings. Gorgeous balance of succulent meat, savory polenta and crispy onions!
We're helping people taste with small great growers like this in Napa, Ca so if interested email Tasty side To life Tours or Tastysidetolifetours@gmail.com. Below ar more stand-outs of the night:
Sour Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise. There is nothing like a great bread pudding. This one was perfect. Dying to try Norman Rose Tavern, Napa!

Chicken Liver Mousse on Crostini from Press St Helena
A classic Beef bourguignon from the great Bistro Jeanty
Morimoto...poached fish. YUM
Silverado Dolce Resorts
Farm at Carneros Inn-Pumpkin pudding with cranberry compote and cinnamon fluff. 
Love winding up the mt road up to Mt Veeder
Yummy milk and honey beignet from Ca' Momi- a restaurant which I'm dying to try as well!

Another knock-out was Chef Brad Farmerie of The Thomas and Fagiani's Bar. His dish was definitely the most ballsy of the evening-blood sausage in the form of a waffle! I know it sounds odd but it was HEAVENLY! Blood sausage in France is a staple and it's so great seared with a wedge of slow cooked apple. This was a waffle with a homemade miso butter and spiced poached pears. LOVED. 

In terms of wine I LOVED Spring Mountain Vineyard '09 Estate Blend Elivette (voted Best US Bordeaux @ Decanter World Wine Blind Tasting 2013) and their '01 Estate blew me away, Barlow Vineyard- Family owned with a great Bordeaux Blend Barrouge, Ackerman Family Vineyards '05-100% Cab which was great and very well balanced and '09-spicy and young, Jackson Family Wines-Bright, Fresh and Tropical Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Lang and Reed Wine Company's 100% Cab France, Bouchaine '10 Chard had lots of buttery notes yet still maintained a great brightness and '11 Pinot, Cade '10 Cab with was dense and spicy, Amici '1 cab which was smooth and balanced at the top of Spring Mt, Cakebread had a surprising great '10 Syrah when they are mainly known for their chards and Bello Family Vineyards had a great oakey chard.

For tickets for next years event click here or to visit the region on a guided tour click here:



Date:Friday, November 22Time:6:00 PM - 9:00 PMVenue:The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone | MapPrice:$165



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