Friday, August 20, 2010

Downtown Napa staycation - Part II

Usually, a highlight of any of my vacations is trying out great restaurants. This time, my hubby and I got to try 2 great ones; Bottega and Redd, both in Yountville.

Bottega is owned by Michael Chiarello, well-known for his TV shows on Food Network and Top Chef Masters shows. At Bottega, the cuisine is defined as "micro-regional Italian cuisine"; selecting the best dishes from across Italy and anchoring them with artisanal, heritage, or house-made ingredients.

We even caught a glimpse of the famous chef himself in the parking lot! We were trying to find a parking spot and lo and behold, we saw this man in chef whites walking towards the restaurant. Could it be? Yes, it was him alright! As we drove closer to him, I quickly rolled down my passenger-side window and shouted out to him "Hi chef!". He turned around and looked at us, trying to see if he recognizes us. Then I said "We're big fans and are trying your restaurant out for the first time." He was very gracious and wished us a good time inside. I wish I had taken a quick photo of him but I think it would have been weird and honestly, I was too star-struck to even think about it at that time...

On to our dinner, we decided to go with the following dishes:

Pecorino cheese pudding with crispy soft-boiled egg and forno roasted rapini

Polenta Under Glass, caramelized wild mushrooms with balsamic game sauce

Smoked Pasta with porcini mushrooms (One of the specials that day)

Adriatic Seafood Brodetto monkfish, mussels, rock cod and fresh Monterey calamari, forno-confit tomato broth, olive oil-crouton, paprika-saffron rouille

Vanilla Goat’s Milk Panna Cotta with saffron kumquat marmelleta and passionfruit citrus gelee

My favorites were the polenta and pasta dishes. The polenta was creamy and with the balsamic game sauce, it was the perfect comfort food. The pasta was just very earthy with all the mushrooms and I never had pasta that was smoked before so that added an interesting nuance to the dish. Needless to say, we were happily stuffed and rolled on our way back to our hotel.

The next day, we returned to Yountville for lunch at Redd. Redd is the complete opposite of Bottega, both in terms of the decor inside and the cuisine. Where Bottega evokes a warm and cozy feel in its dining room, Redd offers a more contemporary and casual feel in its open layout. Their cuisine is an "updated interpretation of wine country cuisine with influences from Asia, Europe, and Mexico in a relaxed yet elegant environment."

We were quite full from dinner last night but still wanted to try their specialties so we had the following:

Glazed pork belly, apple purée, burdock, soy caramel

Sashimi of hamachi, sticky rice, edamame, lime ginger sauce

Steamed pork buns, hoisin, vegetable salad

Dark chocolate pot de creme, hazelnut mousse, warm beignets

My favorites this time were the pork belly and dessert. I am a sucker for pork belly, and am drawn to any kind of pork belly dish on a menu. The ones here were so soft and tender that again, it's like comfort food to me. And for the dessert, the combination of the dark chocolate sauce and hazelnut mousse was what did it for me, it was so good that I did not need the beignets, just give me another glass of that and a spoon and I'm good!

If you think all we did in Napa was eat, that's not entirely true... We did visit a couple of wineries in the area and I am going to leave you with this picture that summarizes what the wine country means to me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bella Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo August Sale

Jenny Yoo is offering a Perfect Sale for the Perfect Dress! For the month of August take an additional 15% off any Jenny Yoo Collection orders. This sale includes all bridal, bridesmaid, flower girl and junior bridesmaid dresses! Don't miss this amazing event at Bella Bridesmaid!

To schedule an appointment:
Call (408)399-4649 or email

Address: 465 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Suite A, Los Gatos, CA, 95030