After lunch in Geyserville, we started a slow drive into the Napa Valley. If you have been here before, you know that it is completely exciting and overwhelming to drive past so many vineyards whose wine you have tried or want to try. It is tempting to stop at every single one! We were tired and wanted to check into our hotel though, so we went straight to Yountville and the Yountville Inn. Check in was smooth, and before we knew it we were chillin in our massive hotel room.
It was so beautiful and big. The fireplace was not that necessary as it was around 65 degrees out, but we put it on anyway. After getting a bit of rest, we decided to walk over to Domaine Chandon. Yep, Domaine Chandon was within walking distance of our hotel. That’s how we roll
As you can see the property is absolutely stunning. It is beautifully landscaped and grand. The on site restaurant just received a Michelin star. We each enjoyed a glass of bubbly, and while it was of course lovely, I have to say that the vibe at this winery was perhaps my least favorite. Most likely because it is such a large and well known label, the tasting room was PACKED and a little chaotic. It was not like the other wineries where we were able to chat with the staff about terroir as we sipped. It was worth a visit just to see the space and because it was so close to our hotel, but I probably wouldn’t rush back. What can I say? Give me a dusty farm road dotted with tasting rooms in old houses or even warehouses, and I am a happy girl. I love it to be about the wine and the people! After Domaine Chandon, it was the moment we had been waiting for.
Trying to get reservations at any of Thomas Keller’s Yountville restaurants is a pretty big job. We gave up on The French Laundry and moved on to Bouchon. To my great surprise, I was able to book a reservation about a month before our trip on Open Table. Love that site. We were obviously very excited to eat at Bouchon. Upon being seated, we were brought a little dish of pistachios along with fresh baguettes from the Bouchon bakery and mouthwatering creamy butter.
Our first course was a half dozen oysters. Hoping for some more Hog Island or Kumamoto oysters from the West coast, I was more than a little disappointed when our server brought us Island Creek oysters from Duxbury, Massachusetts. I LOVE Island Creek oysters, but being on the completely other side of the country, I really wanted to eat local varieties. They were still good though Served with a spicy cocktail sauce and mignonette, which went perfectly with the baguette.
For my entree I ordered Gnocchi a la Parisienne sautéed with garden vegetables and beurre noisette.
The gnocchi was very unique as it had an extremely slight crispiness to the outside of it, and soft fluffy centers. The gnocchi dough was made with mustard which came through delicately and gave the whole dish a subtle mustard flavor. The vegetables were very fresh and cooked just enough to be softened but still had a bit of bite in them. We were still a bit hungry after the entrees, so we perused the dessert menu and opted for the special, Bouchon brownies on valhrona chocolate with vanilla bean ice cream.
Yesssss. . . this was worth the trip to Yountville alone. The chocolate was such high quality, the brownies were crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside, and the ice cream created that perfect cold, creamy contrast to the richness of the chocolate. Overall our experience at Bouchon was good, and I am happy we were able to have the experience of eating at one of Thomas Keller’s restaurant. Next time in San Francisco, we need to hit up another Keller