Thursday, August 7

Cali-Day Three

Day 3-Napa/Sonoma

So we thought Day 2 was cold and overcast. That was nothing like Day 3. It was freezing. And when I mean freezing that is all in comparison to the high of 97 today in Nashville.

The weather from San Fran to Napa are two completely different climates. So I dressed for Napa, shorts and a polo shirt but when we ventured out that morning it didn't seem like that was a good idea. We woke up early and picked up our rental car and got on the road.

Our directions to Napa included a trip over the Golden Gate Bridge. Whoo hoo.

Remember when I mentioned cold and overcast. Here it is.



Some traveling family were gracious enough to take our pic while I was huddle for warmth. We quickly snapped some more pics and back on the road we went.

Driving north we could definitely see a change in the weather however by the time we reach Napa the sun wasn't out. We had made reservations for a tour of Schramsberg winery located in the northern portion of Napa. We figured we'd head north and work our were south. It proved to be a good decision because by the time we made our way up north the weather had changed.



Schramsberg winery was the first sparkling wine "champagne" tour we'd ever been to. Part of the tour leads you into these caves that were originally dug by Chinese immigrant workers during the 1800's.


The tour was short and sweet and we then were taken into a room for some tastings. The hubby and I aren't being champagne drinkers. Sure we enjoy it on special occasions but we would never buy it to serve with dinner. This is one of the greatest take always from the trip.

Our guide discussed how he enjoys a glass after mowing his lawn or after a long day of work. Instantly the hubby and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows but we listen and learned and tasted.

They had some great champagne and I again preface this with we aren't educated wine drinkers. That being said it was still very good and definitely worth the trip. We even learned that Schramsberg Sparkling wine has been served at various White House functions, so it must be good, right??



After a couple of moments of uncontrollable laughter in the car we realized we needed to grab some lunch before moving on to more alcohol consumption. Upon reading this post on Taylor's Refreshers, the hubby and I were up for trying some fine burgers.


When we made it to Taylor's it was pretty crowded but the long line was worth it. The weather at that point was beautiful so we both ordered burgers and enjoyed in their picnic area.



We also ordered garlic fries, as seen below, and although they were delicious not having a toothbrush in the rental proved to be a fatal mistake.



After a delightful lunch we went on to Arger Martucci winery. This is a smaller winery started by two business partners. We were served by the son of Mr. Martucci and he was kind enough to share some back ground of how the winery came to be.


For a moment we were the only one's at the tasting and it was great to get a break from the hustle and bustle of Napa and enjoy the beauty of this small winery.



Our next stop was another winery called Artesa. Hands down one of the best views of the valley.




Again the weather was so nice and we were able to take our tastings outside to a small patio area.


We decided on doing both wine tasting menus at this location. We really like the taste of their Tempranillo wine and decided buy a bottle on the way out. Even if you don't like their wines the views were unbeatable.

After that tasting was over we headed on a short trip over to Domaine Carneros.



Another beautiful location Domaine Carneros also featured Sparkling wine. Sad to say that the hubby and I were actually excited about the tasting. At first we were a bit doubtful about hitting up two Sparkling wines facility but we quickly changed our minds.



The hubby and I enjoyed their sparkling wine tasting with a variety of cheese. We enjoyed the views as the sun came down and sat and talked on their outdoor area. It was such a great way to end the wine tasting day. We then headed to our hotel. By the way, yes that is the hubby checking in on work. You can take the man out of the office, but you can't take the crackberry away from the man.



Here I am up close with some of their pretty grapes.


That night we had dinner reservations at Ad Hoc.

I was looking forward to this restaurant the whole trip and since we had such a great night at Foreign Cinema I couldn't wait for the good times to roll.

It was anything but good times. We first arrived to be told that they were running about 30-45 minutes late on reservations. There are two main roads in Napa and apparently one of them was being held up due to construction so many of their earlier reservations were late.

At this point I'd had a long day of wine tasting and sun so I wasn't accommodating. I seriously was peeved. The place isn't big to begin with so I think it was the restaurant's call to turn down people that late. As we waited with tons of other people for our reservation I tried to enjoy the place and slowly drank some iced tea.

We were seated about 25 minutes later after I and about 4 other people began our death stares at the wait staff. I know, you can't take me anywhere.

Anywho once seated the waiter asked for our drinks and said he'd come back with a menu. Ummm, the menu is fixed for the night and it's clearly posted in several spots in the restaurant. Yeah the wine in my system was making me ugly.

He came back 10 minutes later with our drinks and proceed to tell us about dinner which we said sounded great and moved along. Well our first plate arrived. A bib salad with olives, pancetta and the greatest croutons. Some food in my belly was making me better that was until....that's right there is an UNTIL... BTW, there aren't any pics of our dinner bc I was extremely ill at the service and was far from in the mood to whip the camera out.

My poor hubby wasn't in a better mood but I think he just felt bad that I was in such a crummy mood after being so excited to eat here. Back to the UNTIL.

So as we're chomping away at the salad, we hear some man drop the F-bomb at the table behind the hubby. In an instant the table to either side of us and the tables next to them looked up.

Now I'm originally from NY so the F-bomb is used in everyday conversation but now that I've been down in the South for apparently too long....because I was a bit shocked.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thought the same. F-bombs have a time and place and well this wasn't it. As I checked out the culprit I realize he isn't part of the table, he's standing up with his back to us.

He then proceeds to go to the next table where he's being loud and screams out " don't worry honey I won't touch your (women's upper part that starts with T and rhymes with bits). Again everyone looks up.

By then I'm thinking this is one of the strangers manager's I've ever seen. Immediately the couple to the left of all this calls the waiter over and asks who this guy is. Which the waiter replies "We don't know, he's a guest having dinner at the table in the corner".

I know I was ill but this lady was far worse. She begins to tell the waiter how inappropriate this man is being when all of a sudden the man sits between myself and the couple to the left of us. It was a bench seat on one side, my side.

I was still holding my knife as I was cutting my salad when he turns to the lady to my left and asks where she's from. She replies Dayton, Ohio when he then proceeds to drop another F-bomb. Apparently it's that "great"... he loves Ohio.

He then quickly gets up and stumbles back to his table in the corner. At this point I'm thinking this is unreal. The couple next to me makes a comment to the waiter about how hammered the man appears and all the waiter can say is "yeah, he's been in this condition since he arrived" Nice.

So we finish our salad and move on to their very popular Fried Chicken. It was definitely some delicious Chicken, which was served with the most amazing mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.

Half way through that meal the man returns to the tables behind the hubby again to drop several more f-bombs. There is serious disgust among the tables. He was clearly being inappropriate and the wait staff just all stood by.

At this point I was done with being at the restaurant. We still had two courses to go and I wanted out. We received our service of cheeses, jam and a fig, which were all good but barely touched and then our pecan tart. I'm not a huge pecan fan and thought it was overall too dry.

By the time our cheeses were served the adjoining tables paid and left. The couple next to us didn't even bother to drink the last of their wines.

Overall I thought the food was pretty good but really the restaurant experience was horrible. Which is so sad because I really wanted to visit this place. I don't even think I can recommended it.

Here's a pic of their cute decorative pigs. It was on the way out.


Once I got home I read these Zagat reviews only to see I wasn't the only one, which kinda made me feel better.

Day Three was a sweet almost all success.

1 comment:

gracenotesnyc said...

Jenny, I'm so sorry to hear about your bad experience with Ad Hoc. I'm surprised the waiters didn't do anything (especially since it's a Thomas Keller restaurant!). I hope you had fun during the rest of your trip!