Thursday, March 29, 2007

the leaning golden gate bridge and mustards grill

Day 1: It took a total of 12 hours from Springfield to Santa Rosa. After a two hour delay at Dulles, another delay in Phoenix, which was actually a welcome or we would have missed our flight, getting lost in the San Francisco Airport, getting used to a GPS system (I don't like it when she says she's recalculating.), and experiencing rush hour again in about two years; Esther and I finally made it to the Quality Inn in Santa Rosa.

Dinner was at Mustards Grill for that evening so we headed back out as soon as we freshened up. We drove down Sonoma Hwy, passing the Blackstone and Kenwood wineries among others, and made our way up and over the hills on winding roads to Yountville. I had just read about the restaurant in the latest issue of Gourmet where Andrew Coleman wrote of one of his favorite places to dine in Napa Valley.

Right off of Hwy 29, nestled among wineries sits the Mustards Grill; a quaint, elegant eatery serving modern American dishes. We started off with a Vietnamese lettuce wrap (wait, did I just say American cuisine?) of grilled pork, rice noodles, shredded carrots with a fish sauce. The pork was tender and juicy but nothing exciting; it was good, mind you, but something I could easily make at home. I actually thought it didn't fit in with the other dishes on the menu. On the other hand, the roasted garlic with croutons were wonderful. My only complaint was that it would have been better served hot right out of the oven. As for wine, I opted for the "Reds" flight while Esther had the sparkling pink drink.

I debated whether to get the quail or rabbit but because of my soft spot for polenta, I chose the rabbit. Served with baby leeks and baby carrots, the little hare was exquisite.

Esther had the blackened duck with pineapple salsa and sticky rice. The meat was quite dense and delicious, almost like the other white meat.

Of course we couldn't forget dessert; although we were busting out at the seams. The apple, almond, cherry crisp served with vanilla ice cream was the perfect way to end our first meal in Napa Valley.

No comments: