Girls Weekend in Napa

First, Happy Holidays! I’ve been absent from here for a while, tending to work life and life life. One of the best reasons one can have to be absent from a blog is because of a vacation, and now that I’m catching up, have a Mother Daughter vacation to share.

My Mom sprung the idea for a Napa weekend one night and three weeks later, we found ourselves in wine country. I flew into San Francisco on a Thursday evening and the two of us went to a late dinner (but apparently 9pm is a normal dinner time for San Franciscans) at Fleur de Lys, which came as a fancy dinner recommendation from my friend Elisabeth at Mission: Closet. It was fancy, focused and unique – they take a food (example, Potato Salad) and then serve it in a way it is not normally served (i.e. pureed). The food was delicious and clever, but the desserts were by far the best I’ve had, and also delivered in a unique way. Mom had the Fleurburger which is dessert food plated to resemble classic American burger, fries and shake fare (the bun was a beignet, the burger as chocolate and cheese was grapefruit jello).

Friday morning was spent walking San Fran and shopping, with a stop at the DeYoung for lunch and art, which was beautiful (both the food and the museum). We both stopped and wanted “Dog” by Ed Ruschka:

Next was Napa, which is surprisingly close to San Fran. In only forty-five minutes, we were out of the city and in our hotel.

We stayed at the Westin, only five blocks from the main Napa town, met up with Betsy who was interviewing for residency programs out there and headed to Oenotri that served the best pizza we have ever had. Next morning, in need of coffee before heading out to wine tasting, we discovered OxBow Market.

They had Ritual Coffee – the BEST coffee. Ever.

And a cupcake store.

So we could, naturally, have something to eat while having yet another coffee from Ritual.

Oxbow boasts multiple kinds of stores, all beautiful and accessible: food, wine, desserts, coffee, estate pieces, specialty foods including thirty kinds of olive oil – you name it. If this was near my house, I would probably start every day there.

With Oxbow established as our home base, we headed to a winery I can’t remember and a second called Scribe, which was wonderful. Formerly a turkey farm, the view was great, the people were friendly and the wine delicious.

We tried to sit outside, but it was a bit windy. That’s me under the scarf.

Me & Mom

After two wineries, Betsy was headed to the city and were were ready for another Ritual coffee, some shopping, and a foodie worthy dinner at Bouchon. I love Paris, and Parisian cafes, and this felt so spot on, minus the smoking and over-drinking. Like Oxbow Market, I would not mind finding this spot around the corner from my house.

Steak Tartare

The brussels sprouts were incredible – we’re attempting to recreate this dish tonight for Christmas Eve dinner.

The next morning, we headed back into the city for a little more shopping, walking and found an Orvis store, to pick up a little something for Frank.

He wanted a fly rod, so I got him this picture:

It was the first time my Mom and I went on vacation just the two of us, and it was great. Thank you, Mom!


4 Comments on “Girls Weekend in Napa

  1. Hey Jules,

    Nice Napa trip, great job. As it happens Claudia and I are living there, she got a job @ CIA in St. Helena, I am working for a farm in Yolo county, running their farmers markets in SF and Davis area. We can walk to Oxbow and pedal to Bouchon, it’s pretty great. We live on 3rd Street. Drop us a line if you ever need a place to stay.

    Happy New Year.


    • How exciting, Jesse! If I had known, I would have dropped you a line. If I’m back in the area, I’ll be sure to. Happy Holidays!

    • It was SO great to see you, E! Congrats on the new job, and can’t wait to see you in May!!!

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