Napa Country Cuisine

The drive to our next destination in Napa Valley was breathtaking.Miles and miles of vineyards spreading over hills and valleys and a cool summer breeze.All reminded me of Tuscany.

I was in good company....some sort of a laughter club what with Pat,Brendan and Kavita having me in splits!

We drove to the Culinary Institute of America,world's premium culinary college and headed for their Wine Spectator Greystone restaurant.We chose to sit outside..on the deck as it had a fabulous view of the vineyards.

This is an institute that trains chefs,conducts cooking and wine appreciation classes for the public and also houses a museum. They grow their own vegetables which the students pick.No wonder the food was so fresh!

While we were going through the menu they served us bread,balsamic and three different types of olive oil.

We took the sampler of starters which looked like tapas plates and had bites of mozarella and shrimps.They were divine!

The P.E.I Mussels were next.....of different sizes! Pat recommended them highly and they were ever so fresh and sweet! He had a wine trail called "There's no place like Rhone" which was a great selection of white and red wine and went well with each course.Should have taken a picture!

Brendan ordered Soft shelled Crabs which were sweet and crunchy.I have had these before elsewhere and didn't like them much cos they had been dry but these were delicious!

Kavita had the Watermelon and Watercress Salad with Feta Cheese cubes...lovely and summery! The sweet Watermelon,the peppery Watercress and the salty,milky Feta Cheese made this a dish with diversity of flavors

There was one dish on the menu which was new and huge! A 34 oz steak! The guys ordered that....and hold your breath.... finished it! When I took a bite,I understood why! Medium-rare,it was easy to slice off.The edges had a smoky flavor.The meat inside was tender.Thought of the American Royal Barbecue Competition that Simon Majumdar talked of in his hilarious book "Eat My Globe",as I ate.

I tried the Halibut which came with vegetables.The flesh was white and fell apart easily.It had a sweet taste.Wonder if they have ponds to store the fish as it was so fresh.

Kavita had her greens and made up for the rest of us.She had a big smile on her face so I am guessing it was good....

Finally Sasha,the amusing and courteous steward gave us the dessert options.There was a Sweet Finale dessert sampler but even that looked too much for us so we tried the Lava Cake which was perfect.Made of dark chocolate,it was crisp on the outside and moist inside.

Hmmmnn....this is definitely one of my favorite restaurants.. what an experience!


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