There is no way to truly share my experience out there so I'm going to share the most important things - the restaurants I visited and the food I ate. The dining was phenomenal; there just weren't enough meals in the day for me to try everything I wanted! The wine was truly incredible as well, but it would take weeks to document my experiences there, so here's the eating rundown:
Saturday - Dinner at Bouchon: Oysters, scallops, duck and of course, the signature chocolate bouchon for dessert. Magnificent.
Sunday - Morning snack at Bouchon Bakery, and by snack I mean huge chocolate almond croissant. Brunch at Ad Hoc: Monkey bread, steak and eggs and carrot cake bars. I didn't leave a morsel behind. Dinner at Ad Hoc: Yes, I liked it that much. Smoked trout salad, seared ahi tuna, espresso panna cotta. I shared this meal with two Napa winemakers so it was incredibly fun.
Monday - Another breakfast at Bouchon Bakery, this time a divine bacon cheddar scone. There are not words to describe it.
Lunch - Taylor's Refresher: Bacon cheeseburger and garlic fries. Oh my. Dinner – Redd: Oysters, lobster risotto with meyer lemon, crispy duck confit with foie gras meatballs and spaetzle. Not surprisingly, no room for dessert.
Tuesday - Last breakfast at Bouchon Bakery. I think I shed a tear on the way out. I bought so much it required a small shopping bag! I had a pressed ham and cheese croissant, a bacon scone for the road, an oatmeal cookie with brown sugar and toasted nut goodness and the fuhgettaboutit - a rice crispy treat with a layer of salted caramel on top, all dipped in chocolate with more salt on top. Heaven. I stopped for lunch in the Russian River Valley for more oysters and another trout salad before heading to San Francisco.
Chez Panisse: Pea soup, grilled shrimp, berkshire pork and tiramisu. I've wanted to eat at Chez Panisse for years so it was quite a treat.
Cheeseboard Pizza: I'm a New Yorker and we're pizza snobs, but this was outrageously good. It was a style unlike New York so a totally different experience. I sat in the grassy median in the middle of the street to eat it along with all the other in-the-know patrons. I loved the experience.
Cafe Fanny - Another Alice Waters stop and one of my most favorite places. I felt I could sit there all day ordering small, perfectly made snacks. I had a hot chocolate after my Cheeseboard lunch and returned at breakfast for the poached eggs and some beignets to go.
Hog Island Oysters: We hit this for oyster happy hour to indulge in the $1 oyster special. My friend and I each had two dozen and shared some mussels. This is a happy hour I could go to every day!
Slanted Door: Simply amazing! I had yellowtail sashimi with crispy scallions, cellophane noodles with Dungeness crab and two different types of spring rolls. Both were shrimp and pork, one in a cellophane wrapper and steamed and the other fried, but served with a lettuce leaf wrapper, fresh mint leaves and noodles. You dipped the noodles and roll in the sauce, tore off some fresh mint and then wrapped it all up in a leaf. It was incredibly messy and incredibly fun, a huge explosion of flavors.
Did I train at all? Yes, but barely. I didn’t do anything while in Napa aside from take a one-hour walk around town after our huge Ad Hoc brunch. But when I got back to San Francisco, I did a 45-minute run, which was pure misery aside from the view, a medium swim and then my longest run to date since the injury. I covered 6.12 miles on Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Aquatic Park and back with some excursions on piers. It gave me a chance to do some sightseeing that wasn’t on the way to a restaurant. And it earned my Slanted Door lunch.
Now that I’m back I’m kicking it into high gear. I feel a little weak from the breaks I’ve taken, but I’ve got a fitness base to build from and I have four months until my first race. I’m not worried and I’m just going to try to enjoy my training and keep some balance in my life.