{Fridays in Wine Country} to Thomas

We couldn't go to Napa and Sonoma and not eat as much of Thomas Keller's food as possible- for our budget.  Keller is one of the best, if not the best chefs, around and I knew I for sure wanted to eat at Ad Hoc over our honeymoon.  I'd heard amazing things and so we added Bouchon to the list and of course had to stop into Bouchon Bakery one morning too.  The French Laundry was a bit out of our price range and shall remain the case until maybe our 50th anniversay...maybe.

I had eaten at Bouchon Bakery in NYC and Vegas but not the real deal in Yountville, which is by the way super idyllic and worth walking around even if you don't eat at one of the many amazing restaurants there.  It was hard to resist all the amazing pastries but we settled on some lattes and croissants and enjoyed them outside while we watched the line grow and many others head in to get their fix.

Ad Hoc for dinner is something I'd make a must.  In fact, I could probably eat there twice next time we go.  You pay a fixed rate and don't know the menu that evening.  Everything is served family style.  We were so lucky to get the best heirloom tomato salad of our lives and roast beef.  There were other things but I'm forgetting them.  I think some incredible potato concoction and then a dessert that we had to scarf down despite our full bellies.  We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of M5, one of my absolute favorite wines from Santa Barbara.  I think it's safe to say Benjamin and I were very much in love one wine tasting afternoon when we went to Curtis and were happy to see Doug Margerum of Margerum wine pouring M5 and many of his other great wines outside the winery.  If you see it on a wine list, order it.

Bouchon was our fine dining experience of the trip.  The bread and butter alone at the beginning of the meal will have you swooning.  Benjamin ordered duck which was appropriate and served in a copper dish that costs well over $200.  Oh, Thomas.  The restaurant itself is pretty packed in despite the intimate lighting.  Next time I'd come with a less full stomach and would probably even share something.  Delicious of course, but the California casual atmosphere of Ad Hoc is just more us.

With all of the amazing food we had to swing through the CIA where I got incredibly excited to be walking on the grounds.  We peeked into a class and their gift shop had me smiling real big.  To me it was what walking into an amazing car dealership is for Benjamin.  I was happy to look at all the cook's tools and walk away with a little souvenir dish with the emblem on it to rest my tea bag on.

All the amazing food we had definitely makes cooking at home less exciting.  Thankfully Benjamin got me Ad Hoc at Home and we can make our way through the recipes in there over the years.  


  1. Ad Hoc was my most memorable dining experience! So much fun and so delicious. Love hearing about your favorite spots in Napa. Keep em comin :)

  2. Glad you're enjoying. I'm jealous you can get back there much more easily than we can!