You know that high-piercing banshee scream that happens whenever it starts to rain? You know, when it’s a quiet still night and you’re lying in your own vomit on the kitchen floor at 3am on a Wednesday morning and the dog is staring at you through the sliding glass door wanting to come in already because he relieved himself three hours ago and the first drip-drips of rain begin to fall on his matted fur and he whines because he hates getting wet and you’re dead to the world and he whines some more until he thinks you’ve actually died and he lets out a horrible screeching fire-engine yowl?
I hate that noise, don’t you?
So, being the painfully famous blogger that I am (in my house, anyway), I get invited to a lot of swanky high-class events. For example, last week I attended a culinary crawl in Downtown Napa, courtesy of Erika Bjork over at Augustine Ideas. And I dragged my blogger pal, Amy, of Limit Reached to crawl with me.
I didn’t even know Napa had a Downtown, did you? But they do, and it’s cute, and they’ve got something like 80 restaurants and 20 wine tasting rooms.
Here we are at Grace’s Table, kicking off Happy Hour with the limo parked out front.
Too bad it wasn’t ours.
We bellied up to the bar and I ordered a very yummy Strawberry Orange Martini.
And I tried not to throw it down too fast because it tasted like fruit punch and I didn’t want to fall down at the very first place we hit. I also have a strict personal policy of waiting at least until the sun goes down before I’m found on the floor. I have SOME class.
The theme for the crawl was “Farm to Fresh”, so lots of local sourced food passed over our tongues. Like this horribly delicious fried artichoke and cornbread appetizer…
and this beet crostini…
I don’t believe there were beets in that because I hate beets. At least I think I do. Also? This dish does not meet the qualifications of the “Farm to Fresh” theme because everyone knows beets don’t come from a farm. The beets I grew up on were purple-ish red, shaped like super-thick Ruffles potato chips and came out of a can. I can’t believe they tried to pull one over on me with this beet crostini, no matter how awesomely delicious it was.
OK, so about the meat platter. I have to ask you something.
You see this?
Now, do you see that blob o’ meat wrapped in what looks like raw bacon? Wouldn’t you think that would be some kind of spread or something to put on the chips? Like a pate or something?
So what do I do? I pick up a chip and try to “dip” it in the “spread”.
And I got nothin’. My chip broke off. So, my little Charcuterie experts, what was I supposed to do with that? There was no silverware to be found. Do you pick it up and take a big ol’ chomp out of it like an apple? What?
Anyway, the wine tasting was fun and the guy at Mason was very nice and while I’m not a white wine person, I kind of liked a couple of the whites. Speaking of which, I accidentally told the guy standing next to me that I was “not a white person”, at which point I replayed what I said inside my head and turned a fabulous shade of crimson and did I mention that Mason Cellars is one of the few places in Napa that doesn’t charge for wine tasting?
The Oxbow Market is one of those indoor dealie-bobbers like the one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco or the Chelsea Market in Manhattan, only not nearly as big as those guys.
It might be smaller than those other guys, but do those other guys have flying goats??
I’ll answer that. No. No, they don’t.
We wrapped up our evening at Eiko’s, a sort of Japanese restaurant, night clubby place with comfortable couch-like furniture in the bar area. They brought out margarita popsicles and served us fried shrimp tempura and California rolls.
The shrimp reminded me of a similar dish they serve at Nobu in NYC, or Buddha’s Belly in L.A. Ohhh, look at me, getting all worldly on you, referencing such Big City restaurants.
I’m totally going back to Downtown Napa. Not only is it a great place to walk around with some old buildings like the former library…
..but they have one of my favorite visitor incentives of all…
Free parking. As in free. As in available spots in public lots.
God, I love free parking. If I were King, I would grant every man, woman and child free parking.
(By the way if you ever want to do a culinary crawl, check out the Napa Downtown Events page. The next crawl is June 26.)
Another “by the way”, for those of you who were wondering… All that vote groveling I did for the KCRA A List? I got 2nd place out of 98 nominees. So THANK YOU very much for helping me almost win! Yay!