Adventures in Napa and Sonoma or Happy Anniversary to Us. Day 1, Part II

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For Day1, Part I go here.

We had planned to stop at R+D Kitchen for lunch as part of our itinerary.  We had been here a couple of times before and we liked it so much that we wanted to go again. Plus, our next appointment was at 2:00 and it was within 10 minutes from the restaurant.

The restaurant is open and tastefully decorated and also has outdoor seating with a Koi pond.

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Outdoor Eating

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We got to the restaurant around 11:20 a.m., a little before the lunch crowd, so it was not crowded.  They do not take reservations.  It does fill up rather quickly at the lunch hour.

The menu offers a wide variety of food choices on a relatively small menu at reasonable prices. Plus, they always have specials…like the Heirloom tomato salad with peaches, which I had along with a side of roast chicken breast for protein.2017-russian-river-vacation-138.jpg

 

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Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Yes!Chef! ordered the Hero Burger with a side chopped salad.  Wow!

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Now that’s a hamburger

 

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Yes!Chef!’s Side Salad
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Takes a Big man to take the Big Bite

As I mentioned, we have been here a couple of times before and I can tell you that the food is delicious, the service is excellent and the ambiance is comfortable modern, not hoity-toity.

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Yum!

We would highly recommend this restaurant for lunch or dinner.  Good food!

Girard Winery, Yountville, CA

After lunch, we still had some time to kill before our appointment at Paraduxx Winery.  So, we went around the corner, to Girard Winery tasting room, which is located in the same complex as R+D.

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We have also been to this winery a couple of times before with some of our very close friends.  It is a charming little tasting room, where you can walk in or make a reservation.

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Since we were there early on a Friday afternoon, there weren’t any other patrons in the place.

Interestingly enough, our server was from the Placerville area and attended the same High School as two of my children, graduating a few years earlier.  We had a great time talking about the wine at Girard (which is quite tasty) and the goings on in Placerville and Lake Tahoe…how things have changed due to the drought and then the abundance of water.

We paid for the tasting and sat in a cozy corner in a high table and high chairs. Yes!Chef! and I enjoy the white wines from Girard, particularly a wine called Mixed Whites.  It is a very refreshing, light summer white wine.

We tasted a Zinfandel Rose, Mixed Whites, Artistry Cabernet Blend, 2015 Mixed Blacks (a mixed red) and a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. In general and compared to some other wineries in the area, the wines are moderately priced, ranging from $20.00 to $60.00 and the cab was priced at $100.00.  If you join the club, they will give you a discount on all their wines. They were having a sale on the Mixed Whites, so we picked up a few.

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Cheers to Girard

Although this was not a scheduled stop, we had the time and we enjoyed the experience. On some other trip, we would like to explore the quaint little town of Yountville.  It is home to many fine restaurants, such as Bottega, The French Laundry, Bouchon, and others.  On the bucket list.

On To Paraduxx

2017 Russian River Vacation-158-web.jpgYes!Chef! and I joined Goldeneye Winery  club a couple of years ago.  It is located in Anderson Valley in Mendocino County (I blogged about it here), which is quite a drive from our house.  However, we have tasting privileges at two sister wineries that are both located in Napa Valley, which is much closer to our house.  We can also pick up our club wines from Goldeneye at either one of these wineries.  One of the “sister” wineries is Paraduxx and the other is Duckhorn winery (note the duck theme.)

Paraduxx is much more casual than either Goldeneye or Duckhorn, although you will have a great tasting experience at any of them.

When we arrive, we were greeted by a receptionist and confirmed our reservation. They asked us if we wanted to taste inside or outside and since it was a beautiful summer day, we chose the outdoor patio.

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Indoor Tasting Area
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Outdoor Tasting Area
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We chose 2 Adirondak Chairs with this view

The wine server handed us 2 glasses of rose and let us pick any spot we wanted.  We chose 2 chairs that faced the garden area under the shade of a large oak tree.  Even though it was a very warm day there was a lovely cool breeze blowing in this area, so we were quite comfortable. It was a beautiful setting.

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We probably should have moved our chairs together for they selfie

Our server, a knowledgeable young man, brought us a selection of 4 different red wines along with a coffee and lavender Flavored Jack cheese and bread.

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He gave us the rundown of each wine and suggested different food pairings.  Then he left us to taste and enjoy the experience and each other. We tasted a 63% Zinfandel/37% Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a 50% Cab Franc/47% Zinfandel/3% Cab Sauv blend that earned 95 points on Wine Review Online, a 50% Cabernet Sauv/50% Zin blend that earned 94 points on Wine Review Online and finally, a 65% Cab Sauv/35% Zin blend that earned 94 points on Wine Review Online. The wines would be great with barbecue and autumn foods.

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Each wine gave the vintage date, name, grapes used, flavor profile and price

The server checked in with us from time to time, but mostly he allowed us to tasted and enjoy.

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Yes!Chef! holding a map of the Napa area

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I thought I would take a quick walk thru the garden area…very cautiously.  They had flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and other garden delights.

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We stayed at this winery for about an hour and 45 minutes.  We could have stayed longer, if we wanted, but we had one more stop to make before the end of the day.

One of Yes!Chef!’s favorite wines is Pinot Noir, which Goldeneye specializes in. Paradox seems to favor red blends, while Duckhorn leans toward Cabernet Sauvignon.  All three wineries are unique and worth visiting.  This winery is much more laid back than it’s big sisters (Duckhorn and Goldeneye.)  The crowd was a little younger.  It is definitely a great place to taste wine and enjoy the day.  You need a reservation and it is $35.00 per person.

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Day 1, Part III to follow.

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