Adventures in Napa/Sonoma: Day 3

2017 Russian River Vacation-762-2400.jpgWe were very excited about Day Three.  We had reservations for lunch at Lynmar Estate Winery (a winery we had never visited before) and a later appointment at Alexander Valley Vineyards in Alexander Valley.

But, first on our mind was breakfast.  I had checked out several different breakfast spots in Healdsburg since we were staying so close.  Today, we chose a very different restaurant from Flying Goat Coffee, where we had gone the day before.

Flakey Cream Coffee Shop & Donuts!

2017 Russian River Vacation-653-2-2400.jpgYes!Chef! loves donuts and I had read this particular restaurant had the best donuts in town.  It was a charming little coffee shop located in a strip mall in the middle of Healdsburg.  It appeared to cater to locals and we felt very welcome and comfortable.  As you walk into the shop, you are greeted by a display of all kinds of donuts.

We took a look at the menu and all the varieties of donuts and decided on Apple Fritters.  Since we live in Apple Hill Country in Northern California, we love anything apple.  We started with a cup of delicious coffee and watched the people come and go.  The service was friendly, fast and efficient.

When the fritters arrived, we saw that they were fresh and huge.  No matter how good the food looks, the test is always in the taste.  And these were very good.  They were tender and full of juicy, sweet apple bits.  Yes!Chef! gave them a full thumbs up!2017 Russian River Vacation-652-2400

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Lynmar Estate Winery, Sebastopol, CA

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Our next appointment was for lunch at Lynmar Estate Winery.  We had never visited this winery before but it was located in the Russian River Valley and we love the wines in that region.

The winery is in a beautiful location on a country road lined with vineyards and lovely country homes. We arrived at the gate and they had previously given us a code to use.  The winery is located in a modern building in the midst of a huge amount of flowers, lawn, and vineyards.

We parked the car and after stopping to check out the flowers along the path, we went around to the back of the building and we were immediately greeted by an employee of the winery and the most amazing view of the garden and tasting room.

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This place is spectacular.  I could barely tear my eyes away from the garden and patio.  However, we were told that our dining experience would be in the winery owner’s home on the hill due to some unforeseen circumstances. Generally, the lunch is held on the patio of the winery or inside during inclement weather.

It was extremely fortuitous for us, as we were able to dine on the patio of this lovely home, which overlooked the winery, the vineyards, and the pool. There were several tables set up on the veranda and as my husband and I sipped a glass of sublime chardonnay paired with flavored popcorn, more people began to arrive.

The menu was printed and placed at each table setting.  The first course was a 2014 Chardonnay from the Quail Hill Vineyard paired with a Chilled Herb Crepe Roulade which consisted of ricotta, garden zucchini, white corn Soubise (which is a French sauce), Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette and basil.

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One of the interesting things about Lynmar’s lunches is that much of the fresh ingredients are taken out of their own garden.  The meals are actually inspired by what is currently growing in their garden. The crepes were so good and fresh, but the sauces took the dish over the top with the pairing of the Chardonnay.

Next up was another Quail Hill Vineyard 2014 wine, but this time it was Pinot Noir.  It was paired with a pan-roasted breast of Guinea Hen, crushed Bliss potato, charred leek, carrot Creme, Tomatillo Relish, and Garam Masala Oil.

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And, wow, did this dish complement the beautiful pinot.  Look at that perfectly charred leek.  And the skin on the hen was perfectly seasoned and crisp! This is a dish that I would love to eat again, and I know Yes!Chef!  will probably never try to create it.  But, I can still dream about it when I look at the picture.

Next up was choice of a sweet or a savory dessert:

  • Divinity Late Harvest Chardonnay paired with Orange Blossom-Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta, Estate stone fruit, fennel seed cookie, and Olallieberry Powder…or…     2017 Russian River Vacation-710-Edit-2400
  • Sonoma Coast Syrah (2009) paired with Seasonal Bohemian Creamery Cheese, House Olive Tapenade, and Raincoast Crisps. 2017 Russian River Vacation-715-Edit-2400

Of course, we ordered one of each and shared. Both were so, so fresh and tasty.

This meal is when we fell in love with Lynmar. Corby joined the club and we have never regretted it.

However, when we went back down the hill from the wine owner’s house, we did stop to look at the amazing garden where Chef David Frakes’ meals took inspiration and flavor.

Does the term “riot of color” come to mind?  These photos were taken in the middle of the day in July, which is not the best time to take garden photos, but the abundance of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit was too much for this photographer to avoid photographing.  Absolutely amazing colors, sounds, and aromas.

This winery is an absolute “must visit” when in Russian River.  You must make a reservation to taste and/or have lunch.  There is a cost for both which can be found on their website.

This was not the end of our day, so I will continue with the next post.

Published by

Karen Schmautz


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