barndiva, sonoma (and wine tasting and a bike ride!)
Whit and I escaped the Houston heat in July for a quick trip to Sonoma. We honeymooned in Napa and have been back a few times since, but had never made it over to Sonoma. That was our loss (until now!), and we will definitely be heading back soon.
Our friends Caroline and Rob (and Raj the pug!) came up from San Francisco and joined us for wine tasting at a few great places. We especially loved the tour at Lancaster Estate and I was crazy about the chardonnay at Ramey — especially the Platt Vineyard.
Later that night, Whit and I had a mind-blowing dinner at Barndiva. The food, the drinks, the weather (we sat outdoors), the atmosphere – it was all perfect. They have a gorgeous garden outside and we sat under a romantic canopy of trees lit with mini-globe lights.
A few of their cocktails were ‘mood sensitive spirit elixers’ with names like Lift, Flirt, and Slide. I had the Lift – Kumquat Infused Vodka, Lillet Blanc, St. Germain, Orange Flower Water, and Citrus Zest – with my first course, the Pork Belly ‘BLT’ with Basil Coulis, Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling Potato Chips, and Baby Lettuces. The salty, warm pork belly was the perfect compliment to the sweet summer tomatoes. Whit also had a delicious first course – the Heirloom Beet & Endive Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Croquettes, Shaved Radish, and Champagne Vinaigrette.
For his entree, Whitney had the Crispy Young Chicken with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Summer Squash, Pancetta, Ricotta & Egg Yolk Ravioli. I had to taste the ravioli and oh my, it just melted in my mouth. I ordered the Herb Roasted Alaskan Halibut with Summer Corn, Sauteed Gnochi, and Bacon & Garlic Confit. I am still thinking about this dish. Everything was so light but so full of flavor!
We split the Dark Chocolate Bavarois with Rhubarb, Maldon Salt, Feuilletine, and Coconut Sorbet. The Feuilletine was like a Kit Kat bar at the bottom of the bavarois and we were fighting over the last bite.
As if all the wine and great food wasn’t reason enough to visit Sonoma, we were really there for a bike ride. Whit had the opportunity to ride through the wine country with Chris Lieto, a three-time Ironman Champion! Chris is a really cool guy – he is a Christian and has started an awesome foundation – More Than Sport – to help give back in areas where Ironman events are held. Whitney had a great ride while I snuck off for one last wine tasting at Jordan!
The trip was too quick, but that’s really just the perfect excuse to head back out there soon!