I had my birthday lunch this year at Bottega in Yountville (Napa Valley region) and was lucky enough to dine while Michael Chiarello, the owner and head chef was in town. The Food Network host gave me two big cheek kisses (Italian style) and sent over a bottle of Prosecco for my birthday, which I thought was a lovely gesture.
We decided to sit outside on the patio area, as it was a beautiful sunny day.
The food was just delicious, and we probably overindulged for a lunchtime meal, but then again, a birthday is the perfect excuse to go a little over the top.
Pesce crudo served on a slab of Himalayan salt:
Polenta Under Glass, caramelized mushrooms and balsamic game sauce:
$25 for one single raviolo is a bit steep (blame it on the black truffles), but I watched the chefs making these from a window into the kitchen, and I just couldn't say no. It was absolutely delicious!
Potato Dough Raviolo filled with spinach and ricotta, black truffles, farm fresh egg yolk, sage brown butter:
My friend, Nicholas, whose parents own the Keeler Estate Vineyard in Oregon and let's just say, knows a thing or two about wines, treated us to this divine Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir made by his friends at Hirsch Vineyards:
Cavatelli pasta with lobster and sea urchin:
Black Pepper Bucatini alla Carbonara soft cooked hen egg, grilled escarole, guanciale and parmigiano brodo:
Short rib cheeseburger with garlic aioli:
Though we could barely move after lunch, we spent the rest of the day wine tasting throughout the Napa Valley. I'll show you the vineyards we visited later this week!