Napa, California: Only one mission today (besides exercising): lunch in Yountville at the very lovely Bistro Jeanty. Bistro Jeanty is the very first restaurant I dined in while on a culinary tour of the Napa Valley in 2008. Loved it then. Love it now. But before eating several courses, we walked four miles - this time along the east bank of the Napa River. This portion of the trail (from downtown to Kennedy Park) isn't one of the most scenic. It passes by an awful railyard, with heaps of rusting metal, then past three or four homeless camps. Sorry I didn't snap photos. (That was a joke.)
The above photo is a different angle of the same photo from yesterday. Downtown Napa is ridiculously cute.
There were several oak trees along the path loaded with galls. Nope, not balls, galls. Galls form when a wasp (often the Oak Apple Gall Wasp) lays an egg on an oak leaf and this protective ball forms around the larva. The growing wasp inside feeds on the inside of the gall, then burrows out of the gall and has a lovely life. Now ya' know.
We have noticed a beautiful gondola docked in town, but today we saw a gondolier escorting a group of sparkling-rosé-sipping (at 10a) ladies up the Napa River. When the women passed under the bridge below us, we shouted down that they should pretend this was the Bridge of Sighs. They all laughed. (Note the low tide in the photo. At this point, the Napa River is just several miles from the huge San Pedro/San Francisco Bay, so is part of the tidal basin.)
One more funny sign to make you smile.
I keep forgetting to mention the gigantic stage being constructed near our hotel (The Westin Verasa Napa), for a series of concerts - The Oxbow River Stage - beginning Saturday and continuing through October. We have watched the progress every day (we usually walk/jog on the bike/foot path that goes behind the stage and under the bridge to join the bike path system following the Napa River). Also, notice the Napa Valley Wine Train on the bridge behind the stage - do you remember when Dave and I took this trip in 2017?
Okay, enough exercise (well, only four miles), it was time to eat!
We drove to Yountville, parked, and arrived to Bistro Jeanty (pronounced JAWN-tee) five minutes before our reservation and were promptly seated outdoors. Again, lovely weather. This was to be our one meal of the day, so we ordered carefully, took our time between courses, and really enjoyed ourselves - and our foods.
First, our starters: Salade Mâraichère - Warm goat cheese and haricots verts salad with oven roasted tomatoes and honey vinaigrette, which I forgot to photograph. (I know!) The goat cheese was shaped into a disk, coated in breadcrumbs and fried, then placed atop perfectly cooked green beans (haricots verts). We also enjoyed Truite Fumèe Pommes a L'huile - Home smoked trout and potato salad with olive oil. The trout was served over the warm sliced potatoes and Frisee lettuce. The trout was in nice, fat, 3-inch square slabs and could not have tasted better. It was nearly lox-like, except much thicker.
I remembered my camera (er... phone) for our main courses. I had the Sole Meunière - Petrale sole filet with mashed potatoes & lemon caper butter sauce. I make Sole Meunière at home several times a year... or when I happen to find nice sole. It is sole, dredged in flour, sautéed in butter, then removed from the pan while the butter is browned a bit, and capers and lemon juice are tossed in. The sauce is then served over the fish. Nothing fancy at all... unless you call it Sole Meunière!
It was, however, an absolutely massive portion - three filets - and huge slab of mashed potatoes! Too much.
Dave ordered the most famous dish at Bistro Jeanty - Crême de Tomate en Croute -Tomato soup in puff pastry. It is just like eating tomatoes and butter, and is served so hot, it takes forever to cool, giving you more time to enjoy the splendor. The recipe used to be posted on the Bistro Jeanty website, but it is no longer. You can find it at epicurious - and by the way - if making the soup in the winter, substitute a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes. This recipe also is another use for those rarely-used French Onion Soup bowls in the back of your cupboard.
Then, Dave ordered a side of fries (frites) as they are divine at Bistro Jeanty:
And the couple who never order dessert...
...ordered the lemon meringue tart. We only had a bit. Funny thing? I started at the pastry end; DT started at the meringue end.
After lunch, we had a stroll around town and went back to the hotel and took naps! Another long walk around Napa as the sun was setting. Notice how high the river was tonight:
On our way back to the hotel, DT stopped at Fieldwork Brewery (next to our hotel) and had a "flight" (3 ounce samples) of five different beers. I watched.
Perfect end to a perfect day. We walked 8 miles today!
Tomorrow, the adventure continues. Until my next update, I remain, your Frenchwoman for the Day (Jimmy Buffett reference) correspondent.