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Napa Valley Restaurants

As I blogged about in yesterdays Grilled Portabella Mushrooms post, my husband and I just returned from a vacation in Napa where we had an amazing time.  After dropping the boys off at my parents house, then catching up on sleep for the first 3 days of our trip, we stepped out to some of the valley’s fabulous restaurants.

First we went to a restaurant in St. Helena called Press.  It was easy to get into and they handled the gluten free thing really well.  My husband had steak and I had salmon which was delectable.  We also ordered sides of broccoli and mushrooms which were fantastic. That was Press, I highly recommend it.

Next we went to Dry Creek Kitchen, Charlie Palmer’s restaurant.  I was feeling a little sentimental about this venue as Palmer’s New York City restaurant Aureole, was one of my first clients back in the day, when I had my environmental consulting company Ecosav, or rather back when I was 25.  I met directly with Charlie in those days, before he was a superstar and he used to tell me about his farm in upstate New York –he was doing farm to table before there was actually a name for it.  Being in his kitchen was great fun and he always had a tight knit crew in there.  So going to Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsberg was a thrill in many ways.

I started with a salad and then had the fish (sorry, can’t recall which kind) and both were outstanding.  The gluten free aspect of the meal was very well handled, though a word of caution, the maitre de told us that a wheat thickener is used in all of the ice creams.

mozzarella tomato appetizer bardessano

After Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, we went to Bardessano in Yountville.  The food there was fantastic and we must have been fairly well rested by that point as it is when we were awake enough to start thinking about taking pictures of our food.  I confess, photographing my meal in a restaurant is not something I’ve ever done before, though it was fun.

I had the tomato salad to start, then the outrageously good scallops and for dessert a meringue type dessert with strawberry sorbet.  Amazing.  All of it!

amuse-bouche bardessano

Oh, and at Bardessano they also served this incredible little amuse-bouche of raw melon basil soup.  Delicious!

That day, we also took a tour of Silver Oak Cellars which was gorgeous and state of the art.  If you’re in Napa, I highly recommend a visit there.

On our last night of vacation, we went to Redd in Yountville, which was also amazing.

I had a fabulous salad to start with local goat cheese, then scallops with cauliflower which were absolutely amazing.  My husband had the pork chops, which he said were the best he’d ever had.

pork chops at redd restaurant

Next it was off to Davis to see the boys and do two book signings.  The first one was at the Avid Reader and the second one was through the Celiac Sprue Association.  Both went very well and it was so great to meet new faces.

elana amsterdam avid reader gluten-free almond flour cookbook book signing

Finally, my sweetie and I went to my 25th high school reunion, the next day, the 4 of us traveled home.  It was a wonderful vacation full of sleep, fun and friends and couldn’t have been better!


posted on August 10, 2010

  1. Julie (Bananas for Bourbon) @ bananasforbourbon.blogspot.com

    I had brunch at Redd when I was there last Christmas, and it was so amazing. They definitely know how to make some mean scallop and duck dishes.

  2. Tracy Haughton

    My husband and I ate at Bardessano in July. Fantastic and they were knowledgeable re gluten free. There were no good options for me on their dessert menu but I decided to have the fig and prosciutto appetizer –for dessert! It was delicious, sweet and salty. Sometimes it is good to break out of the menu box. A super sweet dessert can be too much at the end of a good meal.

    Also, for the uber-high end meal in Napa County, Cyrus does a wonderful and thoughtful gluten free menu. It is a once-in-a-lifetime restaurant experience to dine there.

  3. Elana,

    Please tell me, what camera did you use, while you were traveling, to take those pictures?

  4. Diane-The WHOLE Gang @ thewholegang.org

    What a great time for the two of you. My husband and I were just out there but stayed in San Fran. I just love the fresh food available in CA. Thank you for sharing these. Maybe at BlogHer Food we’ll head out of town for a bite to eat.

  5. Glad you had a few days to visit our neck of the woods!! Yes, you can’t go wrong with so many of the amazing restaurants in the Bay Area. We live in Oakland and are constantly in awe of how well we eat when we venture out.

  6. Looks fantastic. Its always nice and helpful when they honor and appreciate food sensitivities. I’ve been a few places where they haven’t and its very frustrating. Its nice to hear so many restaurants were helpful!

  7. Diana Keough @ sharewik.com

    Your blog is GORGEOUS. I love all the pictures and recipes! I have a website, http://www.shareWIK.com, and would love to hear from you! ShareWIK (share What I Know) is a website devoted to bringing together women from all different situations and backgrounds (as well as a few men!) to talk about their experiences and learn from each other. We are taking about Celiac Disease this week on ShareWIK, and I would love your intake. Just sign up to get started. Hope to hear from you!
    – Diana Keough
    P.S. And keep up the great work!

  8. Jessica

    Next time you’re that way … you must stop in Geyserville and try Diovola’s. Fabulous gluten free pizza and many other gluten free foods. Also, in Healdsburg, Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar has an excellent GF menu. A bit spendy, but well worth it!

  9. Sarah Schatz - Allergy-Free & GAPS Menu Planners @ heartofcooking.com

    The picture of the salad is beautiful and looks delicious!

  10. Andrea L.

    Hi Elana,

    I love reading your blog. As far as health and natural living are concerned, you are an inspiration for me. I have not purchased your current cookbook because I can’t tolerate almonds. But some of your posts, such as the pickles, are mouthwatering!! We’ve also enjoyed some of your salad dressings and other recipes. I would like to know, do you plan on writing a cookbook with recipes that are more like salads, meats, lunch, breakfast, and dinner type meals? If this has been previously mentioned by you in a post, please forgive me, I must’ve missed it.

    Thank you!

  11. Elana, I want to thank you for your wonderful blog. I am in the process of figuring out what I can and cannot eat and I’ve found immense help in your recipes! I cannot tolerate corn AT ALL, even in the smallest doses, and just made your macademia nut caramels today! Thank you for bringing that joyous flavor back onto my palate! It was definitely missed :) (I happened to make them raw-vegan as well by simply mixing the caramel ingredients without heat, using sunflower seeds instead of macademias (raw ones are quite pricey) and rolling the hardened balls in carob powder or dessicated coconut! absolutely delicious little truffles :))
    I decided to comment on THIS post however because I am from Napa as well! I am currently in Los Angeles and had read that you lived in New York followed by Colorado, so this came as a great surprise to me! It’s a little silly how small our world is :)
    Because that little town is even smaller, I’d like to share my parents’ names with you (Shannon Martindale-Vintage ’82? and Stephen Richards-Napa ’80?)! They are a bit older, but if you went to Vintage my aunt Stacey Martindale may be around your age! Undoubtedly, I know someone from your class, or their kids! :)
    Hope you had an amazing time :) We’re so lucky to have such a nice place to return home to! (and please tell me if you DO know my family!)
    Thanks for everything
    Casey

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