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texassourdough 11-02-2010 09:49 AM

Napa, Forno Rustico, San Francisco and Tartine Bakery
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I took my wife to Napa for her birthday. I didn't even let her know where she was going until she got to the airport and was checking in!

We arrived at Oakland on Wednesday about 6 pm and I had reservations for Chez Panisse which was our first visit and was well worthwhile.

Next day we visited a couple of wineries and shortly after noon we headed for lunch. When we arrived at Forno Rustico she said, "This looks like someone's house! Do you know these people?" To which I said "No!" For those of you who have had classes with Lea Bergen at Forno Rustico you know what was about to happen. For those of you who have not experienced classes with Lea, we highly recommend it! Since I feel quite comfortable with my bread and pizza skills, I had arranged an oven cooking class based on Tapas and paella. The whole thing was fabulous.

Friday was her birthday and we started with another winery. Then off to lunch at The French Laundry. We found the entire experience "perfect" though we will no doubt opt for Bouchon or Ad Hoc next time! This restaurante deserves its reputation in our opinion. The food was sublime!

On Saturday we were to have a hot air balloon ride over the valley but rain interfered to another winery and a deli to buy makings for a drizzly picnic. Then off to San Francisco pick up a half loaf of Country bread from Tartine (ordered and reserve that morning by phone). Tartine makes some of the best bread in North America and it was a real treat (see photos). Finally to Pizziaolo in Oakland for dinner - very good in our opinion!

All-in-all an amazing food weekend which we survived with only a one pound gain - each. But a much lighter wallet! (Ouch!):eek:

Now back to simple food!

lwood 11-16-2010 04:42 AM

Re: Napa, Forno Rustico, San Francisco and Tartine Bakery
Sounds fabulous, you definitely hit most of the best spots, especially for food. I grew up in the Bay Area and school in Berkeley and love the wine country. There is no ad hoc when it comes to The French Laundry, I here it's booked solid 6 mo ahead. Chez Panisse is one of my all time favorites. No Sourdough in SF?

lwood 11-16-2010 06:00 AM

Re: Napa, Forno Rustico, San Francisco and Tartine Bakery
I guess Tartine is all about sourdough. Will have to go there.

lwood 03-17-2013 06:06 PM

Re: Napa, Forno Rustico, San Francisco and Tartine Bakery
Hi Texassourdough,
We finally got to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. I have to tell you it was everything you described. I even got to watch them slash and load the oven. The bread was fabulous, had a grilled sandwich, mom had the bread pudding (which she couldn't stop raving about) and sis also had a sandwich. All was worth the trip, especially watching them load the oven. Thanks for the tip.

texassourdough 03-18-2013 06:12 AM

Re: Napa, Forno Rustico, San Francisco and Tartine Bakery
Glad you enjoyed it!

The thing I love about Chad and Tartine is the dedication to his ideals. The consistency of the bread belies that it is exactly what he wants it to be - and it is fabulous. Certainly not what everyone wants to make, but perfect within the criteria he pursues. And inspiring for with effort we can each arrive at a bread (likely not as extreme as Chad's) that fits our goals!

You brought back great memories!


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