Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oakville Grocery (Napa Valley) - with Recipe!

Two separate groups of friends were visiting from out of town, and Napa Valley was definitely on their itinerary. I ended up going to Napa Valley twice in one weekend (a record for me lol) but had two extremely fun but completely different experiences. I am going to spend the next few posts on some of the places we visited since it seems that I haven't written about any places in Napa at all.

On my first trip, we started early in the day and had a full day of wine-tastings booked so we didn't really have time to stop for lunch. We just stopped at Oakville Grocery for some quick bites and we were on our way. Oakville Grocery is a cute little market on the way to many of the popular wineries in Napa Valley. It carries a number of gourmet items and it's a great stop to pick up sandwiches, cheeses, etc. if you want to do a picnic. Even though we know their sandwiches are great, we opted for some salads since we wanted something lighter. I got the chicken salad and it was delicious. The chicken was moist and the sauce was pretty light. It was surprisingly filling and I'm glad I loaded up on protein because we had many wine-tastings ahead of us!

I'm also including a recipe in here (first time on my blog!) that I got from Oakville Grocery ( I wanted to find their chicken salad recipe but it wasn't on their website but I saw this chicken skewer recipe that looked really good so I wanted to share with my readers:

Sesame Chicken Skewers

1 lb. boneless, skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 10-12 strips


1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 lg. Egg, beaten
1 tsp. Chili Paste or Hot Sauce
1 tsp. Salt

Dry Ingredients

1 cup all purpose Flour
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped fine
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Black Sesame Seeds

Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup Oakville's Apricot Preserves Seasonal Selection
1/3 cup Oakville's Sherry, Garlic & Herb Mustard

Marinate chicken for up to one hour before cooking.

Skewer each piece lengthwise on bamboo skewers.

Roll marinated chicken in dry ingredients and let stand for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator.

Bake on oiled cookie sheets, turning chicken to coat in oil at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Pulse Dipping Sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

Oakville Grocery
7856 St. Helena Hwy
Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 944-8802

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sons & Daughters (San Francisco)

Tucked away on Bush St, Sons & Daughters serves up an inspired menu full of fresh local ingredients. When you walk in, you can see into the small kitchen and the dining room is decorated with classic paintings over the fireplace. Overall it feels very cozy and warm.

When I went (which was a little while back - yes I know I am behind lol!), they offered both a prix-fixe menu, four courses for $48, as well as an a la carte menu. I heard they have changed it to prix-fixe only now at a higher price but the food is still inspiring.

The dinner started off with an amuse bouche of oysters with cucumber water, which was nicely done and very refreshing. I had wanted to try Sons & Daughters because I heard that they had lobster sashimi as an appetizer, but sadly, the night I went they already changed their menu and no longer offered it. Instead, I ordered the seared foie gras since I normally would never give up a chance to eat foie gras! There is a supplemental fee of $5 for the foie, but it was a generaous cut and definitely worth the price.

What was interesting was that for dessert they offered foie gras with apples, lemon verbana, and almonds. I can never say no to foie gras! The concept might have sounded great but the execution was a little lacking. It was basically a chilled foie gras terrine mixed with fruits and nuts. Personally, I'd prefer something that exemplifies the essence of dessert. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the unique concepts but this dish felt more like a heavy appetizer than a nice way to finish off the meal.

Nonetheless, I had a nice meal that didn't break the bank. Even though they have increased their prices, the food is definitely still worth trying out. Be sure to make a reservation though since this restaurant has gained much popularity and is very small. Bon Appetit!