With my parents visiting from San Diego, I knew this weekend would be sprinkled with many laughs, good eats, and great times. With the three us of kids going to different colleges, and living and working in different cities, its not too often that our family gets to spend a weekend together. My brother couldn’t join us for the weekend, but we made the most of our time with 4/5ths of our family together.
To kick off the long weekend, my parents and I dined at Little Star Pizza. We started with the garlic bread appetizer: a warm sourdough served with a blend of butter & extra virgin olive oil and a bulb of roasted garlic. I love the freedom that the bulb of roasted garlic gave me; I could construct the perfectly balanced bite with just the right amount of garlic and buttery taste. We shared a pepperoni, sausage, and cheese deep dish pizza that did not disappoint! We couldn’t decide if we enjoyed the cheesy toppings, thick crust, or roasted tomatoes the best.
On Friday we were treated with a perfect cloud-free day as we ventured through Napa Valley, taking in the gorgeous surroundings of the hillsides full of tall redwoods and orderly vineyards occupying the valley. I spend a lot of time sharing the intricate details of my experiences at school with my parents, often monopolizing the conversation while explaining every last detail of what I learned at school. Since my parents play such significant supportive role in my education, it was important to me that they got to see my school and explore the surrounding valley.
My parents and I toured the Culinary Institute of America, and it was especially interesting to learn facts about the school and building. One of the things I love about going to the CIA is the historic feeling of the campus, highlighted by antiques and original pieces from the 124 year old building.
We dined at Farmstead, an old nursery barn transformed into a farm-to-table restaurant. Two highlights of the meal were the mini ham sandwiches with fresno chili jam and chili roasted dungeness crab with citrus rice.
We stopped by Bouchon Bakery and loaded up on some sweet treats, including French Macrons, a peanut butter cup, and a Nutter-Butter cookie.
The group favorites were by far the French Macrons! The crisp outside and inner chewiness made for a perfect little cookie.
Our last stop in Napa Valley took us to Domaine Chandon, a winery highly recommended by the general manager of CIA Greystone. We thoroughly enjoyed relaxing on the patio and sipping sparking wine as we took in the perfectly manicured grounds.
The day was capped off with dinner at Piazza D’Angelo with my Bay Area family: my aunt and uncle, sister and brother-in-law, boyfriend, and visiting parents. Its such a nice treat to spend time with my family while exploring my new city!