It is fully autumn here in the Napa Valley. We’re at that sweet spot when leaves are perfectly golden and still cling to the trees. In another day or so, we’ll have bare limbs. Well, in many cases–my maples are still green! Up and down the Valley, though, the colors are brilliant and the air is crisp–perfect conditions for tasting wine and noshing. Don’t let a little rain scare you.
Well, I don’t mean to give you a play-by-play of the status of the foliage–I just mean to say it’s gorgeous. Come on out and play!
Speaking of which, last weekend I met with friends (anonymous here because I didn’t ask whether I could reveal their identities) for above-mentioned noshing. We started at Norman Rose Tavern and filled ourselves with hearty fare. Then we decided we wanted cocktails but couldn’t decide where to go–Oenotri was packed and The Riddling Rack across the street offers beer and wine (although, according to the website, they do offer cocktails). And John Anthony, though lovely, is a tasting room/wine bar. When one wants a cocktail, one wants a cocktail.
We wandered over to the Riverfront where, after a moment of panic when we thought we might have to settle for Downtown Joe’s (not to disparage Joe’s), we saw through the window that Fish Story has a full bar–eureka! (Morimoto makes amazing cocktails, but we were convinced that the place would be packed, so we didn’t even attempt it.)
Later, board games–Scategories first, where I witnessed an instance of cheating (insert arched eyebrow) but kept my mouth shut–till now. And then Sequence, wherein I made a terrible move which cost my teammate and me the game. What can I say? I turn into a pumpkin after 1 a.m.! (Loved Sequence, though–must play again!)
But a word about bartending: There are many fabulous bartenders in Napa. You’re smart, clever, friendly, know how to make killer drinks and know when to let your guests visit with their friends. But there are, unfortunately, bartenders who don’t know how to pick up on social cues and who, inexplicably, don’t know how to make a dirty martini. Dear Clueless Bartender, we tried to be cool with your blunders! We wanted to like you! We even ordered more drinks in hopes that the whole situation would improve! It didn’t. Maybe it was an off night for you–or maybe there’s a better line of work out there for you. (Note: location of said bartender intentionally left unmentioned.)