Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting a Taste of Yountville in the Napa Valley

The best part of last weekend's Taste of Yountville (part of the Napa Valley's annual Mustard Festival)? We got to nibble on tasty treats from restaurants so highly rated, travelers come from across the globe just to dine there.

Yountville has more Michelin stars than any other small town in the state, and all the biggies are represented here. Some 15 area restaurants and some 20 wineries, along with mustard, olive oil, and other vendors ply us with goodies. We nibble bites from some of the top restaurants in the Napa Valley: pork rilletes from the French Laundry, brownies from Bouchon Bakery, and a variety of goodies from Bistro Jeanty, Brix Restaurant among others.

Afterward, we wander the neighboring V Marketplace, full of stores designed in Foodie-Heaven, like Napa Style (complete with wine tasting bar and upscale deli). There's even time to poke our heads into one of the newest (and, apparently, greenest) hotels in the valley: Bardessono. It's handsome, but in a spare and cold sort of way, with lots of angles, stonework, and fountains. Still, at $450 a night (starting rates), this peak is probably the closest I'll ever get to a stay here.

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