Bistro Jeanty

Crème Brûlée au Chocolat
Salmon carpaccio
Smoked trout
Lobster bisque
French onion Soupe a l’Oignon
Duck liver mousse

***** (5 stars)

We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.

This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.

We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.

Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.

My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.

Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!

The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.

We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.

All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington St
Yountville, CA
(707) 944-0103

SingleThread Farm – Restaurant- Inn

Check presentation
Wagashi (course 11 of 11 courses)
Sonoma Grains (course 8 of 11 courses)
Duclair Duck (course 7 of 11 courses)
Bone broth for Ume Medai (course 6/ of 11 courses)
Ume Medai (course 6 of 11 courses)
Smoked Salmon with Steelhead Roe (our favorite course) (course 4 of 11 courses)
Duck Liver Parfait (course 5 of 11 courses)
Koginut squash (second half of course 3 of 11 courses)
Koginut squash (first half of course 3 of 11 courses)
Half of the second course of 11 courses, mussels and uni.
Second half of the first course (of 11 courses)!
Just half of the first course (of 11 courses)!

***** (5 stars)

Phenomenal experience on Christmas Eve. Eleven courses (more like 40 if you count every item) and it’s hard to pick a favorite. But it’s my job, so I’ll make the call: the smoked salmon covered in steelhead roe!

But seriously, everthing was superb, and the service was that perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness that you rarely find accompanying elevated cuisine.

Although not inexpensive, I have to say that the dinner is very fairly priced.

The wine list has impressive breadth, and some depth, with stunning selections of the top wines, and stunning prices to match, but for those who invest some effort (I suggest a thorough perusal online before your visit) there are some gems here. A specific recommendation for chardonnay fans: 2015 Journeyman Chardonnay (complex, malolactic, good acid, touch of oak, apple, citrus, spice, caramel, honey, true expression of chardonnay fruit).

A really memorable dinner.

SingleThread Farm – Restaurant- Inn
131 North St
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 723-4646

Gott’s Roadside

Chili Cheese Fries, Impossible Cheeseburger

***** (5 stars)

Great historic roadside eatery from the 1940s, now occupied by a small local burger chain. Terrific chili fries, Impossible Burger, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had anywhere. Also a shout-out for the coffee shake! Sounds like a great 10am breakfast on Christmas Eve to me!

Gott’s Roadside
933 Main St
Saint Helena, CA
(707) 963-3486

Goose & Gander

Downstairs bar
Orange tart
Fish and chips

***** (5 stars)

This charming restaurant is located on a side street of St. Helena’s Main Street. The delightful space upstairs offers high beamed ceilings and an open kitchen, plus lots of duck hunting memorabilia. Downstairs is an atmospheric bar that also has table seating. And there is also lovely outdoor dining.

The menu offers elevated comfort food such as fish and chips, or cheesesteak sandwiches, both of which were good. The orange tart with kumquat marmalade was excellent.

The wine list is very extensive, with plenty of selections from around the world and a nice assortment of half bottles.

Service was very attentive and welcoming.

Goose & Gander
1245 Spring St
Saint Helena, CA
(707) 967-8779

Berghoff Cafe

Pepperoni pizza

**** (4 stars)

Really good for an airport restaurant. You order at a counter but the servers are really attentive in the restaurant. Menu is a subset of the original in the loop. The rueben sandwich was just as good as I’d expect there. The have their own brewed root beer, too!

Berghoff Cafe
10000 W O’HareTerminal 1, Concourse C, Gate 26O’Hare International Airport
Chicago, IL
(773) 601-9180