Friday, May 04, 2007

Celadon & Bouchon Bakery
Back to my Bay Area posts. Sorry for jumping around so much, but I still have not yet figured out the order in which I post. I like to think of it as something like a complex algorithm, except it's just more like what I want to talk about at the moment. I'll prob concentrate on SF for the next two weeks until I move down to NYC.

One day during spring break I decided I really wanted Bouchon Bakery goodies. So on a whim, we drove north to Napa and decided that we would just wing it. I was in the mood for some savories, so we first made a stop for lunch. I had in mind to try the Boon Fly Cafe at the Carneros Inn, but I missed it on the highway and ended up in downtown Napa instead. I had heard good things about Pilar, but they were closed for lunch. We parked near the mill, and we wandered around there, stumbling upon Celadon, which is owned by the same guy as Cole's Chop House. The menu seemed light and Californian, and also featured mussels. I was sold.

Napa has beautiful weather, and that day was no exception. We opted to sit in the heated patio near the fireplace.

Maine peeky-toe crab cake with asian slaw and sambal aioli 12

We started off with the crab cake, which was fine but nothing exceptional. The crab was jumbo lump and pretty fresh, but it arrived lukewarm and a bit hard. One could even say it had too much structural integrity - it was a hard puck of crab, and I would have preferred it a bit softer, more prone to fall apart. The asian slaw was pretty uninspired too.

Endive and pear salad with blue cheese, candied walnuts and honey mustard vinaigrette 10

I really enjoyed the salad, however. Everything was super fresh and crunchy, and the bitterness of the endives (one of my favorite vegetables) was nicely offset by the walnuts and honey mustard vinaigrette.

Pan roasted mussels with applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes, and white wine 12.5

The best thing, though, was definitely the mussels. I usually get my mussels fix from Lulu or Plouf, and I must say that Celadon's mussels were plumper, juicier, and fresher than both restaurants. If mussels could be obese, these definitely were. My only discontent was that the bacon was a bit overpowering in the broth, which could have used a lot more white wine. In terms of the broth, I still prefer Plouf's white wine, garlic, and parsley broth. That seriously is like my elixir of life.

Grilled fish sandwich of the day (mahi mahi) with remoulade sauce, lettuce and tomato w/ tarragon tossed french fries 12

I really enjoy fish sandwiches (or fish anything), and this did not disappoint. I am not particularly a fan of mahi mahi, but this was nicely grilled so it was not overdone. The fries, which were cut a bit thicker than shoestring, were pretty good as well.

Overall, lunch at Celadon was pretty enjoyable and leisurely, especially on the patio in the beautiful weather. The prices were very reasonable as well. My only complaint is just that it was a bit TOO leisurely. Perhaps I'm just used to being in a banking mindset, but Celadon's service was just so laidback I became uncomfortable and ADD. We could've sat there all day unbothered if we wanted.

Afterward we headed over to Bouchon Bakery, the very reason we drove up there in the first place. We indulged on a sticky bun, scone, bran muffin, and pear tart. All were good, but the scone really stood out. Flaky and buttery, it stood up to Citizen Cake's scrumptious buckwheat scones.

500 Main St.
Napa, CA

Bouchon Bakery
6540 Washington St.
Yountville, CA

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Blogger Douglas Cress said...

Can't argue with the delicious seafood. I tend to shy away from mussels - I like them, but will rarely order them unless they come with some other assorted items. Perhaps its b/c I remember seeing them so often in the lake at summer camp where I spent my early years.

The endive salad looks great - I love the excuse to eat cheese and bacon while feeling (somewhat) good about it ;)

5/07/2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you did't eat the mussels from camp. They were probably laden with feces (Little kids + camp)

I love crab cakes!


5/08/2007 5:22 PM  
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