Afternoon “Date” Trip to Napa Valley


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Napa valley day trip

Every once in a while we get blessed by the babysitting angels. This is especially the case when we visit my family in the Bay Area. They always offer to watch James if we want to go on a date, and it was long overdue! Jason and I decided to celebrate our 4 year anniversary a little early with an enjoyable day trip to Napa Valley, California.

Only about an hour away from Oakland, it’s the perfect spot for mommy and daddy to eat, drink and indulge. We have some great memories and favorite places in Napa. It’s actually where we first talked about me starting a food blog, and now three years later it has come to fruition and I’m having a blast sharing my recipes, science tips and life stories with you!

oxbow market

Our first stop was to grab some lunch at Oxbow Public Market, a great meeting place with gourmet treats, fabulous food, and fun foodie gifts. We decided to grab some burgers, fish tacos, and root beer floats (made with Three Twins Ice Cream) at the famous Gott’s Roadside restaurant, delicious!

inside oxbow market
meat counter at oxbow market
hog island oyster company at oxbow market
cheese and supplies at oxbow market
dessert counter at oxbow market
shopping for spices at oxbow market
public art outside oxbow market
gotts roadside burgers
jessica at gotts roadside burgers
lunch at gotts roadside
jason drinking a beer at gotts- roadside

Then we were off to beautiful downtown Napa because I was in search of some freshly baked homemade pies to bring home to my family. My cousin Taryn recommended Sweetie Pies, and it was a treat! I got a seasonal apricot blueberry and cherry pie piping hot from the oven. Our car was perfumed with freshly baked pie all day, and I couldn’t wait to get back and dig in!

historic napa mill
sweetie pies
inside sweetie pies
jessica buying desserts at sweetie pies

It was then time to kick back and enjoy some vino. We headed to St. Helena and visited Alpha Omega Winery for some white and red wine tasting. We loved the view of the fountains and highway, as we sipped and chatted away. We also checked out Robert Mondavi Winery, definitely a great place to host a big event!

It was nice to reflect on the past year with so many great life changes and what we both want to accomplish in the next 10 years. There are some exciting ideas we are noodling with, so stay tuned!

alpha omega winery
outside at alpha omega winery
jessica in the vineyard
grapes growing
robert mondavi winery
entrance to robert mondavi winery
robert mondavi giant head at the winery

After our little time in the sun, we headed to the town of Yountville. I wanted to check out the new renovations going on at The French Laundry restaurant kitchen. Looks like they are expanding and I’m sure it’s going to be awesome!

Dining at The French Laundry three years ago inspired me to start cooking more often at home and start journaling my food experiences. This Thomas Keller restaurant is the apex of food innovation and fine dining. If you ever get the chance to go, it’s a bucket list item for sure. I’m trying to convince Jason to take us back soon!

french laundry restaurant
entrance to french laundry restaurant

Of course I had to pick up treats from Bouchon Bakery, my favorite pastries being their almond croissant recipe, simply divine.

bouchon bakery
inside bouchon bakery
lots of choices at bouchon bakery
bouchon restaurant

Our last stop was dinner at Ad Hoc. I love making recipes from this restaurant’s cookbook, so I had to finally try the food from the source. It’s Thomas Keller’s hearty family-style restaurant and everything there was delicious. We especially enjoyed the grilled marinated skirt steak with fresh beans and homemade coleslaw, more please! Jason even got to play around with some food photography with each course, looking good babe!

ad hoc restaurant
jessica in front of ad hoc restaurant
inside ad hoc restaurant
jessica looking at the menu inside ad hoc restaurant
eating at ad hoc restaurant
dinner at ad hoc restaurant
more food at ad hoc restaurant
dessert at ad hoc restaurant

With our bellies and hearts full, it was the perfect afternoon date for Jason and I. We know how important it is to keep working on our relationship and friendship, and it’s wonderful to have some cuddle time with my sweetheart every now and then.

Writing this post is making me hungry, I can’t wait to go back to Napa Valley again, cheers!

Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

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3 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Andrea | Cooking with a Wallflower says

    I haven’t been to Napa yet, even though I live in SF! We’re planning a trip up there next month and this little tour of Napa is a perfect guide! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      No problem Andrea! There are so many great places to eat, drink and explore, you really can’t go wrong in Napa!

  2. Jack Wilson says

    I have enjoyed almost all of the spots you mentioned — you definitely hit some highlights. Inicidently, we live closer than your parents do to the Napa Valley.