We are very fortunate to be living in Northern California where we are just a short drive away from places like Napa.
For the 4th of July 2016 we decided to spend the day in Napa, hit up Domaine Carneros winery, have dinner at Ad-Hoc + Addendum and watch fireworks in Yountville.
We arrived at Domaine Carneros Winery around 2pm and the weather was just perfect! You will see the winery perched up on top of a hill and resembles a large mansion. The property is very large and they have their own private parking. It was a busy day but we were lucky to find a parking spot right away.
The property is absolutely beautiful! There are stairs leading up to the entrance which make for amazing photos. When we got to the top, we checked in and were promptly seated at our table outside with a magnificent view. I couldn’t help but thinking,
“this is what Tuscany must be like”.
We made reservations but noticed several groups who didn’t have reservations who were also seated promptly. There’s plenty of seats inside but of course outside is the way to go!
One thing to note is that we had our son and baby with us so we had a stroller. We couldn’t find ADA access or a ramp to take us upstairs (which doesn’t mean they don’t have one, we just didn’t see it) so my husband just carried the stroller up while I held the baby and this worked out fine for us.
Our wine tasting consisted of two sparkling wines and two red wines, called the Chateau Sampler. The sampler wine’s were 2011 Estate Brut Cuvée, 2011 Ultra Brut, 2014 Avant-Garde Pinot Noir, and the 2013 Estate Pinot Noir. They were all really good but I especially liked the sparkling wines. We also ordered the Smoked Salmon Plate and the Red Wine Cheese Plate to compliment our tasting.
We had some time to kill until our dinner reservations at Ad-Hoc + Addendum so we drove about 20 minutes to Downtown Napa to walk around. We were pleasantly surprised when we got there. A street was closed off and there were people camped out waiting for fireworks. There were several food trucks and street vendors selling food, beer and wine. There was also a band setting up on the main stage right by the water.
It was time to head to dinner and by this time we were getting hungry. Ad-Hoc + Addendum owned by Chef Thomas Keller and is the most kid-friendly restaurant compared to his other restaurants in Napa, Bouchon and The French Laundry. Ad-Hoc is the main restaurant and Addendum is the outside take-out area in the back of Ad-Hoc where they have picnic tables for an even more casual fare.
When we arrived, the restaurant was packed! Good thing we made reservations a month in advance! A very nice gentleman who I think was the manager was very accommodating to our needs of having room at our table for our stroller. We had to wait a while for them to find the perfect spot for us and the manager gave us complementary sparkling wine while we waited.
It is quite pricey at $52/per person but definitely worth it for a 4-course meal. I mean, this is a Thomas Keller restaurant we’re talking about.
For fourth of July, Ad Hoc provided a prixe fixe menu and that day they had their famous fried chicken! Let me tell you about this chicken. It is THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN YOU WILL EVER HAVE! They brine it and let it sit out for two days before breading it and frying it twice! It is honestly life changing and will ruin you for all other fried chicken you will ever eat again!
The fried chicken was accompanied with a wedge salad, creamy mac and cheese, warm mouth-watering potato salad and red juicy watermelon. After the meal, it is followed by a cheese plate and then a nicely presented dessert which was s’mores in a cup. Delish! If you want more of anything, you just have to ask! (We asked for more chicken and mac and cheese).
It was a fabulous meal!
After our dinner we drove to the side of the road and got a great view of the 4th of July fireworks from our car! The fireworks started at around 9:30pm and lasted for about 30 minutes. It was a really good show and not chaotic and hectic at all.
I think we will make this our 4th of July tradition!