The Restaurant at Meadowood
We made a whole day out of it. Starting off with Arnica massages at Calistoga Ranch. It was a quaint little spa, with a very outdoorsy and secluded feel. We were able to relax with tea by a fire outside. It was a rainy day so it felt so cozy. Spending the whole afternoon there with massages and getting ready for the marvelous meal we were about to get was probably one of the best ways to begin a new year!
Starting off our evening by being greeted by the friendliest staff, along with being offered to charge our vehicle (for Tesla owners, this is a GREAT add on to the experience). We walked up these beautiful steps and entered through a massive door. This set the mood for an evening in a restaurant that felt like we were eating in the middle of the woods. A beautiful retreat from everyday, busy life. Mark and I got to sit at a gorgeous table right next to the window.
Our head waiter, Shawn, was incredibly nice and knowledgeable, making us feel comfortable and right at home. He knew our names (this was done upon reserving our table) and everything felt so personalized to us. All the waiters actually made us feel this way as well. Like they were all on the same page. We were given quite a hefty wine list to pick from. Mark starting off with a glass of white wine from Tablas Creek Esprit De Tablas and I got a lovely glass of Salmon Brut Rose. I was seeing through Rose colored glasses pretty quickly ;)
Onto The Meal! :)
I will do my best here to explain all the dishes. I really wish there was a smell-o-gram, so you can just smell every single dish. It is unbelievable! Mark explained to me that all veggies are grown in their own gardens that are just directly outside the restaurant. This is truly farm to table.
Starter #1: Field Pea Crepe
This little bite sized pea crepe was packed with flavor. A simple flavor of purely peas, but enhanced! It was crunchy and yet it melted in your mouth.
Starter #2: Sunchoke Beignet
A savory beignet cooked to perfection. It was stuffed with sun dried tomatoes and topped with powdered mushrooms. Never in our lives had we had such a perfect beignet, let alone a savory one!
Starter #3: Oyster Kohlrabi
Oysters from Tomales Bay with fermented seaweed vinaigrette! I love oysters and I swear every oyster I eat is the best, especially if they are on the sweeter side. And this different vinegar was mind blowing!
Starter #4: Beans and Caviar
Yes, beans were mixed with the caviar. I was visually excited about having caviar. But we were thoroughly confused by the added beans. It was like a high-end Texas beans. But, boy was it FABULOUS! It had this lovely cream sauce below it, that smoothed out the entire taste. I wanted about 4 more of these.
Meal #1: Dungeness Crab w/ Local Almond
The crab was cooked while the head and claws were smoked. Holy Crap... that flavor was phenomenal! Along with homemade almond milk, it was to die for! It was so smooth and creamy and the crab completely melted in your mouth.
Meal #2: Salted Mackerel Vegetable Escabeche
Have you ever wanted to just smell a dish and never eat it? This was one of those. As Mark describes it, "Imagine the most perfectly roasted vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. That's what this smell is." They poured a pureed kale vinegar on top and I dove right in. Mark on the other hand was just drowning in the smells. I demanded he eat it immediately, he wouldn't be sorry. And the mackerel just melted in your mouth and rounded out the meal.
Meal #3: Matsutake Seasoned with Abalone
Who can not love mushrooms? This was such a simple and tasty dish. The musrooms were cooked perfectly. As I write this I can still remember how they smelt and my mouth begins to water again.
Meal #4: Roasted Cabbage Cod Sabayon of Smoked Cod Roe
Mother of PEARL, this seemingly simple dish packed a hidden flavor... Bacon. Not kidding, this tasted like bacon, which we found out later was there was a mix of scallops which gave it that flavor. The sauce was actually more of a foam and complimented this Cabbage Cod wonderfully.
Meal #5: Poultry Broth and Poussin in Bread Onion Nasturtium
Wow, what a different concept. Cooking chicken in bread. They gave us broth to drink from the chicken (not pictured). They also gave us bread that it was cooked coated with chicken fat. In the second picture you can see slices of chicken on top of what looks like a cucumber, it's actually sauces that look like a cucumber! How creative!
Meal #6: Aged Beef Nori Black Trumpets
Our last savory meal of the night, a melt in your mouth wagyu beef. They were wrapped up to look like wontons. To aide in the melting of the beef, the chef diced them up even smaller. At this point, I didn't know this was the last meal and was unsure if I could eat anymore.
Dessert #1: Parsnip Caramelized Whey White Truffle
Mark's favorite meal of all time. Who would've thought that white truffle ice cream on top of a parsnip tart would taste so GOOD! The taste is indescribable, rich, sweet, savory, crunchy and smooth all together.
Dessert #2: Preserved Fruits and Chocolates
This was not really our favorite but a light finisher to the whole meal. It tasted like organic chocolates in preserved fruits.