You know your day is going to be good when it starts off with Starbuck’s! Then, moves onto an AMAZING lunch at Ristorante Allegria in Napa, Ca complete with DESSERT and ends with FUN MAIL and Halloween Treats!!!!
I was STARVING this morning for no apparent reason. I couldn’t wait to dig into breakfast so I stopped at Starbuck’s for a FF, Decaf Latte with caramel drizzle. I paired it with a Thomas Double Fiber English muffin and some freshly ground almond butter.
About 2 hours later I was STILL hungry, so I had a potassium party!
I also stole a few of my co-worker’s Stacy’s Parmesan Garlic Pita Chips ~ SOOOO GOOD. I was finally FULL after I had these – YES!
I have to give you all a warning now ~ SERIOUS FOOD PORN AHEAD ~ BEWARE!!!!
Lunch today was another potential holiday party location. I could so get used to testing all this stuff out, however, I am pretty sure my bootie would be GIGANTIC.
Isn’t the inside beautiful?! They have indoor and outdoor seating. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can eat in the vault in the back. This restaurant is in an old bank building – how cool is that?! Here is a picture of the vault from the outside.
They are building a new banquet room upstairs that is supposed to be ready November 17th. We got to see it under construction – they layout it awesome. They are going to have a round theatre patio that wraps around and you can overlook the restaurant below where these windows are now.
Funky eyeball lights perfect for Halloween 😀
We started off with some crunchy, soft bread.
There was a spicy, garlicky, onion, basil, balsamic, olive oil for dipping.
We picked the Allegria Sampler for our appetizer because it included 4 delicious sounding choices.
Served With Roasted Bell Pepper-Chipotle Aioli.
I LOVED that they included asparagus, green beans and artichoke hearts with their calamari fry. The sauce was AMAZING and the calamari was tender ~ I LOVED this and I am not a huge calamari fan at all.
DUNGENESS CRAB CAKES
Served Over Cucumber Tomato Red Onion Relish & Sesame Soy Aioli.
Seriously ~ speechless. These would make an AMAZING sandwich. So crispy, tender and loaded with fresh herbs and spice. I am not a fan of crab either LOL….but these ROCKED my world!
BRUSCHETTA AL POMODORO
With Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, Olive Oil Shaved Grana Cheese.
I LOVE Bruschetta and this did not disappoint! The bread was toasty, but, soft and the tomatoes had a nice garlic, basil flavor. I think I could’ve eaten these for a meal.
SKIRT STEAK SATAY
These skewers are marinated in soy, ginger and wine
HOLY YUM! They seriously melt in your mouth, you barely need a fork to cut them they are so tender.
INSALATES!!! Can you make that word plural?! LOL….We picked TWO fantastic sounding salads minus the stinky blue cheese of course (sorry my cheese loving fans, but, I STILL can’t hang with you all and the stinky cheese) 🙂
NAPA CABBAGE SALAD
Crispy Pepper Bacon, Mushrooms, Warm Red Wine.
I was surprised this salad was warm, but, that isn’t a bad thing. It’s loaded with bacon (yum) but I found the dressing to be pretty tart. The croutons were like little pieces of crispy garlic bread.
INSALATA DI ARUGULA
Baby Arugula, Red Wine Poached Pears, Jicama, Toasted Walnuts, Papaya Vinaigrette.
I LOVED this salad and could totally add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a meal. The arugula paired perfectly with the sweet papaya dressing and the toasty walnuts. The poached pears were so decadent, like a dessert ~ I LOVED the RED WINE and CINNAMON flavors ~ DELISH!
Even though we shared and kept to just 2-3 bites of everything, we were pretty much stuffed at this point. But, once we saw all the main courses, we knew we had to make room. Insert me unbuttoning my pants and hoping nobody saw that!!! :D Their PRESENTATION is just AWESOME!
MARINATED GRILLED TERIYAKI SKIRT STEAK
Garlic Mashed Potatoes, House Made Onion Rings, Baby Carrots and Baby Zucchini.
This might be the BEST STEAK I’ve ever had in my ENTIRE life and imagine that, it’s only a skirt steak, not a filet or something. It was just like the supersized version of those skewers, but, with these amazingly thick, buttery, creamy, garlic mashed potatoes. Plus, can you ever go wrong with sweet, sweet onion rings and crunchy veggies to top each bite?!
Oven Roasted Breast of Chicken Stuffed With Fontina Cheese, Spinach, Wild Mushrooms, Braised Arugula Served Over Garlic Mashed Potatoes, & Roasted Sweet Pepper Cream.
These are just a few of my favorite things LOL. STUFFED CHEESY SPINACH CHICKEN BREAST – need I say more!!! This dish had so much flavor ~ creamy,, herbs, roasted red peppers along with more of those fantastic creamy garlic mashed potatoes. COMFORT FOOD all the way.
Pumpkin Gnocchi in a creamy alfredo sauce with wild mushrooms, tomatoes and grilled chicken breast.
This dish is worth EVERY calorie of richness! The pumpkin flavor is very slight. The mushrooms were cooked in wine first and really enhanced the herb flavored alfredo. The chicken was simple, but delicious, however, I think this dish stands out as FANTASTIC without it. The perfect vegetarian dish (minus the meat of course).
The 3 of us managed to put a pretty big dent into all 3 dishes, but, didn’t even come close to finishing one. I so wish I had one of those stomachs of the people who can eat a million hot dogs so I could’ve kept going :D
When the dessert menu was brought out, I pretty much knew I had to unzip my pants too – ha! We decided to pick just TWO because we all knew we could only muster a bite or so we thought…….
Maple Brandy Sauce, Creme Anglaise
I’ll be the 1st to admit that I think that bread pudding is absolutely nasty! Who wants soggy cold, bread. However, Ristorante Allegria took bread pudding to a whole new level. This dish was recommended by one of the waitresses as her all time FAVORITE dish so we knew we had to give it a go.
This dessert is just like warm buttery french toast with a caramel and cream sauce. We couldn’t have just one bite. If you go here ever, YOU MUST ORDER THIS!!! Total indulgence.
CLASSIC ITALIAN TIRAMISU
This lives up to it’s classic label. Fully loaded with creamy filling and completely soaked in alcohol. Our Tiramisu connoisseur with us LOVED it so I’d say it passed the test!
This place seriously rocks!!!! We LOVED everything here from the ambiance to the amazing service to the delicious FOOD! It is definitely a place I plan on returning to again! I highly recommend it for a casual lunch, a romantic dinner or a HOLIDAY PARTY!!! Oh, you know what else is cool ~ THEY CATER!!!!
We are pondering the idea of having our HOLIDAY PARTY CATERED by Ristorante Allegria in the Frazier Wine Caves ~ how cool would that be?! The BEST of both worlds…..Fingers crossed as we have to make it work within our budget and of course get everyone to approve it……Seriously though I hope it all works out! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted and of course to share the experience ~ EXCITED!!!!
Thanks for playing along as we taste tested and visited all these AMAZING places. Can I just say I LOVE THIS PART of my job?! 😀
I am oh so ready to return to normal eating because all this richness has me feeling like a ROLLY POLLY for sure!
When I got home, I had a bunch of fun mail waiting for me!
1st The Husband “marked” my magazine for himself!!! HE’S HILARIOUS!!!
2nd ~ The fantastic peeps at POM Wonderful are launching a contest on the new POM Wonderful site on November 1st. All you have to do is “tell them your holiday plans” and you can WIN a Spiced POM Cider kit like this below!!!
Simply combine the contents in container with POM Wonderful 100% POM juice and you have POM Cider ~ They are seriously genius! I cannot wait to try it out! Thanks!
The last fun item I got today was my SPOOTACULAR HALLOWEEN TREATS! Annie’s gave us a box of 50 1 oz Bunny Friends to hand out to all our trick or treaters ~ Yahoo!!!! There will be no candy around to haunt me, but, WOW, these little cookies call my name too! At least these are good for me 😀
LOVE the nutritionals & real ingredients on these “hare-raising” treats!!! :D Stop by our house and we will give you some for sure! We are so excited to be the cool kids on the block and hand these out. LOL
I have pretty much been done eating since lunch! Total FOOD COMA but it is definitely a great reminder of why I eat clean and healthy 90% of the time. I cannot wait to get back to regular eats tomorrow and get cooking!
Oh and if you want to try some STARBUCK’S VIA be sure to check back TOMORROW MORNING because I am HOSTING A VIA GIVEAWAY!!!! There will be TEN WINNERS!!!
Off to roll into bed ~ Nite all!!!