Hot, Haute Breakfasts at Hopper Creek Kitchen

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Apricot smoothie, mini English muffins with bacon butter amuse; photos by Deirdre Bourdet.

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Pork consommé with slow-poached egg.

The metamorphosis of the Yountville Inn into the swank Hotel Yountville is nearing completion, and official grand opening celebrations will take place sometime in late March or early April 2011… once the liquor license arrives.

The hotel’s ~HOPPER CREEK KITCHEN~ is already up and running for breakfast, though, and soooo worth a hotel stay (it’s only open to guests, boo). Chef Adam Clark takes the most important meal of the day into the gastronomic big time, turning breakfast into breakfeast with techniques and flavors normally found only at haute lunch and dinner destinations in wine country. When I visited, the tasting menu (yes, a breakfast tasting menu) included pork consommé with 63-degree-C slow-poached egg, crisped duck confit with yuzu-filled donuts and quince agrodolce, and a willpower-annihilating French toast soufflé with huckleberry-rum raisin sauce for dessert.

The accompanying “Coffee Experience” is also quite the production, with your choice of Equator Coffee beans ground to order, and brewed tableside using porcelain drip cones and a gleaming silver teapot of 201-degree-F water, poured slowly and with surgical precision over the grounds to maximize the aromatic extraction. Overly precious? Perhaps, but that coffee rocked—best of 2011 so far.

March is the perfect time to check this place out, and not just for the grand opening parties—room rates go up in April for the spring high season. 6462 Washington St., Yountville, 888-944-2885.