This week's tablehopper: on dasher, and dancer, and...champers?

camomi-arancini.jpg

How to do brunch right: arancini, salumi, and Rosa frizzante at Ca’Momi in Napa. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Whooooooa Nelly, Christmas Eve is just a week away? This month is flying. Fortunately the weekend is full of holiday parties, and I just booked a night with my wingwoman for my holiday spirits tour (which will include a stop at Brass Tacks, gotta check out all the Santas they put up in honor of the space’s previous incarnation as Marlena’s). Christmas treats are also on my mind (like torrone from Rulli!). Since my elf name is Champers, you know what else is on my docket this week.

Speaking of bubbles, unfortunately I only have four more tickets to release to Top It Off at the moment! First two couples to grab ‘em, get ‘em! I may be able to release a few more tickets in the coming week, follow me on Twitter for updates. Hope to see you there in your holiday finery!

This past weekend, I had a pretty epic 24 hours in Napa. I know, I’m not talking about the Valley, but straight-up Napa. My Friday evening started with a wine class taught by Karen MacNeil at the CIA Wine Studies Annex (held at the former Copia). Nothing like walking into a room with 900 poured glasses of wine. Heady. If you ever have the chance to take one of her classes, do it.

Dinner at the recently opened Torc was merely a couple of minutes away, and it was such a pleasure to be back in the beautiful Ubuntu space. The place was hopping. Chef-owner Sean O’Toole is totally rocking some great flavors on this menu—he borrows from an international pantry, with the can’t-miss sweet potato pakoras keeping company with his unique pasta dishes (like housemade bucatini in a wild boar ragù with cocoa and hit of lime), and a stellar roasted chicken for two that took a trip all over Asia. Desserts by Elizabeth Gentry will rock your world (don’t hold back here). I’ll be writing about this one more soon, but I will say I had a twinge of jealousy we don’t have this restaurant in SF.

And then we were off for a deep sleep in one of the comfy Andaz Napa beds (the glass of Marolo chamomile grappa I had across the street at Oenotri also helped). Brunch the next day was at Ca’Momi, an authentic Italian enoteca in the Oxbow Public Market. I have never had a sit-down meal there, just grabbing their bignè (cream puffs) on the run. Well, brunch turned into a full-on pranzo with the owner, Dario De Conti, who stuffed us with arancini, salumi, a piadina stuffed with radicchio, prosciutto cotto, and creamy stracchino, two pasta plates, a pizza, and wood-fired baby back ribs. Mamma mia. And I didn’t even tell you about dessert. We also tasted his wines throughout—his Rosa frizzante was a great place to start. Details in a recap soon! This place rocked.

And you know what else? You rock!

Have a great week, see you Friday.

XOXO
~Champers

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Dec 17 2013