Grace’s Table: global comfort food- “world cuisine”

We ate at Grace’s Table restaurant recently and enjoyed a bit of world cuisine.  Between the four of us we were able to enjoy many appetizers and main courses to share.  We started with the deep-fried artichoke hearts with a yummy romesco (red pepper) sauce (enjoyed by all except me, as I don’t like deep-fried artichokes, but gladly sopped up the romesco sauce with my bread), a roasted beet salad that was clean and pure in flavor (Jamie’s favorite), chicken liver mouse with a red wine gelee on top served with crostinis (loved it!), and a beautiful asparagus salad with parmesan and nasturtiums.  Our main courses included a delightfully presented tamale with peppers and cheese, the cassoulet that was perfectly cooked and piping hot, a savory duck confit, and polpette (meatballs) with  greens and pasta.  For dessert we enjoyed a blood-orange infused cheesecake that was out of this world, a pear tart with puff pastry crust and caramel sauce (a fave of 2 others), and the gigantic piece of chocolate cake (Jamie’s favorite).  Overall, a great experience for us.  My only complaint is the decor- a little too plain and ordinary for such great food coming out of the kitchen.  Jamie has some great decorating ideas; but they’re not asking.  Oh well.  Still a great food and great value experience for us.


Tres Sabores Winery: appointments needed and worth your time.

We had been to a hospitality event in the Napa Valley and met Julie Johnson, owner of the Tres Sabores winery.  There was an invitation to visit and we finally made it.  Tres Sabores is a small, family-owned ranch and is located on the western Rutherford Benchland of California’s Napa Valley, where they grow organically certified Zinfandel, Cabernet, Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot grapes, olives, Meyer lemons and exotic pomegranate cultivars.  Their single-vineyard wines include Tres Sabores estate Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc from the Farina Vineyard of Sonoma Mountain.

Tres Sabores means “Three Flavors” in Spanish, and in each of their wines, you’ll find three equally savory, yet distinct  tastes: the Terroir, or flavor embodied by the unique location of our ranch; the Vine, or distinct character of the grape variety; and the Artisan, or winemaker’s personal contribution of style and intuition. When appropriately balanced, these flavors result in wines with intense, yet delicate aromas and a structure that supports both long-term aging and immediate enjoyment.  As a small winery they provide a very personal tour of the operation and explain how the organic farming works for their vineyards.  You will definitely meet the dogs and, if you’re lucky, the sheep as well!  If you’re smart you’ll bring a sandwich and enjoy a lovely picnic out the back of the barrel room overlooking the vineyards and the Napa Valley all around you.  Their zinfandel was by far our favorite (we enjoyed all their wines), but we also found a playful wine called “Porque No?” (meaning “Why not?”) that was inexpensive and pretty much goes with anything.  For Zin-lovers, we think you’ll appreciate what they have to offer; and for those who love good wine, this is a great, small-production place to add to your list.