Dining Out: The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena, CA)

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Last night, we zoomed up to Napa Valley to dine with our besties at The Restaurant at Meadowood. We had a lot of celebrating to do: This weekend marks Sidney’s and Jory’s tenth wedding anniversary. Plus, Henry and I are finally toasting our birthdays — albeit a month late.

As an unapologetic restaurant nerd, I couldn’t pass up the chance to dine at The Restaurant at Meadowood — especially since it’s only one of two establishments in California bestowed with three Michelin stars

Our experience at The Restaurant at Meadowood was reminiscent of our meals at Chicago’s Alinea and New York’s Eleven Madison Park. For starters, there’s no menu. Someone at the restaurant contacts you ahead of time to inquire about your food preferences, and then they craft a multicourse tasting menu from the items in their larder that match your picky tastebuds. I hate being a troublesome diner, but hey: they asked. So I told them that Henry and I would prefer a gluten- and legume-free menu. For the price we paid for dinner, I had no qualms about demanding “unique snowflake” treatment.

Here’s a peek at what we ate:

We started with an assortment of canapés…

…which led to whipped yogurt, black sesame, pickled plum, and shiso…

…sunchoke “granola,” sea lettuce, and oysters…

…pumpkin, molé, and ricotta…

…gluten-free bread…

…trout, forgotten herbs (like wormwood!), beets, and quince…

…coal-roasted sturgeon, fermented pear, bone marrow, and parsnip…

…bouillon of roasted meats…

…pheasant, pandan, mushrooms, leek, and prune…

…lamb, shabazi, and dates…

foglie di noce, walnut, and truffle…

…citrus snowball with verbena…

…Asian pear, frankincense, and warm sabayon…

…milk chocolate, potato(!), coffee, and passion fruit…

…frozen raspberry parfait…

…and we ended with an assortment of mignardises.

Afterwards, we were invited to tour the kitchen…

…and thanked the genius crew behind the curtain, including our attentive and charming server, Zion.

We all had a fantastic evening laughing and eating, but one of us had to grab a burger before heading to bed.

I’m such a pig. (Kidding. It wasn’t me.)