NorCal's wine country has more redeeming features than fabulous wine and The French Laundry. I actually figured this out back in October but am somehow just getting around to sharing the news. Sorry for the slight delay. . .
My last visit to wine country involved an overzealous friend and a 6:45am wakeup call. Since we'd gotten up at such a atrociously early time, and few wineries are open to serve wine for breakfast, we decided to hit up the best meal of the day in Napa. A quick blackberry search (boy did that make us feel baller) for "Eggs Benedict" and "Napa" revealed one Alexis Baking Company (ABC) & Cafe.
There was something magical about the breakfast that that fateful search led us to. . .
Maybe it was the absurdly beautiful scenery of Napa vines in fall colors. Those reds, oranges and yellows, perfectly trellised and glittering with some strange silver threads (to scare birds?) were poetic enough to trump a New England color change.
Or maybe it was the prospect of the awesome wines we would go on to taste that afternoon (Grgich Hills and Stags Leap, among others were highlights - perhaps to be discussed in a future post). And there would be many.
But one way or the other, that breakfast at ABC Cafe is still one of the best ones I remember having since moving out here. In truth, the credit probably goes to Alexis and her kitchen staff directly. The eggs benedict was amazing - please do try it if you can. The portions are huge, so beware that you can probably order one dish for two people. The eggs are huge and poached to perfection. The bacon was just crisped and not too greasy. And the hollandaise was flavorful - touches of dill and paprika were well paired. As a seasonal complement, with the harvest just ended, we had some juicy wine grapes as a garnish on our plates too.
You'll have to take a little detour to find this place - it's nestled on Third Street in sleepy downtown Napa. But especially if you can beat the lines that begin to form outside by 10am (as we were leaving), eggs benedict fans will find it well worth the search.
Alexis Baking Company & Cafe
1517 Third Street
(Btw, photo credit for each of these gorgeous shots goes to my photographer friend Tushar!)