Wednesday qualified as the best day of work since ... well, pretty much ever. The work day required a visit to the French Laundry, the Yountville restaurant founded by Thomas Keller that's considered one of the world's great gastronomical experiences. Look for a story in the next couple weeks about one of the restaurant's connections to the Sacramento area.
Before dinner service, the staff bid farewell and had cake in honor of sommelier Anani Lawson. Wednesday marked his last shift at the restaurant, and plans to travel in the near future and work on wine consulting. He'll also be visiting Sacramento area on July 24 for "Epicure & Discoveries in Wine II," his second event with local boutique caterer Pajo Bruich. Judging by their first event, expect an evening of impeccably executed courses with choice wine pairings. The price isn't cheap - $150 per person - but still about $100 less than dinner at French Laundry. For more information: www.pajoscatering.com.
Back at the French Laundry, I felt some 916 (and 530) pride when reading their recent menus. One course featured "Sacramento Delta Asparagus" and the rice paired with the "Grilled Sirloin of Kuroge Beef From Shiga" was sourced from a producer near Winters. The coffee served at the meal's end came from a Grass Valley roaster, but didn't catch the name. Some of their caviar also comes from white sturgeon that was harvested in the Sacramento River.
You can read more about all this in a couple weeks ... stay tuned, and bon appetit.