Fatted Calf Foray

I couldn’t resist emailing this to Brian, Eric, Carol, Sarah and Paula.

“These guys know how to throw a book signing. If I were still in SF…”

Fatted Calf Newsletter September 19, 2013
At The Table

What better way to celebrate the publication of our book, In The Charcuterie, then to join at the table with friends and colleagues for a leisurely lunch? And what better table than the one under the arbor at Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa! Rob and Maria Sinskey, huge supporters of The Fatted Calf, generously offered up their stunning digs.

stunning digs

Sinskey Chef, Erin Ramsey, laid out quite a feast for us, including some Fatted Calf favorites. There were pork rillettes toasts topped with nectarine mostarda, thin slices of finocchiona accompanied by marinated olives and green tomato chutney, and the pièce de resistance, plump sausage and fig stuffed quail roasted in the wood oven. Tasting Room Manager, Jennifer Gallagher, poured glass after glass of perfectly matched vintages of organic and biodynamic Sinskey wine (while professing her love of liverwurst). Good food, great wine and good people made for a memorable day.
Come make some happy memories of your own. Join us this coming Sunday, September 22, at Robert Sinskey Vineyards from 11 am to 3 pm. We’ll be preparing some meaty bites, enjoying a glass of one of our favorite wines and signing copies of In The Charcuterie. Reservations can be made through Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Brian fired back:
Why don’t we go?  Leave yer place at 8-ish, get there as the thing’s getting started, good food & wine, good-looking book, chance to chat with FC folk, stroll around the grounds a bit, and be home in time for a light supper (after what should be a rich FC spread).  It’s $50 each with the book, $35 without.  On normal days, it’s $25 just for wine-tasting with nibbles.

I checked with Carol… She doesn’t want to spend Sunday car-riding. Said she will babysit Tuzik. I called the Sinskey Winery and made reservations for me and Brian, hoping they wouldn’t be sold out.

The newsletter went on…

Want to skip the read and head straight to the table? Visit The Fatted Calf table at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this Saturday and pick up some rillettes, finocchiona and fig and sausage stuffed quail for a feast of your very own.

Anytime I’m in San Francisco, I stock up on stuff from Fatted Calf… Just can’t get that stuff in Reno. So after the event, Brian and I did just that… not at Ferry Plaza but at the Fatted Calf shop at Oxbow Market in Napa. I got me some duck crepinettes, fennel sausages, sausage and fig stuffed quail, greens sausages, a slice of Terrine Forestiere and packs of Sugo di Carne. Brian did similar.

colonnade bordering parking lot

We got there minutes before noon and I was surprised to find empty parking spaces near the door. Inside, the tasting bar was packed. We passed by that to the open kitchen and back garden with a white marble bar. Tables under the arbor were provided a stunning view of a massive stone wall and vineyards above and behind.

the view from my table

Several folks milled around the bar laden with delectable food. Brian and I were still getting our bearings when the woman behind the bar offered a glass of Abraxas, a white wine blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer. Yum. I took a plate and a meaty item or two and found a nice seat.

one of my many samplings of food and wine

Again, I was surprised that there were only about 20 people there, but glad that we were uncrowded and unhurried. The day was a spectacular late summer Napa day; they hardly get better than that. We easily fell into a routine of going for the next wine, picking up some foodie goodies, and sitting to enjoy. Four wines were being poured, a Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, a Pinot Noir and POV (Point of View), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; the classic Bordeaux blend. My favorite was the Vin Gris of Pinot Noir and I bought a bottle to enjoy with my own food at home.

no caption needed

just in from the kitchen

From time to time, a young woman would come out of the kitchen with a plate of hors d’oeuvresy things — duck sausage skewered on a stalk of lemongrass, a cube of lamb skewered with a shiny green blistered padron pepper… good ol’ Brian knows how to pick an event.

raison d’etre

As Taylor and Toponia were signing my book, I said, “Fatted Calf goodies are good enough to buy and eat at home, but to have them served, perfectly prepared, in such a place as this, is a heavenly experience.”

Back on I-80, our Sunday afternoon eastbound lanes were lightly occupied while the westbound lanes to the Bay Area were packed. Brian and I agreed that the Food and Wine experience was well worth the drive. We were home about six, in time to watch Football Night in America on a slight tape delay and eat some Terrine Forestiere.

3 thoughts on “Fatted Calf Foray

  1. Nice story?
    What’s the bling on your shirt in the last photo?


  2. That’s a sticker that says “IN THE CHARCUTERIE” so folks know they can give me food and wine.


  3. Your foodie experience sounds like the deal of the decade. Wow! Not sure what all those things you ate were, but the blended wines sounded awesome to me.


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