Okay, here’s the second half to the Exceptional Eleven list…
6. After hitting up wine country, we drove back into San Francisco. I was not going to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Napa for over $200, strictly on principle.
I’ll start with the hotel. It was beautiful and in a great location. The only point they lose is from the front desk person who was very vague on which cable car stop we should go to in order to get to Scoma’s. We waited a good 45 minutes for that thing. It was worth it though! Those drivers are hard workers. And very entertaining.
So once we finally got on the cable car, and had the ride of our lives, we walked a few short blocks and ended up at Scoma’s. A friend recommended it, and they have a gluten free menu, so that’s all I needed! We hung out at the bar for about an hour before we got a table, and I had a tasty chocolate espresso martini. Calories don’t count on vacation. We were seated at a small table in the dining room overlooking the water, and I had an amazing (gluten free!) pasta with huge chunks of crab on top and tons of veggies on the side. Delish! There are lots of bad reviews online, but I disagree.
7. I love eating at good restaurants, and I’d say what really makes the night is your server. Let me tell you about a little gem I had almost forgotten about since our fourth grade field trip…Taste of Texas. We went to Taste of Texas for my boyfriend’s birthday because he had just recently moved to Texas! My sister and brother-in-law joined us for one of the greatest nights I had all year. Our server was wonderful, salad bar wonderful, lobster delicious, steak delicious, dessert out of this world. It was an all-around fantastic night…for a Tuesday. Check it out if you’re in Houston. You won’t be disappointed. http://tasteoftexas.com/
8. Next on my list was a very creative Christmas gift. A cooking class at Sur La Table. A Date Night Romantic Italian Feast cooking class! Oooh la la. Enough said. Try if you like to cook and eat and drink. It’s bring your own wine! And Chef Carlos is the perfect mix of teacher and entertainer.
9. Number nine happened all the way in North Carolina. Who hasn’t read about Asheville in Southern Living?? My boyfriend’s awesome parents took us there while we were visiting in Georgia over Christmas. Immediately after we arrived, I wanted to move there. It’s the cutest town, and I saw two chocolate shops within five minutes. Sign me up! It makes the list for the restaurants. Tons of gluten free places. We first went to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, and I had a pots de creme. It was incredible. Seriously. I still have dreams about it. For dinner, we ate at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. First of all, could the name be any cuter? I will tell you that this place deserves every award it’s ever gotten. Everyone is friendly, nice bathrooms, exceptional food. I had the shrimp and grits. Highly recommend. Sorry I don’t have any pictures.
10. You’re probably thinking, We’re getting close to the end. These better be good. I actually went in order of how things happened, but I still don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Number ten is the.most.fabulous.house I have ever seen! The Biltmore Estate. 250 rooms. 43 bathrooms. We went for the evening Christmas tour. The house had people singing Christmas carols when we walked in, and room after room decorated with Christmas trees. My favorite rooms were the gun room, the library, the swimming pool, and the pastry kitchen! Pastry kitchen! Now I’m loyal to Memorial Athletic Club, but the Biltmore pool definitely has them beat. They didn’t allow picture taking inside, which was very painful for me, but here’s some of the grounds. I’d like to go back when I can see the gardens in bloom.
11. New Year’s Eve. Now I didn’t grow up a football fan, but I’m catching on quickly. I’m the ultimate t-shirt fan. Since we were already going to be in Atlanta, and my boyfriend is a HUGE Auburn fan, we got tickets to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. And because my boyfriend is awesome, we sat in the Verizon Club seats. Easy bathroom access and an entire gluten free snack bar. That made it fabulous.
Well that’s it. Any suggestions for a fabulous 2012?