Girls’ Wine Country Getaway to the Napa Valley

The kids are back in school and it is time for a well-deserved break in the action of household duties. The best possible getaway in September is a two-night stay in the Napa Valley wine country. We have done this several times and it works wonders on the psyche. Here are some sure-fire ideas for getting this trip off on the right foot and making sure that fun times prevail throughout the stay.

Bouchon bakery in yountville

A morning cup and pastry at Bouchon Bakery

First of all, someone in the group must take the lead in organizing the entire trip. Give the group a name like “Sixth Annual Rejuvenation Wine Country Getaway.” Once the dates are firmed up, make sure you book your Napa lodging and Napa restaurants as soon as possible. September is harvest season and it’s a very popular time of the year in wine country. [Read more...]

“Kitchen Nightmares” on the Restaurant Prowl in the Napa Valley

What was your experience the last time you visited one of your favorite Napa Valley restaurants? If you were disappointed with your dining experience, you may want to suggest to that restaurant that they apply for a makeover by chef Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay is the very fiery-tempered chef featured on the reality television show Kitchen Nightmares. This FOX TV show is presently searching for restaurants for its upcoming 5th season and hoping to find one or more in the prestigious Napa Valley.

Chef Ramsay is Mr. Fixit when it comes to restaurants. He is a restaurant consultant and restaurateur who has created many successful Michelin-starred restaurants. On Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Ramsay spends a week with a struggling restaurant using his skills to turn it around into a successful business. If you have seen the show, you know that Chef Ramsay holds nothing back. He takes a bold approach and does what is needed to get the restaurant back on track. I went to the Kitchen Nightmares website and viewed several clips from past seasons. It is quite an astonishing show. It is funny and embarrassing, and it is amazing for the audience to discover what goes on behind the kitchen doors. Although Chef Ramsay is quite arrogant and abrupt, it is apparent that he can do wonders to fix a fledgling restaurant and bring it back to profitability. [Read more...]

Restaurant Surge in Napa

If new restaurants are any gauge of how the economy is doing, then it must be doing just fine in the town of Napa. Since January, there have been three new restaurants that have opened, one at the Oxbow Public Market, two in the downtown area. In the summer, three more restaurants are slated to open in the Riverfront Residences development. That feels like a lot of competition for restaurant owners, but one would think that investors have reason to believe these restaurants will make it as the economy recovers. [Read more...]