Gayle the owner of both places set me up to have cocktails and appetizers at her sister restaurant Hydro Grill before going across the street to All Season Café for dinner, her and husband Alex own both restaurants. What she failed to tell me was that bartender Naradia did not know anything about my tasting and Gayle was nowhere to be found. I tried to explain to her what was all about to transpire but she did not understand. I left Gayle’s phone number at my room 3 blocks away so I had to figure something else out. Naradia left a message with Alex, Gayle’s husband, but we never got a response. I called All Seasons Café to ask if they knew about my tasting and Jimmy Fallon came to my rescue. No not that Jimmy Fallon, he’s taping his show in New York City. This was another Jimmy Fallon, equally as funny though, and on this starry night he became my hero. He said, “Oh of course your Jodi Jackson, we have been waiting for you. Skip your appetizers at Hydro Grill and come enjoy them here!” Jimmy Fallon came over to Hydro Grill to meet me, and said “when your ready come on over!!”. Jimmy Fallon is the manager at the impeccable All Seasons Café, Gayle must have told him about my tasting.
Naradia turned out to be a perfect mixologist with all of her magical New Orleans bar business history. She came up with some serious concoctions, all of which were spectacular.
Here are the cocktails I tried;
Mango Cosmopolitan, rich mango flavor with nice balanced vodka overtones, makes this one a frontrunner for me.
Blue Orchid Margarita, sweet and lively, this is another great mixed cocktail.
Wild Orchid, Citrus Vodka, Mailibu Rum, Pinapple and Cranberry. This is a very refreshing lively cocktail. I would order this one for sure.
I did not try the food, but it looked like there were a lot of happy faces, so next time I would stop in for a delectable cocktail and a Hydro Grill menu item.
Hydro Bar & Grill
Calistoga, CA. 94515
Sunday, December 21, 2014 – Dinner at All Seasons Café
This place has all of its lovely bases covered. All decked out with Christmas decorations, it’s a very cozy, intimate atmosphere, and the best food hands down in Calistoga. What an accomplishment!!
Of course my fantastic server and host Jimmy Fallon made my entire culinary dream come true. He carefully paired some great wines with every course, paying so much attention to detail. Alot were his personal favorites, but his guidance made all of the difference in the world.
Here’s what I tried:
Baus Family, Russian River, 2012, a nice selection from Jimmy, paired great with the Caesar salad with shrimp.
Red Lava Vineyards, Red Hills Lake County, Tempranillo, Kelseyville, CA. 2010, I especially liked this wine with the full bodied Bolognese sauce; it hit all the write notes.
Surh Luchtel, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2012, a great addition to the pasta Bolognese as well.
Sean Minor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, American Canyon, 2011, Another great wine with the Steak as well as the Salmon.
Green & Red Napa Valley Zinfandel, Chiles Canyon Vineyards, St. Helena, Chiles Canyon, 2011, paired superbly with the steak.
Pellegrini, Merlot, Sonoma County, 2010, a good compliment to the Seafood Risotto.
Salads & Soups:
Warm Spinach Salad with Whole grain Mustard Vinaigrette, Café Smoked Chicken, Feta, Bacon, and Sliced Egg. Tangy dressing and very fresh ingredients make this salad a great way to start a glorious dining experience.
Lobster Bisque Classic Puree with Tomato, Cream, Tarragon, Brandy, and Truffle Oil. Now this is what I call great lobster bisque, with all the bells and whistles. The brandy and truffle oil are an added bonus.
Creams of Cauliflower Soup, with this rich creamy puree comes packed with lots of lovely cauliflower flavors.
Hawaiian Style Ahi Tuna Tartare with Avocado, Mango, Ginger, Sesame~Soy Aioli, and Won Ton Crisps. The tuna seemed like it was just caught fresh from the ocean, and the aioli made this a very memorable menu item.
Steamed Mussels and Clams in a Green Thai Curry-Coconut Broth, and Grilled Baguette. Just loved the combo of very subtle Thai flavors and both clams and mussels are very fresh.
Seared Salmon Fillet, with Lentils and Mushrooms, Leek-Onion-Scallion Mashed Potatoes, and Lemon-Brown Butter. The salmon is cooked to perfection along side the lentils are a very inventive combination.
Risotto with Scallops, Prawns, Mussels & Clams, Seared and Steamed Shellfish. The scallops are very large and strategically placed on the top of this remarkable dish.
Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce, Autumn Vegetables, Twice Baked Potato and Cheddar & Bacon. The steak is a very delicious entrée, its cooked medium rare and very tender. I would stick to this as my main entrée.
Pasta Bolognese with Red Wine-Tomato Sauce Mushrooms, Beef, Pork, Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs, Garlic, Red Onion, Red Wine, Parmesan, Truffle Oil, and Garlic Toast. Nice, well-rounded Italian flavors make this dish very notable; I would do this as a separate starter.
Classic Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee – burnt sugar crust. Not your typical crème brulee, this dessert seems to have more vanilla then most, and is a bit richer.
Trio of Sorbets – S seasonal selection. This dessert will cleanse your palate as well as refresh your senses, and after a huge meal this is very welcomed.
Really great food is not hard to find in this area, but great food that puts a constant smile on your face is very refreshing. This place delivers more then most, and its subtle charm is very contagious!
Owners Gayle Keller – Dierkhising and Alex Dierkhising are no stranger to Napa Valley. They started with their restaurant in 1976. Alex and Gayle were among the first wave of food and wine professionals in Napa Valley’s “modern” era. Theirs was among the first restaurants in the United States to receive the Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Grand Award.” The restaurant has been praised in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zagat Guide and the very recent Michelin Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area. Their emphasizing seasonal and regional ingredients, sustainable farming and fishing, all coupled with the best small production, hand crafted wines. Chef Summer Sebastiani, who graduated from California Culinary Academy creates all of the exceptional desserts, as well as designs the Bistro’s menus in collaboration with owner Gayle.
Skip the other tourist spots and try this home style elegant cuisine, it will make your Calistoga adventure one that you will want to come back to time and time again.
All Seasons Cafe
1400 Lincoln Avenue
Calistoga, CA 94515