Saturday, June 11, 2011

End-of-the-year Retirement Luncheon

To celebrate the end of the school year and honor the joint retirement of our colleague, R, and his lovely wife, J, the counseling department headed to Hurley's in Yountville. Besides yummy food and great decor, one big reason for selecting this restaurant is free corkage. That's not easy to find in the Napa Valley!

Each of us brought at least one bottle of wine and it was fun sampling each of them, mostly reds. I'm not a huge wine drinker so my palette isn't refined but I can tell when I'm drinking pretty good wine, which we certainly did yesterday!

Opolo and Mantra

Our food couldn't have come soon enough, as I hadn't eaten breakfast earlier and we had scheduled to meet for our luncheon at 2pm. For an appetizer, we split a couple platters of calamari, which were just the right amount of spiciness and had a unique crunch of cornmeal rather than the usual flour batter.

I opted for the special lunch menu which featured two courses for $20. My meal started with a hearty mushroom and barley soup. Even Hubby enjoyed it, which he called "healthy tasting but in a good way."

Mushroom and Barley Soup, with a garnish of goat cheese crouton

Hubby opted for the sirloin, which was excellent, and I chose the trout as my second course. It was delicious! I believe it was panko-encrusted and sat atop a fresh corn, tomato, and fava bean salad, with a garnish of leek and some herbs. Perfect for a warm spring day!


I was even able to convince Hubby to order a side of mac 'n cheese with his steak. Yum!

Mac 'n Cheese

For dessert, ordered creme brulee, a chocolate almond torte, strawberry shortcake, and an ice cream sandwich to pass around so we could each have a bite. I think the chocolate almond torte won the prize for tastiest dessert of the day.

Strawberry Shortcake

By the time we had finished dessert, we still had a couple bottles of red wine left and had yet to open up the bottle of Sinatra wine Hubby brought. We asked the servers if we could head out to their patio to enjoy the rest of our beverages and they kindly obliged. It was so nice to sit outside and continue to drink and chat leisurely.

wine glass

We couldn't leave Hurley's without taking at least one group photo. This one doesn't include Hubby, as he was the photographer, like always:

Most of the VHS Counseling Department plus J and J.

And I couldn't leave Yountville without picking up some giant macarons at Bouchon Bakery!

Some of the best french macarons ever!

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